Text: Deuteronomy 10:17, 1 Samuel 8:1-22, Hosea 13:10, Psalm 24:1-10, 1 Corinthians 15:57
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11 ESV).
When Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, He sat on a throne. He came to earth in the humblest way imaginable—lowly in a manger, as a fragile baby. But that baby in that stable in Bethlehem was born King of the Jews, or more specifically, King of the people of God.
He did not come as the people expected—as One who would conquer and rule the nations. His purpose was to restore humanity’s broken relationship with God. And He has. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, and He will never hand it over to another. He conquers us, protects us, and keeps us. To submit to His rule over us as our King is an act of worship.
In this section, we will look at what a king does: he fights battles, represents his people before God, and humbly serves his subjects. And we will see how Christ came as the perfect King and remains our perfect King today, calling us to share in His holy work of serving others who bear the image of God.
A king fights battles. In the Old Testament, this often meant the king chose which battles to fight. He needed to be both brave and discerning, knowing the battles he chose would be fought by the people he led. A selfish, foolish king would be dreaded by his subjects, but a humble, wise king could lead his people to the freedom and peace their hearts longed for.
Israel was set apart, but all they wanted was to blend in.
The nation may not have looked like much, but they were head and shoulders above all other nations in that they were God’s chosen people, led by Him, protected by Him, and ruled by Him. Yet, they desired something less, thinking it might be something more.
It makes me think of another time a crowd demanded a similar trade. Offering the Son of God Himself, in the flesh and walking among them, they shouted at Him all the way to His death at Calvary, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). Even with the Word made flesh in their midst, they exchanged the power of God for the weakness of man. Like Adam and Even in the garden, they traded reliance on God for rotting fruit.
Even today, the people of God have a habit of trading in a King who will reign forever, for one who is passing away.
In the Old Testament, the duty of a king was to be wise, to fight battles, to protect and serve his people with bravery and discernment. With a warning against their choice (1 Samuel 8:10-18), God gave Israel her first king—King Saul, “a handsome young man… From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people” (1 Samuel 9:2).
Israel wanted Saul to fight their battles. They trusted him to be kind and fair. But no one is good like God. It’s a lesson God’s people have been learning since their beginning.
What about us today? Who are we trusting to be brave and discerning, to go before us into battle? Are we crying out for man to be our defense, or do we act as if we believe that our God is King over all, even today, seated on the throne of heaven with earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1)?
If we are in Christ, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), and we serve the one, true King of all earthly kings—yes, every one of them.
Believe today that He will fight your battles.
Pray even now that He will go before you.
Believe that He will, as He promised, “command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11). He alone is our sure defense (Psalm 94:22).
“These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”