THE CONSEQUENCES OF JESUS BEING SON OF DAVID

 

By ROBERT GOVETT.

 

1. GREAT PROMISES WERE ATTACHED BY THE MOST HIGH TO A SON OF DAVID.

 

The occasion of the promises was Davidís design to build a house for the God who had exalted him from the sheepcot to the throne.The prophet Nathan at first encouraged his idea, but was afterwards sent with a message of grace, refusing his purpose, but promising to do great things for himself and his family: 1 Chron. 17.The Most High had purposes of kindness towards Israel, and toward their king.He would fix Israel in peace untroubled thenceforward by foes.David must die, but a Son of his should be established in his kingdom by the Lord: 11.He should build an house for Jehovah, and his house should be established for ever: 14.He should also be a Son of God: 13.Godís mercy should never be taken away from Him.He should be settled in Godís house and kingdom for ever: 14, 27.

 

2. THESE PROMISES WERE NOT FULFILLED IN SOLOMON.

 

Solomon did indeed build the temple, and his kingdom was a time of prosperity and splendour, such as had never been enjoyed in Israel before.

 

But his reign lasted not for ever, but for forty years only: 1 Chron. 22: 9, 10.Why was it cut short?Because of sin. He transgressed the laws of Moses relating to the royal authority.He multiplied wives to himself, and horses, and silver, and gold.He sent his subjects back to Egypt, a way which God had declared closed to Israel.He did not write out a copy of the law.And last and worst of all, he fell into idolatry; the sin against which the law warned men most.

 

This Son of David, then, was not in spirit and life, the Son of God, as promised.Solomon brought in only a partial fulfilment.The complete accomplishment of it was yet to come.

 

This counsel of Jehovah was established under oath: 2 Sam. 3: 9; Psa. 89: 11.It cannot therefore be set aside.An attempt was made in the days of Ahaz to defeat it.The King of Israel and the King of Syria were confederated together to remove the line of David from the throne, and to set up another family.On this occasion the Lord offered to the representative of Davidís house, though he were a sinful man and an idolater, to work any miracle in heaven or earth which he might name, in pledge, that the plans of his foes should in this matter be defeated.Ahaz refused, in his wilfulness, to demand any sign.Then the Most High promised that a virgin should bear a Son, whose name should be ĎGod with us

 

3. THESE THINGS POINTED ONWARD TO THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

 

None was ever so born, but our Lord Jesus Christ.His birth in that way confirms all the promises made to David and to Israel: Rom. 15.

 

Moreover the Saviourís history again and again touches upon these promises. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke trace our Lordís genealogy up to Abraham and David the king : Matt. i, 1 ; Luke iii.

 

The angel promised to Mary, that the Lord God would give to her Son that should be born the throne of David his father, and that he should reign over the house of Jacob for ever, while of his kingdom there should be no end: Luke 1: 32, 33.

 

Now Davidís throne is not in heaven.We are carefully taught that David himself has never gone to heaven: Acts 2.We are instructed, that he reigned in Jerusalem: the very city where Christ his Son experienced his sore trouble and death, being rejected with mockery and contempt both from Jew and Gentile, when he asserted his title to the throne over Israel.

 

The comfort addressed to Joseph in his perplexity concerning Mary turned upon the Lordís promise of the miracle to Ahaz.While the evil king refused it, God gave beside signs in the height and in the depth.He gave a sign in the height, by the darkening of the sun, and in the depth, by the earthquake at the Saviourís death.He gave a sign also in the height, by Jesus visibly ascending to the heaven; while His disciples looked on; and in the descent of the Holy Ghost in wind and fire.

 

Zechariah the inspired father of the Baptist, in his song celebrated the mercy of the God of Israel, who had visited his people; raising up to them out of the house of David a mighty Saviour, in fulfilment of the prophetís words. These promises bore, that Israel should be rescued from their Gentile foes, and should serve the Lord in holiness and peace forever: Luke 1: 67-80.As it is also said in Rom. 11: 26: "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.For this is my covenant with them when I shall take away their sins."

