“Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,

Born to set Thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us;

Let us find our rest in Thee.

Born Thy people to deliver,

Born a Child and yet a King.

Born to reign in us forever,

Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

This well known Christmas Carol not only expresses joy in the wonder of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also expresses the yearning for the One who came into this world as Israel’s strength and consolation to establish the promised kingdom on this earth. While some may question whether or not there will be a kingdom on this earth over which the Lord Jesus Christ rules as the promised King of the Jews, God makes it very clear that the promises He has made will certainly be fulfilled just as He declared. The Lord our God established an unconditional covenant with David as recorded in 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17. A key portion of this covenant with David focuses upon a coming descendant of David who will  be the exalted King and rule in His kingdom forever.

“And it shall come about when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who shall be of your sons and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.” 

          1 Chronicles 17:11-15

While David desired to build the Temple in Jerusalem for the Lord, he was prevented from doing so by the Lord. Yet God specified to David that the House for the Lord would be built by a descendant of David. In the historical setting, Solomon was the one who built the physical temple in Jerusalem. But, not only did Solomon build the house for the Lord, he also pictured the coming One from the family of David who would have His throne and kingdom established by the Lord forever. He will be established upon David’s throne as the King of the Jews and have dominion over all the earth. He is the One who will rule forever. 

Psalm 89 was most likely written during the time of the civil war in Israel and the division of the nation into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom was composed of 10 of the tribes of Israel and known as the Kingdom of Israel. The southern kingdom was composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin along with some God fearing Israelites from the other ten tribes. This kingdom was known as the Kingdom of Judah. The other historical possibility for the composition of this psalm was during Israel’s captivity in Babylon. In either case, the issue in the psalm is whether or not God will be faithful to the covenant He made with David. In Psalm 89, the LORD affirmed that He is faithful to His word and will fulfill His promises to David even though the present circumstances appear to be contrary to it.  

“My lovingkindness (Hesed) I will keep for him forever,

And My covenant shall be confirmed to him.

So I will establish his descendants forever,

And his throne as the days of heaven…

But I will not break off My lovingkindness (Hesed) from him. 

Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

My covenant I will not violate,

Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

Once I have sworn by My holiness;

I will not lie to David.

His descendants shall endure forever,

And his throne as the sun before Me.

It shall be established forever like the moon,

And the witness in the sky is faithful.”

Psalm 89:28-29; 33-37  

The LORD is faithful to His Word. He stated that He will not alter or nullify any of the unconditional promises He made to David. The throne of David will be established upon this earth and the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of David will rule on the throne of David forever. 

The Old Testament Prophets were used by the Lord to call the nation to repentance when they turned away from Him and the Mosaic Covenant. But not only did these divinely appointed men rebuke the nation for its unfaithfulness to Yahweh, they also provided encouragements to the godly of the nation to continue to trust in the Lord and His Word. These men were instruments in the hand of the Lord to disclose additional information about the coming kingdom and the coming king. Thankfully, God has preserved the aspects of their ministry in the books of the Old Testament known as the Prophets. In a well known passage, Isaiah affirmed that the nation will yet experience peace and joy through the working of the Lord on their behalf.

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land, the Light will shine on them.

You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness;

They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest,

As men will rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;

And the government will rest upon His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” 

Isaiah 9:2-7

When the Lord Jesus establishes the promised kingdom on the earth, Israel will become the exalted nation and no longer be dominated by gentile powers. The conquest by the Savior will put an end to war and even the implements of war. “And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword agains nation, and never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:4) The Messiah’s kingdom will be characterized by overwhelming joy, righteousness and peace. The child who was born to us and the Son who was given to us is, in essence, God manifested in the flesh. It is He, the Godman who will rule over all the nations of the earth on the throne of David. There will not be an end to His reign or of the blessings that He brings when He returns to rule. God promised David that one of his descendants will sit upon his throne and His kingdom will have no end. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish it.

A contemporary of Isaiah by the name of Micah likewise was used of the Lord to provide information about the coming descendant of David who will be the Ruler of Israel. 

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Therefore, He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the reminder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will live in safety, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. And this One will be our peace.” 

