If God’s People…Then
1Kings 2:4 Then the LORD will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’
Many times in the Scriptures we find what appear to be “If - Then” statements. God is constantly reaching out to his people and calling them into covenant relationship with him. His promises are given over and over again — if only the people would listen and response. IF the people of God will simply be faithful to God, THEN he will take care of them.
Here we find this promise again, made specifically to David. IF his heirs will follow in the footsteps of David and have a deep and personal relationship with God, then he will make them successful leaders of the kingdom.
The IF of the relationship including walking before God in faithfulness and the language that follows sounds quite familiar to something Jesus later says in the New Testament. They are to be faithful “with all their heart and with all their soul.” David had fallen deeply in love with God and while there had been moments in which he strayed, he always came back into alignment in terms of his relationship with God. He walked before God in faithfulness, loving him with all his heart and soul.
This line of David is a foreshadowing of the relationship which is possible in Christ, the Messiah. Jesus would come from this line of David, providing a way in which this covenant could be fulfilled in the lives of all of humanity.
God’s desire over and over again has been for his people to walk before him in faithfulness. The earthly kings failed, but the royal line now has the potential of being lived out in the royal priesthood of all believers. We are now called into this royal lineage and are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
The earthly kingdom failed, but did it really? The result of the “failure” was that the covenant, the “If - Then” of God’s promise reached out to all of humanity. There will always be a successor to David on the throne because Jesus rules eternally. The earthly kingdom has become the heavenly kingdom. The earthly relationship between David and God has become an eternal and heavenly relationship. The “IF - Then” of royalty has been extended to all of God’s children who are willing to enter into the kingdom. And so we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The “If-Then” statement is a statement of the eschatological hope that we find in Christ; the bursting forth of the new kingdom within the old and one into which we are invited to participate. The promise given to David long ago is one given to us today. IF we walk before the Lord in “faithfulness with all [our] hearts and with all [our] soul” we will not fail to be royalty in God’s heavenly kingdom. He has invited us in to become brothers and sisters of Christ, children of God, living in the new kingdom in the here and now.
The promise is beyond our comprehension but the God of all creation has extended his “If - Then” covenant to us, awaiting our response.
Lord, I thank you for your covenant that continues to reach out to me today. Amen.