LORD will be king over the whole earth.
chapter 14, verse 9).
the long turbulent history of ancient Israel there were
many kings which ruled over that people. I say people
because Israel, the nation, eventually became divided
into two separate kingdoms each having their own king.
In the Bible we have two whole books, 1 Kings and 2
Kings, devoted to the many and varied kings of the children
of Israel. There were good kings and bad kings which
ruled over both kingdoms. The good kings obeyed the
God of Israel, the bad kings didn’t. When either kingdom
had a good king, it also had the blessings of Israel’s
God; a bad king brought God’s wrath on the nation or
had the time of its greatest victories, peace and prosperity,
riches and land area during the reign of King David
and, afterwards, that of his son, King Solomon. After
the death of King Solomon Israel became two kingdoms:
the kingdom of Judah, whose capital was Jerusalem; and
the kingdom of Israel, whose capital was Samaria. As
they stood geographically in the land of Palestine,
Judah was the southern kingdom, and Israel the northern
kingdom. So, in the Scriptures we find the kings of
both kingdoms listed alongside each other, as in the
the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of
Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned
for nine years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD----.
Kings chapter 17, verses 1-2).
northern kingdom of Israel had by this time had a long
line of kings who had consistently done ‘evil in the
eyes of the Lord’. If I may put it this way, God’s patience
had ran out:
the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured
Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria------All
this took place because the Israelites had sinned against
the LORD their God.
Kings chapter 17, verses 6-7).
kingdom of Judah prevailed a while longer until taken
captive by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After God’s
chastisement of 70 years in captivity, some Jews were
allowed back to their homeland, where they rebuilt Jerusalem
and the temple. They would remain in the land as vassals
under various succeeding empires until the appearance
of their final King, their true King---Jesus Christ.
was a King who would do nothing but good in the eyes
of the God of Israel; this was a King who would please
Israel’s God like no other king possibly could; this
was a King who was able to bring more blessing to the
Jews than they were capable of imagining---but, apart
from a chosen few, they rejected Him, and then they
murdered Him. Less than 40 years later the Romans totally
destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, massacred countless
numbers of the populace and deported the rest; the land
of Israel became a barren waste---the nation of Israel
no longer existed.
1948, after almost 2,000 years (much longer for the
peoples of the northern kingdom) of having no homeland
of their own, Israel became a nation once more; and
though the vast Jewish majority are not aware of it,
the same King they rejected so long ago is still their
true Monarch, and He still reigns.
Israel was so long in exile, their King has kept busy
drawing many other subjects into His realm, millions
upon millions from every nation, tribe and tongue; and
so He continues. Again, if I can put it this way, He
is making the best of His time while His people, Israel,
are away. He has in no way forgotten them; He is determined
that they should also become His willing subjects, but
not by force. This King is a King of love---did He force
you or me? No He didn’t, and He doesn’t force us to
stay either. We came and we stay because we were drawn
and we are held fast by His self-sacrificing love.
have already seen several verses in Scripture which
reveal Jesus as King: ‘King of the Jews’; ‘King of Kings’;
‘King of Israel’, etc. Certainly, He is Israel’s King,
and before very long many in that nation also will be
drawn to Him:
I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants
of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They
will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they
will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child,
and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn
chapter 12, verse 10).
many of this King’s true subjects, they will return
to Him with a repentant spirit and a broken heart.
there ever such a King? He casts away (because of their
rebelliousness) into ages-long exile those who were
to be the original subjects of His kingdom, then He
begins to fill His realm with strangers---faithful subjects,
yet strangers regarding the natural genealogy of Israel.
However, His kingdom will not be complete until He brings
back those over whom He first came to rule:
this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring
Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on
all the people of Israel-------I will show myself holy
through them in the sight of many nations. Then they
will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I
sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather
them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will
no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out
my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign
chapter 39, verses 25, 27-29).
is a King who is more faithful to His subjects than
they are to Him; a King who came to serve rather than
be served; a King who came to die that His people might
be raised to life everlasting. This is more than a King
of a nation; more than a King of all nations---this
is the very King of heaven.
I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
mine inheritance, now and always:
and Thou only, first in my heart,
King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
by Mary E. Byrne 1880-1931)