4: The Old Testament
Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
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Who is the King of kings? Join Martha as she discovers in the scriptures Jesus as John met Him on Patmos: King!
The Old Testament is a history of kings. Kings of Sodom, of Moab, Assyria…on and on the kings are named by the land they ruled. Even God’s nation became a kingdom, later split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, whose stories are recorded in stark candor – their rise, their fall. All the Old Testament stories end up with kings and kingdoms, and revolve around kings.
Kings are not far from any Bible chronicle. Abraham, afraid of kings and hiding behind his Sarah. Then honored by kings…even Melchezidek, king of Salem. Esther in the harem of a heathen king, saving her nation under his dominion. Saul, the first king of God’s people, a tyrant to train the king of God’s favor, David. David, his throne established forever…Solomon, the wise foolish king. Daniel, in unshakable reverence, serving and – amazingly – leading a despotic king of madness. Daniel, who knew the Real King in spite of the malicious king of his imprisonment.
The Old Testament follows those who reign to the end with the final king, Jehoiakim, captured monarch of Judah, the end of Hebrew kings but not of Gentile ones. It is “king” that is a constant thread through the saga of the Bible in its first half. Kings are central and peripheral. Kings, always. Kings of earth’s thrones, named, remembered. Then there is a radical change…
The New Testament is strangely indifferent to earthly thrones and kings of nations. Herod merely mentioned, having no power to kill the Holy Infant he feared. King Agrippa, noted only as he relates to Paul’s story. Kings are not the focus.
Jesus lived in seeming detachment, without interest in or conflict with, those kings of power. His nation was ruled by a foreign king, Caesar, and tyrannized by the puppet king, Herod. Jesus never fought those kings nor spoke against their reign. He quelled rebellion that wanted to rise against them. Those kings – who killed His prophet John – taxed His people to excess, tyrannized the nation of His lineage, those rulers were of no concern to this True King. By the secrecy of being above them, He could be indifferent to them.
So the New Testament moves – line upon line, story unto story – toward the unveiling of One King and One Kingdom. Permanent and Unchangeable, every other kingdom is irrelevant by comparison. In John’s Revelation, a view is given of History’s ultimate end, the unveiling of the Final and Only Kingdom. An unseen kingdom was there all along, but hidden to the view of earth’s pompous rulers and of us, their frightened subjects.
A Secret Kingdom that will be revealed and will – in the end – be the only Kingdom left.
Copyright © 2001 Martha Blaney Kilpatrick, Kingdom of the Son of His Love