THE THRONE OF DAVID IS ALIVE AND WELL!
The New Royal Baby Has Arrived!
At long last he is here! The latest heir to the throne of David arrived safely into the world at 4:24 p.m. London time on July 22, 2013. The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William became the proud parents of their first child, a son, George Alexander Louis, who arrived into the arms his mother Kate and father Prince William. The British and foreign press was camped outside the Palace, awaiting the news, while yet other members of the press gathered outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, where the new prince was born. Millions around the world waited breathlessly for news of the arrival of the new heir to the throne.
Millions of British subjects and hundreds of millions of people in every country under the British Crown, even those no longer affiliated with ties to the Royal family, waited for news of the new royal baby. Two gun salutes, including a sixty-two-round salute at the Tower of London and another ninety-five-round salute at Green Park, were fired in honor of the new heir’s arrival. To mark the birth, all of the queen’s navy ships around the world flew the Royal Navy Ensign from their main mast. On the HMS Kent, the crew paid a special eye-catching tribute by spelling out “A Boy” on the deck.
The birth of the new royal child was announced repeatedly on every television network in the world and in newspapers around the world. Social networks were abuzz with the news as millions tweeted congratulations. This question has to be asked: why would the birth of one child capture the interest of the entire western world? How could it be that hundreds of millions would be so invested in the birth of a child that most of them may never actually see?
As the world waited for this child to be born, a flurry of excitement began to build. People made bets on the gender, when the child would be born, and even what the baby would be named. Lists of names were compiled for both a boy and a girl and shown on television networks throughout America and other Anglo-Saxon nations. It was plain to see that Anglo Saxon people by the millions indeed wanted to establish some kind of connection with this royal baby. His birth trumped all other news of the day. For a little while, all other news stories were placed on hold. How nice it was to hear a little good news! For just a little while, the minds of millions were given a reprieve from news about endless scandals, political corruption, the poor economy, the civil war in Syria, the racial divide in America, etc… What a refreshing moment to focus on the joyful news of a newborn child connected directly to the British throne!
The international attention given his birth deserves more than just passing comment. The millions of dollars television networks, newspapers, and journalists spent trying to cover this event are nothing less than incredible. Presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state throughout the world sent their congratulations to the Duchess and Prince William on the arrival of their new son. Duchess Kate and Prince William did not know the gender of their unborn child, so we were all able to enjoy the anticipation with them. While countless millions cheered his arrival, few of them could truly define why the world was so riveted on this royal birth. After all, children are born to very famous people every day, including heads of state, celebrities, and other notable people. Why the magic and charm that ignited the hearts and souls of not only every British subject, but also countless millions who are not involved directly with the British throne? The answer can be found in a book with which these same millions are barely familiar in the Twenty-first Century.
The firstborn son of the Duchess and Prince William represents the third living heir to the British throne. He follows his father Prince William and grandfather Prince Charles in the line of succession. Prince Harry has been bumped back to fourth in the line of succession to the throne. For the first time in more than one hundred years, there are four generations of the royal family alive. The newborn royal’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, has been on the throne since 1953 (a sixty-year reign), with no sign of surrendering the throne at this point. Prince William, who has the love and affection of the British people, is the favorite to succeed Elizabeth, but there is no indication that Charles may abdicate if given the opportunity to ascend the throne.
The mystique and incredible interest in the newborn royal baby deserves a reasonable and studied rationale. After all, a newborn infant that captures the attention of the world and whose parents receive accolades from heads of state around the world surely invites people everywhere to look deeper into the magic and incomprehensible interest that this royal family conjures.
The Faithfulness of a Covenant-Keeping God
What millions of people fail to realize is that the birth of the new prince is confirmation that God is keeping His promise to His covenant people. That promise is this: “For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 33:17). The Amplified Translation renders this verse as follows: “For thus says the Lord: David shall never fail [to have] a man [descendant] to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” The arrival of this newborn son, not unlike the arrival of his father Prince William or his grandfather Prince Charles, confirms the fact that God still keeps His promises.
The British throne is one of the oldest in the world and one of the few surviving thrones in Europe. All of the European royal families that have survived to date are related by blood. The British royal family shares one distinguishing honor that should be clearly understood: the present royal family, from which this firstborn son of the Duchess and Prince William descended, possesses a genealogical lineage back to King David. To the glory of God and the faithfulness of His Word, the promise God made to David of an everlasting throne has been marvelously fulfilled! The one, true, and living God confirmed the promise of an everlasting throne to David and his seed after Him in these succinct and arresting words: “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah” (Psalm 89:35-37). Moreover, the Living God also promised this: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34).
