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 (42)

42 thoughts on "Our Need for a Righteous King"

  1. amarose says:

    David had these grand plans to build the temple for God and he thought surely that’s what God would want him to do. It seemed like a great idea! How confused must he have been when God said no. But that didn’t mean God was done with this idea, he just had a greater plan that David couldn’t fathom. So often I come up with these grand master plans that seem flawless and God lovingly deconstructs them and redirects me his way, a better way. Let me remember that when disappointment sets in because things didn’t go according to “plan.” After all, his ways are higher, his thoughts are higher than mine.

    1. L V says:

      Agreed!!!

  2. Ingrid Coutinho says:

    It is a desire innate in many of us to be under good leadership and kingship. I am grate for Jesus, the Kings of Kings!

  3. Shawn Parks says:

    “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done!”
    Isn’t he prayer Jesus taught his disciples reflecting the same sentiment?
    We desire our king to:
    Be above all others—“hallowed be your name.”
    Provide for our needs—“give us our daily bread”
    Administer justice— “forgive us our trespasses”
    Lead us into the future—“lead us not into temptation”
    Keep us safe—“deliver us from evil”
    To that great king, be the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever!

    1. Meghan Sweis says:

      Wow… this struck me after just saying this prayer with my kids. Our God IS the King of Kings! Thank you for this insightful post.

    2. Beatrice Anyanwu says:

      Amen and amen!

  4. Kathy says:

    One day the King will come but in the meantime…am I waiting well. Am I living as a daughter of the King going about Kingdom business? Am I taking care of the last, the least, and the lost?
    I pray that today I will wait and walk well.
    Happy Friday!

    1. Anna Combs says:

      Wow!! Such thought provoking words! Thank you!

    2. Shea Lasiter says:

      Well said!!

    3. Katie Fleming says:

      Ditto Anna! Thank you for sharing this Kathy!

    4. Kimme Bartlett says:

      Amen :)

  5. Churchmouse says:

    Oh yes Melanie, how we desire for someone, anyone, to make our life easier. Give us more leisure, more money, more status… More! Just give us more! We are a far cry from when President Kennedy famously said “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” The better focus would be not the accumulation of more stuff but the development of Godly character. In our US political climate, there is less civility and more selfishness, less wisdom and more bombastic rhetoric. True statesmen are few and far between. Why do we look to them for help? Our help comes from the Lord. We are to turn to the pages of Scripture for our guidance. Without depending on the Lord first and foremost, we fall prey to doing ‘whatever seems right in our own eyes’. How we need revival! May a fresh wind of the Spirit blow through our churches and then impact our communities. May we pray for leaders to rise up who unabashedly and faithfully follow the Lord. With God all things are possible! May we repent of our personal and national failings and may God be merciful. He is a righteous King and He will judge all. The day is coming.

    1. Gina Glennon says:

      Amen!

    2. Maria Jordan says:

      Tina thank you for your words. Your words have described me perfectly. Thanks for the reminder that I have a loving Father that forgives so easily. Melanie I love your last words “Gods wrath is stayed because there is ONE who pleads for us even now.”

    3. Courtney Smith says:

      Amen

    4. Lori Wat says:

      Amen!

  6. Angie says:

    A King to reign our hearts, minds, and lives.
    Thank you for your rule today.
    Thank you for the promise of eternity.
    Come quickly Lord Jesus.

  7. Kristen Marino says:

    Jesus, Beautiful Jesus. Thank You for all You’ve done. Thank You for your power, sacrifice, might, and love. You lived the perfect, sinless life I could never live. Thank You for your example of how to live and treat others. Make me more like You. Please clear my mind to dwell on You and be in awe. Let me know the depths of my sins and need for You and not do the comparing thing. Help me to worship in Spirit and Truth. https://youtu.be/xU771D5AYWE As the song says,”Jesus, You change everything.”

  8. Tina says:

    … And come He will, and soon!

    Waiting here for you Lord Jesus with my hands lifted high in praise..

    For as long as it takes..

    ..I believe Lord God.

    I believe.

    ..In Faith, I hold fast to your promise..

    ..In HOPE, i look forward..

    ..In You O Lord, I will put my trust..

    Waiting here for you Lord Jesus with my hands lifted high in praise to you…
    Thank you for the promise Lord God. Thank you..
    Amen…

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