The Kingdom of God and The Messianic Hope
This series of posts will be a survey of the development of God as King through the development of the concept of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God in the Hebrew Bible, the further development of the Messianic hope in the Intertestamental years, the revelation of the Messianic hope and the Kingdom of God in the life, death and resurrection of Yeshua and further looking at the issue of the Bilateral Messianic Community and the Kingdom of God in the Apostolic Writings epistles and Revelation. This survey of Scripture and Intertestamental writings will seek to draw unity of the Kingdom of God concept into the person of the Messiah.
“The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble. He sits enthroned on the cherubim; let the earth shake! The LORD is great in Zion; he is high above all the peoples. Let them praise your great and fearsome name (he is holy): “Mighty king who loves justice, you established fairness, justice and righteousness in Jacob.” (Psalm 99:1-4, CJB)
The Psalmist gives us a glorious picture of the God of Israel as King over all his people reigning in holiness and righteousness. The reign of God in the life of the Jewish People can be seen as Abram became a follower of God and put himself and his descendants under the authority of God. At Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Torah, God as King in love and reflective of His holiness, gave the Jewish People His Law for them to live by as subjects of their King. As we have seen above from the Psalms, the Hebrew Bible contains many verses on God as King including “Psa 47:2 asserting that God bears the title “king.” God reigns as king (e.g., Psa 93:1; 96:10), He rules (e.g., Judg 8:23; Psa 22:28), He sits on a throne (e.g., 1 Kgs 22:19; Psa 103:19; Ezek 1:26–28), and He maintains a kingdom (e.g., Psa 45:6; 2 Kgs 19:15)” (Seal, 2012, Kingdom of God).
With the choosing of David as King of Israel, the Jewish People had a human king that would rule them under the authority of God.
“David was a man who sought after God and his faithfulness was rewarded with the promise of an eternal ruler over all Israel from his line. The initiation of the promise to David of the Davidic Covenant is given in 2 Samuel 7:11-16” (Emslie, 2014, p. 6).
The promise to David of eternal rulership of his line over Israel because of the failings of David’s heirs and the eventual conquering by foreign nations gave birth to the Messianic hope, that a future righteous heir will come to rule once again on David’s throne in righteousness. Along with the promise to David and because of Israel’s living outside of the Covenant there was a need for God’s Kingship to be again manifested on earth and therefore God gave the prophets predictions of a time when God would again rule over Israel in the person of the Messiah, bring a new period of the Kingdom (Foster, 1998, p. 158).
Emslie, R. (2014). Covenant in the Hebrew Bible (Unpublished paper). Grand Canyon University, Phoenix.
Foster, L. (1989). Revelation: Unlocking the Scriptures for You. Cincinnati, OH: Standard.
Seal, D. (2012). Kingdom of God. In (J. D. Barry & L. Wentz, Eds.) The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.