 

In pursuance of this mind of God Caesarís decree of taxation takes effect, to lead Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, so that Davidís Son should be born, as foretold, in Davidís native town.They both went there, as being both of the family of David.

 

And while there was no room for the lowly pair in the inn, nevertheless the birth of Jesus was celebrated by angelic hosts with joy.To the shepherds guarding their flocks by night, an angelic messenger declared, that to them was born a Saviour who was Christ the Lord, in the city of David that day: Luke 2: 8-10.These were tidings of great joy, designed for all the people of Israel.But how should they know this infant?How distinguish Him from all others? Not by His abode in a palace, not by His reclining in a cot of ivory or gold ; but they should find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.Then burst forth the chorus of angels - "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to the men of Godís good pleasure."

 

Soon thereafter come the Magi from the east, inquiring about the Sceptre given to Israel.And lest any should say, that the prophecies in the matter were unintelligible, the scribes when inquired of where Messiah should be born, point at once to Micah 5.Bethlehem, the town of David, was the destined place out of which come the Governor that is to rule Godís people of Israel.Has this ever been fulfilled?Never!But if God be true, it must one day be accomplished.What changes then must take place in the world and Israel!

 

The Magi worship.This Son of David is also the Son of God.So it was foretold.And this appears more fully, with the Fatherís own attestation, at the baptism of Jesus.God is seeking a man after His own heart to anoint Him King of all.Jesus is immersed in the Jordan, and lo, the Fatherís voice declares Jesus to be the Beloved Son. He is at once the Son of David and the Son of God.

 

The Saviour pointed again to His claims and His hopes in His residence at Capernaum.Thus had Isaiah foretold, that the land of Galilee beside the sea should see a great light.Thus it came to pass.That land not only heard the wisdom of Christ, and saw His miracles, but on one of the mountains on that land Jesus revealed Himself as the Risen One to His disciples, and thence sent them forth to bear witness of resurrection and pardon to all the nations.

 

But the passage of Isaiah indicated, bears witness to other scenes yet to come.Israel shall rejoice with great joy, after the great and strange battle of fire, in which the might of Israelís oppressors will be broken.The victory shall be on Israelís side, because the Conqueror shall be Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God.He shall bring the true peace, seated on the throne of David.The zeal of Jehovah, God of armies, will effect these promises given to Israel.

 

Let us look at another passage.The eighty-ninth Psalm is one of the most copious on this point.

 

It is in general a rehearsing of the engagements entered into by Jehovah to glorify the throne of David and of his Son.But there, side by side, is set forth the opposite state of things in fact.Thus is the Lord called on to remember His words, and perform them.

 

Who is the Son of David to whom these engagements shall be performed?He is marked out in verse 9."Thou rulest the raging of the sea; when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them."So Luke tells us of One, who when the mariners of the lake were terrified, and cried - ĎMaster, master, we perishí - arouse and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there was a calm: Luke 8: 24.

 

Of this Son of David it is foretold, that He, the Holy One of Israel shall be King: 18.Godís mercy toward Him shall be eternal."His seed will I make to endure for ever, and His throne as the days of heaven:" 28, 29.These words shall at length be fulfilled in Jesus the King of Israel.

 

Let us take another passage, Psalm 132.This asks God to remember Davidís troubles, and his design to build a house for Jehovah.It recites Godís oath to David to set one of his family on the throne of Israel: 11.At this Peter glances on the day of Pentecost.Jesus was He who gave a foretaste of the good things promised here.He abundantly blessed the provision of Israel in the miracle of Cana in Galilee; and in His feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand, satisfied the poor with bread.This then looks onward to the day of the completion of the rest of the prophecy.It tells of a time when God shall choose Zion for His habitation, and dwell therein forever. This was not effected at the Saviourís first coming.On the contrary, Jerusalem, as the Saviour foretold, was for her sins to be given up to her foes; and the house of God within her was to be desolate until they should say, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."The little glimpses of glory given at Cana and in the desert were swallowed up by the far more extended and terrible famine sent upon the people during the siege of the holy city.