                                                                                                             Micah 5:2-5a

In fact, this passage in Micah is the one the religious leaders quoted when they were asked by King Herod where the Messiah was to be born. He would be born in an insignificant village in Judah which was the hometown of David. Yet for the coming descendant of David to be born in Bethlehem rather than in Jerusalem indicated that the family of David was not actually ruling over Israel at the time of the Messiah’s birth. In the providence of God, Joseph was required to take Mary to Bethlehem with him to be registered in the Roman census for the determination of tax revenue to be collected for Caesar. Obviously, the census was a distasteful obligation for the Jews under the domination of Rome; but the Lord was directing these circumstances to fulfill the pronouncement He had made through Micah.

In addition, this declaration of the Lord through Micah disclosed the true essence of the coming Messiah or King. Just as the Lord had revealed through Isaiah, the coming descendant of David is God manifested in the flesh. While our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world as a little child, He did not become a new person nor was He given a new personality. He is God the Son who always existed. His days are from eternity. He is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). While the nation of Israel will be chastened by the Lord (He will give them up until the time), the Lord promised that a remnant of Israel will be delivered and shepherded by this promised King. He will be great and have dominion even to the ends of the earth. All nations and people will serve Him. He will rule in the strength and the majesty of the LORD. All who are blessed to enjoy His kingdom rule will dwell in safety and peace. In fact, He Himself is our peace. Peace on this earth will only be realized when the Prince of Peace is ruling in the promised kingdom.

The book of Daniel has been called the key to understanding the working of God in the world and the way history will end. It answers the question of where this world is headed. As God disclosed the unfolding events of history to Daniel, He also provided a significant disclosure about the coming King. From the time of the Babylonian captivity until the establishment of the promised kingdom, Israel will be dominated and influenced by four major empires in some form or another. This domination of Gentile nations over the nation of Israel will be brought to an end when the Lord Jesus establishes His kingdom on the earth. Jesus called this period of time the Time of the Gentiles. He stated that there will be a climatic oppression of Israel in what is biblically known as the Great Tribulation. Jesus said: “for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:23-24) The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who returns to liberate the nation of Israel and subjugate the Gentile nations of the earth. Over 500 years before the Lord Jesus Christ made this declaration, God revealed this truth to Daniel. In one of the visions given from the Lord, Daniel was told of this coming conquest by the promised King. 

“I kept looking in the night vision,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations, 

And men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.”

Daniel 7:13-14   

The promised kingdom will be one that will not pass away. The promised kingdom is one that has dominion over all the peoples and nations of the earth. The promised kingdom is one that will be ruled by the One granted the position of authority by the Ancient of Days or the Eternal God. In the book of The Revelation, John was also given a glimpse of the bestowal of this honor upon the Lord Jesus Christ. In the vision of the heavenly throne room, God disclosed the same truth He had graciously given to Daniel. In this vision, John heard an angel ask the question: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” John states that he wept greatly when he learned that “no one in heaven or on the earth, or under the earth was worthy to take the scroll and bring history to appointed end. But then John was told: “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1-5) No one can assume this honor to himself. It is bestowed by the Lord God Almighty on the One He declares to be worthy. It is an honor uniquely given to our blessed Lord and Savior. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He has been given the name that is above every other name so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

When the angel Gabriel was sent be God to a virgin in Nazareth, named Mary, he made it very clear that the child who was to be miraculously conceived through the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit is the Son who will rule on David’s throne.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”  Luke 1:31-33

The King is coming! He will return to earth in the splendor of the glory of God. He is the One who will deliver Israel and all those who trust in Him when He comes to establish His kingdom upon the earth. He is now seated at the place of honor at the right hand of God, waiting until all His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. (Psalm 110:1) The King is coming! He will establish righteousness and peace on the earth. His kingdom is one that will not end. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace. How glorious will be the coming kingdom. What indescribable joy and blessings forevermore will be the portion of those who have been given eternal life through faith in Him. 

“Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals for You were slain, and did purchase for God with Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”       Revelation 5:9-10

“Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,

Born to set Thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us;

Let us find our rest in Thee.

Born Thy people to deliver,

Born a Child and yet a King.

Born to reign in us forever,

Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

Soli Deo Gloria!