A Gentile President or A Jewish King?

It has been a month since the Presidential election and people are wondering how the new President-elect will do once he enters office. I have an answer that is guaranteed to be correct. Some people, probably about half the electorate, will be extremely unhappy with his decisions and actions. That’s the problem with having a human being as our leader. We all make mistakes, we all get things wrong, we’re all extremely fallible, and this includes the President.

Biblical Israel had the same experience with their kings. For example, David was the first of his dynasty, the one who is remembered as Israel’s greatest king. God gave David a special promise, guaranteeing him a future descendent who would be an eternal king, forever ruling over the nation of Israel. This is called the Davidic covenant and it’s found in 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17.  In those passages, God promised David a descendent who would have an eternal house, kingdom and throne.

Of course, as great as David was, he also was not perfect. We all remember his massive failure with Bath Sheba and Uriah the Hittite. And every other Davidic king after him, even the good ones, ended up failing in some way. Needless to say, by the time Judah’s last king, Zedekiah, took the throne, there was no hope for the nation. God had revealed to them through the Prophets that they would go into captivity in Babylon without the promised king from David’s line having yet come. Yet even this grim prophecy came with a measure of hope. Listen to Ezekiel’s message to Zedekiah in Ezek 21:25-27:

“And you, O slain, wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end,” thus says the Lord God, “Remove the turban, take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.”

God is telling Zedekiah that the jig is up. The time of punishment has arrived and he is to take off his kingly crown. In fact, God reveals that the exalted house of David will now be abased—that God will make a ruin of Davidic kingship. The Lord says it three times to make sure we all get the point. But these bleak words don’t give the end of the story. He also gives a promise. The fall of the Davidic house isn’t permanent—it will be revived.

With the words, “This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him” God is saying that Davidic kingship will be temporarily removed but only until the rightful promised king comes, the one who will fulfill the Davidic covenant. The phrase “until He comes whose right it is” alludes to the famous prophecy of Messiah in Genesis 49:10. There God promised, “The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until He whose right it is comes and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him.” Way back in the first book of the Bible, the messianic king was described as “He whose right it is,” just as the book of Ezekiel does. Ezekiel has prophesied that the Davidic crown would be lost until the rightful Son of David came, He whose right it is.

At this season we celebrate what the angel told Mary, that her child “will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end” (Luke 1:32-33). This announcement meant that God was giving Davidic kingship to the One whose right is.

Here’s the point. Our hope is not in a Gentile President–it’s in a Jewish king. If we trust in the Lord Jesus, we’ll have a righteous king who will never disappoint us or fail us. He will lead us forever. And one day, He’ll return and take up the throne that is rightfully His. That is a far better hope than any earthly ruler or President can give.

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