 

There must then be a day when the priests of Aaronís line shall be clothed with salvation, and when Jewish saints shall shout aloud for joy.There in Jerusalem the power of the house of David shall display itself: 17.There shall their foes be clothed with shame, but on David and his Son shall the crown prosper.As that was the spot where Christís enemies assembled in His day of humiliation, and the bitter cup was drank by Him, so there shall the Lord exalt this faithful Son of David.

 

Let us look again at another prophecy. It shall be Jeremiah 23.That declares Godís displeasure against the unfaithful shepherds of Israel.Of this the Lord Jesus gave indications at His first advent: Matt. 9: 36; 23.

 

But better times were at hand.The Lord would raise to David a Righteous Branch, and a King should reign and judge in earth.Israel in that day shall be safe from foes and Gentile oppression, and the name of the Deliverer shall be - "The Lord our Righteousness."Who is this Righteous One, this "the Lord our Righteousness," no believer needs to be told.While of all others it is written - "There is none righteous, no not one."Of Him it is declared, that He is "Jesus Christ the Righteous, the Propitiation for our sins," who is to us "the end of law unto righteousness."

 

Now of Him this prophecy testifies, that He shall one day reign as a King on earth.And His kingdom shall be so glorious, and His deliverance of Israel so wonderful, that the eyes of the nation shall no more be directed to the rescue out of Egypt, but to the deliverance of the nation from their later scattering, to inhabit without fear or further molestation, their own land.

 

The 33rd. [chapter] of Jeremiah occupies a like position.It foretells the restoration of Israel from captivity.God will cleanse them from their sins.Jerusalem shall be a place of peace and joy, after being the seat of war and desolation.The engagements of God toward Judah and Ephraim shall at length be made good.Davidís Righteous Branch at length shall reign.Of Him it is written - "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee.""A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."These counsels of God concerning Israel and David are so firm, that a man may as well attempt to break through the regular order of day and night enjoyed through the covenant with Noah, as set aside Godís intents of good toward Israel and David.

 

Would you look at another testimony?Take Isaiah 11.Here the promise is to a Son of Jesse.What Son of his it was, that is intended, we know from the Spiritís resting on Jesus at His baptism, and the fulness of wisdom and power then displayed by Him. He judged, not by the sight of His eyes, or by the words that met His ear, as men in general are obliged to do.For He knew the thoughts of His foes, and could abash them with His - "Why tempt ye me? Hypocrites?"

 

But while this foretaste has been given, the rest of the prophecy halts, and awaits its fulfilment.It supposes another day than this Gospel day of grace.As yet Jesus is the Lord of mercy, not breaking the bruised reed, or quenching the smoking flax.But the limit of this time is distinctly attested, in the same prediction - "Till He send forth justice unto victory."Thus too this 11th. chapter announces the day in which Jesus shall judge in righteousness and make war, (Rev. 19.) when He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips slay Ďthe Lawless One, the Man of Sin, the Rival ChristThen shall the innocence of Eden return again, and the beasts of prey be contented with grass as their food, while the serpent shall be deprived of its fangs of death.Then, not till then, not till the reign of righteousness at the hands of Christ after the great enemy, even Satan, is stilled in the bottomless pit, shall the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Then shall come the rest that remaineth for the people of God, and that rest shall be glory: ver. 10. Then Shall Israel be restored to their own land from the various countries into which they have been cast.Great as were the miracles of God by the hand of Moses on the river Nile, the river Jordan, and the Red Sea, greater ones shall yet take effect in the day to come, on Euphrates.And the tongue of the sea through those depths Israel then passed shall be permanently dried up; while in the burning sands over which Moses and his host toiled, fountains shall spring up, the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose, and become part of Israelís land.

