Day 5

Our Need for a Righteous King

from the Because He Lives reading plan


2 Samuel 7:1-17, 1 Chronicles 28:1-8, Isaiah 33:22, Jeremiah 23:5-6

BY Melanie Rainer

As an undergrad, I studied political science and economics, and spent more hours than I can count learning, arguing, unlearning, and repositioning my political compass. But after four years of study, it was clear to me that there is no perfect form of government, no flawless ideology or leader.

And yet, I find myself wrapped up in the political whirlwind even now. I think, But what if the promises are true? What if this person really can make a difference? What if she or he will make my life easier, my money stretch farther, my kids safer?

It is easy to fall into the same trap as the Israelites oh-so long ago. When things get tough, personally or globally, the lure of a strong leader is hard to resist. They must have thought, What if we had a king to protect us from our enemies? What if we had someone who could make us into a strong nation?

God gave Israel a king: first Saul, then the great King David, then Solomon. Saul fought for them, David led them, and Solomon dispensed wisdom from his throne. But ultimately, these men failed, as all earthly kings do. This narrative is a rather simple one to unpack: the people asked for a king, God gave them kings, those kings failed, and then God promised to send them the real King, all of which is true, of course.

But our need for a king goes back further than Solomon, David, and Saul. It goes back to the garden, when Adam and Eve walked with God and the serpent tempted them with power. Because isn’t that the root of our desire for a king? Power. Power over our enemies, our circumstances, and our future.

From the beginning, God was wiring us for a king and setting the stage for the King of kings. He called Abraham to become the father of a nation. He called Moses and His people to a land. He gave Moses a law rooted in His character, brimming with justice and righteousness. He sent judges to call His people back to Him, to remind them of the boundaries the law provided. And then He gave them earthly kings, men whose résumés were filled with both successes and failures but who, ultimately, could never be the King the people truly needed.

In Jeremiah, during the cycle of mostly terrible kings, the prophet wrote on behalf of the Lord: “I will raise up a Righteous Branch… He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. This is the name he will be called: The LORD Is Our Righteousness” (23:5–6).

This was the promise, but also the deep desire, God had sown into the hearts of His people. The pieces were there: a people, a land, a just law. But the King was missing, and one day, the King would come.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Our Need for a Righteous King"

  1. Afua Tobigah says:

    What is this House that kept on bring repeated in this reading . David was talking about a physical house for God to dwell . Meanwhile it seems to be God wanted to emphasis that He doesn’t dwell in physical houses but rather our lives , our heart , our worship.. “do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit “ – 1 Cor 6:19 . we are His house and He would build His house, he doesn’t even but the burden on us to build the house , . this remind me that our righteousness is not our own working. It is through Jesus our saviour, our king . All we need is trust and obey . Obey His law , ie love God , love man

  2. Shelby says:

    Beautifully written and eye opening to our desire for power. Give it to God, follow Him, submit to Him. Don’t make other God’s before Him.

    How can I reflect this totally in my own life? How can I not crave over eating a certain way to look a certain way? I’m making two idols there… how I need to improve and stop worrying.

  3. Ashley says:

    This reminds me of the power struggle in marriage. Learning to submit respectfully to my husband instead of fighting him for “power.” Lord help me to be wise in submission.

    1. Caitlin Landge says:

      I was thinking the same thing! The day my husband fell in love with me was a day I got my purse stolen in India but instead of taking charge I sat in the car praying for peace with the whole situation at hand while he worked out with the community and police to retrieve my things. Eventually everything was found but our lives have changed so much with three kids I forget to pray for peace and support his leadership in the midst of our chaos! This is a beautiful reminder of our purpose as wives and our need for a righteous leader!

  4. Ana Love says:

    And so we wait. Living out life on with the law and purpose he had provided us. Ultimately in a season of longing.

  5. Heather says:

    I think many people today, often myself included, don’t want a king or a ruler of any kind. We want to do whatever we think is right and don’t want others to try to take control of our lives. We want control of our own lives. I have to daily, give my desires, my wants to God – to surrender my will. I often pray, “God, I know my ways are not your ways. I give this day to you. Please help me walk in your path.” Because letting someone else lead me doesn’t come naturally.

  6. Maura says:

    Our King is mighty in power, full of love and grace. Thankful that He calls me to trust Him. I fail so often especially in the bending, the laying down. He is the King of Kings there is nothing He cannot do. Praise be to our Jesus, He is worthy, so very worthy. May His grace and love pour out on all those He puts in our path even when it is hard.

  7. NanaK says:

    That’s my King…
    JESUS CHRIST
    Lord of Lords
    KING OF KINGS!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_JcB94qRP8
    If you’ve never listened to this….it is awesome!

  8. Katelyn Brown says:

    Today, my hope is that I love my life for my King, that I honor Him in everything that I do.

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