A bad king and the idea of a good king. Studying 1 Samuel 10

Saul failed to honor God, but Jesus never fails. In the Bible, we see the stories of the various failures of humanity. Man was given the law but we see that we were unable to follow the law. Because of sin. 

God gives Israel the king that they wanted and we’ll see that he will lead them imperfectly. Because no human king can adequately serve in the role that God serves in. 

We cannot earn God, we cannot be our own saviors, and Saul couldn’t be the true king because that wasn’t something that a sinful man could accomplish. 

Yes, we saw that he was chosen and anointed but it didn’t matter who God had picked. A human king was going to bring problems. 

The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. 

The good news is that there would be a future king who would usher in God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. There would be a future king who would talk of a kingdom that was not of this world. There would be a future king who would lay down his life for his subjects. There would be a king who would rule and reign and who would show his authority, not only over life and death but over sicknesses and diseases, over nature and storms. 

In his commentary, Richard Phillips points out that Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the final time on Palm Sunday

Five days later, he would be crucified in that same city. 

But on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem as crowds threw their cloaks on the ground. They waved palm branches and shouted “Hoanna,” the Aramaic word for “save us.” They welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem as a conquering king. They gave Jesus the royal treatment that he deserved. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Saul’s story begins with a man who couldn’t find his donkeys! 

And that is a powerful metaphor for how Jesus was everything that Saul was not. 

Israel wanted a king to replace God and so God gave them Saul. But as fallen men inevitably fall, God also gave them Jesus. 

The idea of a good king

It’s interesting that we live in a nation that fought a war to escape the tyranny of a king. King George III of England. 

And yet we have the idea of a good king. 

We have the idea of a king who is just and loves his nation, and rules for the good of the people. A king who is wise and virtuous. He brings safety and security to the empire. 

Even though many of the actual human kings throughout time have been incompetent, despotic, and led poorly. 

Many kings today are actually just figureheads who have little to no real power. 

But the Lord is the absolute monarch over creation who does rule with perfect wisdom, justice, and goodness. 

Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven during his ministry. 

And for the people of God, Philippians 3:20 says that our citizenship is in heaven. 

Jesus invites us to live as part of that kingdom. 

There are so many other kingdoms we want to try to live in. There’s the kingdom of self, the kingdom of politics, the kingdom of money, the kingdom of work. 

But in Christ, we’re meant to have a heavenly citizenship and to live the rest of our lives on earth as it is in heaven. 

We want to be the kings and queens over our own lives and say my kingdom come my will be done. But here’s the problem. We’re not good at that. 

But we have a king who leads well. We have a king who points us to righteousness and holiness. We have a king who laid down his life so that we could be part of his kingdom. 

And so we live as his kingdom people by knowing God, by communing with him, by serving him, by loving him, and by loving others. 

Even though the world is fallen, we have the opportunity to live as citizens of God’s kingdom.  

In the Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis said: “the Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven, : and the Lost, “We were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.”

Who is your king? And where is your kingdom? 

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