 

Jesusí acceptance of the title ĎSon of David,í was not only passive, or enforced on Him by virtue of His parentage and birth; but He also actively asserted it, specially toward the close of His life.

 

At the opening of His ministry, after the first case of restoration, two blind men addressed Him as the Son of David, craving His pity.Jesus owns His title, and gives them sight.But alas! Israel was then blind, as foretold, and the next miraculous incident of the Saviourís life is met by the blasphemy that the Saviourís power was that of Beelzebub.

 

This acknowledgment of the title "Son of David" was not an idle thing, producing a like response from the Saviour by whomsoever uttered.When one of the cursed nations of Canaan destined to the sword of justice, bespoke his aid as "the Son of David," He answered not a word.Pressed on the point by the disciples, He explains, that He was, as Son of David, come to uphold the rights of Israel.And it was only when the woman displayed a faith not found in Israel, and professed her willingness to take a place outside the superior position of Israel, that help was bestowed.

 

On His last journey to Jerusalem, as He entered and passed through Jericho two more blind men address Him as "Son of David" - receive their sight, and follow Him as trophies of His power to be presented to the daughter of Zion, to the glory of her King.The Saviourís entry into Jerusalem on the ass was in attestation of His claims to be king of Jerusalem.He actively, and of set purpose entered, in the guise the prophet had foretold, and the crowd rejoiced over the kingdom of Father David and the king who was coming in the name of the Lord.

 

It was, however, at the Saviourís judical appearing before the representative of the king of the Romans, that His title of Son of David, and king of Israel came into critical question."Art thou the king of the Jews?" was the question of intensest interest to our Lord.Could He have denied it, He would have been set free: and His cross would have lacked Pilateís accusation. - ĎThis is Jesus the Nazarite, the King of the JewsBecause of our Lordís good confession before Pilate, He suffered death.For He could not deny the Scripture.But out of the cross has sprung the resurrection, and the ascent, and the session at the Fatherís right hand, in the heaven of heavens.

 

Then Christians, let us not misunderstand the matter.Jesus here and there has fulfilled some of the promises made to Israel and the house of David in the historic books, the Psalms and Prophets.What shall we say then?That this is because the promise, privileges and glories spoken of Israel and Jerusalem really belong to the church of Christ, and are all to be fulfilled in her spiritually?By no means!The Spirit of God testifies that Jesus Christ was a servant of circumcised Israel, and that His miracles were to be the pledge to Israel of the accomplishment one day of all the blessings predicted.Jesus was as servant of the chosen race of Jacob, to confirm (not to set aside) the promises made to the fathers: Rom. 15: 8.Thus has the Spirit testified in Luke 1.

 

These promises are by the resurrection of Jesus, set on assured ground never presented before.As Jesus lives ever, and is resurrection and life, He is Master of the "sure mercies" of David.How can the throne of David be held by any one "for ever," as it is promised?Only in ďthe power of an endless life."

 

To this day, then, Christians, let us look onward to the day of Israelís repentance, and of the Saviourís coming in power.The Gentiles are about by their unbelief to throw off the yoke and name of Christ!The days of mercy are waning.The days are at hand, when kings and nations shall set themselves in insane perverseness against the Lord and the Anointed Son of David.Then will the Lord speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.Then shall He break them in pieces like a potterís vessel!

 

But our portion is with the Son of David, the Son of God."For we became companions (fellows) of the Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end."ĻFor "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore, O God, thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Greek.)The illumined eye of Paul discerned among the companions of Messiah in that day of His kingdom and glory, ourselves, who hold fast the good hope of the coming day. Then let us fix our eyes thereon, and endeavour to attain to the future kingdom of God, in the path of righteousness along which the Saviour trod.Then shall He at length say also to us - "Well done, good and faithful servants; enter ye into the joy of your Lord."How great shall that joy be which the Father shall pour on this Lover of righteousness, this Righteous Branch of David, this man after His own heart; a fullness of blessing never known by David.

 

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