We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
2 Samuel 7:12-13
“Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
“… concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh…”
Today when we read these verses about the Messiah establishing his kingdom and reigning on David’s throne, we know that God’s plan was not for Jesus to literally reign as king of Israel. But imagine for a moment that you were reading this prophecy as an Israelite during this time. When Jesus was born, a wicked king named Herod was appointed by the Roman Empire to rule Judea, Samaria and Galilee. In the Christmas story, we read of Mary and Joseph journeying to Bethlehem while Mary was pregnant to pay taxes to Herod. Scholars say that the rulers during those times demanded up to 60% of what common people grew and owned as taxes to boost the wealth of the ruling class. In this time of oppression and inequity, they were looking for a king to rule from a physical throne to right the wrongs and free them from oppression.
Instead of staging the coup they imagined, Jesus came to rule within our hearts. Instead of freeing the people from the problems in their lives, he offered the gift of eternal life with him. Instead of demanding to be served as a king, he modeled being a servant to others. Instead of taking over the throne, he allowed himself to be crucified for our sins. Instead of fighting against an earthly regime, Jesus took the keys of death, hell and the grave. Jesus didn’t come to be the king that Israel wanted. He came to be the king that the world needed.
I’d like to think that I would understand if I was living in that time. But there is evidence in my life that says I would not. When I feel that life is unfair or I have been personally wronged, I want Jesus to whoosh in to avenge me. I struggle to understand why he doesn’t put an end to poverty, racism, disease and war in the ways that I think he should. I have lots of ideas about the way that Jesus should rule on Earth, yet sometimes resist allowing him full ownership of my heart and my life. Reading this prophecy reminds me that God’s plan is WAY more than I can ask or imagine! I may not always understand my circumstances, but I can always trust that God has a plan for my good.
Jesus, I am in awe of the way that you came to Earth, the way you lived on Earth, as a human, and the way you rose with all power. I’m so thankful that you are not limited by my human understanding. Help me to trust that your way is best even when I don’t yet see or understand the ways you are moving. Help me to submit my plans, my thoughts and my desires to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Retrain your mind to see life’s challenges as opportunities for God to show up in your life. When you experience things that cause you to worry or stress, make it a habit to pray before you start problem-solving on your own. Ask God to guide your steps and look for the ways that he answers- often the answers to our prayers come through people and things we never would have expected!
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