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The Kingdom of God

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As we continue walking through the OT....

You come to the book of Joshua, where God gave Israel some extraordinary victories against much stronger nations and more powerful armies…until they had gained the promise of God and lived in the Promised Land!
God literally stops the sun at one point in order to help them defeat an army, and throws giant hailstones down on an opposing army
God’s power was being actively displayed to the Israelites
And, what really isn’t surprising to us anymore is this fact, that the Israelites just seemed intent on ruining everything didn’t they?
That’s what we see as we come to the book of Judges.
The book of Judges gives us record of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the faithful God who had delivered them into the promised land.
Judges is like this vicious cycle or rollercoaster of ups and downs
The Intimidator
Israel falls into sin and apathy and they fall into enemies hands
God raises up a leader (judge) and delivers them
The people acknowledge God and are forgiven
And then Israel falls into sin and apathy again
If you would read through Judges this is what you would see, and you would see God raising up Deborah, Ehud, Gideon, Samson, and various others.
Does anyone know who the last judge was?

Samuel

Samuel was also a prophet of God, someone who would faithfully deliver God’s Word to the people of Israel
And it is during Samuel’s time, that Israel decides God is not fit enough to rule them. They want their own king.
But think about it with me, from Genesis, God has set himself up as the ruler, the king of creation, and the ruler of mankind.
And we were made to rule creation under God our King.
Think all the way to what we talked about last week, the tabernacle and the temple. These were essentially dwelling places for the King, God Himself. These were his palaces.
God is the ruler of mankind. All creation is His kingdom.
We were made to live in perfect peace in the kingdom of God.
The last verse in the book of Judges says this, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
This verse kind of points out two things to me:
1. Israel up to this point did not have an earthly king
2. They had rejected the one true King

Turn with me to
Now, you should have already looked into this in your small groups. And in your small group you had some questions to answer
1. What was Israel’s main reason for wanting an earthly king
They wanted to be like all of the other nations
Which is crazy, remember how they consecrated themselves at the foot of Mt. Sinai? They were set apart, they were supposed to be different!!!!!
God was no longer good enough for them.
Remember, they had experienced God’s presence come and fill the tabernacle. God Himself had actually come to reside and rule over them, but it just. wasnt. enough.
And don’t think we aren’t like this still today! Cuz we are aren’t we? We want to be like everybody else, when we too, have been consecrated and set apart!
2. What were God’s statements to Samuel (and in turn, Israel)
They have rejected me
They have forsaken me
They serve other gods
But ultimately, God told Samuel to obey the people’s request, and to set up a king.
Now, let me ask you this, why do you think God would allow this? Why would God allow them to reject Him for an earthly king?
Ultimately, because God was going to work through this defiance of Himself.
Do you guys understand the mercy that God is displaying here? These people rejected Him, wanted an earthly king to be like everyone else, to be like the people who weren’t God’s chose people
But his love and mercy was so great that He was going to work through this for the good of all nations!
3. What were Samuel’s warnings to Israel?
Take your sons and daughters
Take the best of your harvests
Take the best of your servants and livestock
Verse 18
Have you ever been told not to do something by your parents, but did it anyway?
As we stated though…God still had plans for Israel.
And so the first king of Israel is crowned, and his name was ?
Saul didn’t last too long though, and God calls Samuel to “anoint” David, a shepherd as the next king ()
David was to become “the Lord’s Anointed”
And this idea of being the Lord’s anointed, doesn’t just apply to David, but it is a picture of Christ and how one day He would come and reign as the Lord’s Anointed
Now, we know, hopefully, that David wasn’t perfect was he?
No, he actually commited some quite terrible acts of sin
But David, being forgiven of those sins, was kind of the standard if you will of what the King of Israel should be, “a man after God’s own heart” ()

Two Things

Turn to with me, verses 9-11
I want you to see two things that we learn from this passage about God and His kingdom
1. God is keeping His promise to Abraham
Does anyone remember what God promised Abraham way back in Genesis?
- I will make your name great
And what does God promise David here in 2 Samuel?
Verse 9 - “And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.”
- God promised Abraham and his descendents the land of Canaan
Here in 2 Samuel verse 10: plant Israel in the land of Canaan
- Nations and kings would come from Abraham
2 Samuel - Here we have David being the fulfillment of that promise and also God promising him he would establish the throne of his kingdom forever
God is faithful to His promises. He never changes, never waivers. Even in spite of the Israelites demanding for a king, they followed His plan.
2. God Knew and God Had a Plan
If you ever think God isn’t in control, or things are so bad He must not care, it’s just simply not true.
says this, “ 14 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose.
God said this before they had conquered the land of Canaan, before they had arrived in the Promised Land.
God knew the Israelites heart, he knew what they would do, and he knew what the outcome would be
14 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose.
And he worked through it.
God is faithful to His people.
Now we know David ultimately wasn’t the true perfect king of Israel, as we’ve discussed.
So ultimately, God’s plan hadn’t reached fullfilment yet, which we discover as you continue reading through the OT.
As we talked last week, Israel becomes quite wicked and goes into exile
The major and minor prophets are full of declarations of impending judgement on Israel......and looking forward to the coming true king, Jesus Christ
, , Ez 34,
And as we approach the New Testament and the overview we will have of that, understanding the Old Testament will hopefully help you make more sense about the New Testament.
It’s all about Jesus Christ.
And do you know what Christ means? Anointed One
Just like the title David was given, Jesus was coming as the final true anointed one. Jesus was coming as the perfect king. Jesus was coming to fulfill everything that we could not. And he was going to usher in the kingdom of God.
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