The Origin of This Covenantal Promise
The new born prince that captured the minds and hearts of millions in the Twenty-first Century has genealogical and spiritual roots reaching back into the archives to a royal couple known as Abraham and Sarah of Bible fame. In Genesis 12, God entered an unconditional covenant of promise with Abraham and his posterity after him. This unconditional covenant became the basis upon which the entire fabric of biblical truth is woven. This covenant called for the posterity of covenant people, title deed and ownership of a vast region of land, and spiritual blessings that would impact the destiny of nations. This covenant was reaffirmed in Genesis 13 and again in Genesis 15; in Genesis 17:6-7, the unconditional covenant of promise was given even greater specificity. Speaking to Abraham, El Shaddai made this promise: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”
Consider the several important parts to this promise. First, Abraham’s seed or posterity was to be extremely fruitful, sufficient to populate nations. Secondly, kings would come from Abraham’s loins. Third, the covenant of promise was to be established with Abraham and his seed after him as an everlasting (eternal) covenant. Finally, Jehovah promised to be the only God to Abraham and his seed after him throughout all generations.
This unconditional covenant of promise to Abraham included the pledge of multiplicity of seed, nations, and kings. Moreover, Sarah (Abraham’s wife) was promised to be the mother of kings. Speaking to Abraham regarding Sarah, Jehovah declared, “And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her” (Genesis 17:16).
The unconditional covenant of promise made to Abraham and Sarah was passed on to Isaac, the only child born from Sarah’s womb. All the other sons of Abraham were excluded from the covenant of promise. The unconditional covenantal promise moved forward with Abraham, then Isaac, and passed to Jacob and his twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali. Two of these sons were designated to carry the birthright and the sceptre. To Joseph was given the birthright (multiplicity of seed and great portions of the earth). To Judah was given the sceptre (rulers, kings, royalty).
This promise of kings to come from Abraham and Sarah was to be fulfilled through the offspring of their great-grandson Judah. The patriarchal blessing of Jacob to his son Judah contained this pledge: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). The sceptre included the reign of kings. The lawgiver was indicative of the priestly work of Levi. The subjects over whom the kings of Judah would rule are encompassed in the promise of nations that would come from Abraham’s loins. This promise of both nations and kingship was amplified with Jacob in Genesis 35:11 when Jehovah made this promise: “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.” This promise essentially was fulfilled through the birthright pledge made to Joseph (I Chr. 5:1) and the sceptre promise made to Judah (Genesis 49:10; I Chr. 5:2).
The birthright promise was further amplified in Genesis 48, where Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, were added to the Israelite tribes and blessings. From them was promised the fulfillment of the singularly great nation (Genesis 35:11 and Genesis 48:19) and the company or multitude of nations (Genesis 35:11; Genesis 48:16, 19).
Prophetically, the birthright given to Joseph and fulfilled in his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, was fulfilled in America. The singularly great nation (Genesis 48:19) was to come from Manasseh, and the company of nations (or multitude of nations) known as the British Commonwealth of nations was to descend from Ephraim.
The sceptre promise made to Judah was marvelously fulfilled as the kings that ruled over the peoples of both Ephraim and Manasseh unfolded. The reign of kings ended over Manasseh when they moved west across the Atlantic, established the thirteen colonies, and declared their independence from the British Empire in the War of Independence (1775-1781). The monarchy continued in Britain and continues to be connected to a multitude of nations even after many of these nations were granted independence from the crown.
The tribe of Judah has furnished the royalty for much of the European world; this is especially true with regard to the British throne, which is directly connected to David and the covenantal promises Jehovah made with him. Under David, from the family of Jesse of the tribe of Judah, the twelve tribes were eventually confederated together into one sovereign and mighty nation during the last thirty-three years of his reign. The Davidic monarchy (1055 to 1015 B.C.) brought the nation of Israel to the zenith of its power during David’s forty-year reign, which continued under his son Solomon for another forty years (1015-975 B.C.).
The Davidic Covenant
Jehovah promised David that his desire to build a magnificent temple for worship would be fulfilled by his heir; further, God promised David that the throne upon which he ruled would continue after him. Speaking to David of the son that would rule from the throne after him, Jehovah declared, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him…And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (II Samuel 7:13-16). The promise of an eternal kingship vested in David and his descendants is confirmed again in Psalm 89, where Jehovah again pledges to His servant David: “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah” (Psalm 89:28-37).
The Davidic Covenant in Prophecy
The prophets of the Old Testament speak a resounding confirmation of the continuing covenant which Jehovah made with David. They could foresee a time when the nations of this world would come to their consummate end; with their demise would come the earthly, millennial Kingdom of God. This theocratic kingdom would be made possible by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself a regal heir of David as touching His manhood. The kingdom over which the Greater David will rule is defined in these words of the angel Gabriel in the great annunciation delivered to the Virgin Mary (St. Luke 1:31-33): “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
The Witness of the Prophets
Confirmation of the covenant of promise made to Abraham is witnessed throughout the Prophets of the Old Testament. The provision for kings to rule over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob became a reality with the transfer of the theocratic republic under the reign of judges to that of a monarchy at the death of Samuel, the last judge to rule in ancient Israel. With the 1095 B. C. coronation of Saul, the first king over the confederated tribes of Israel, the reign of judges ended, and the reign of kings began.
The succession of David to the throne in 1055 B.C. marked the beginning of the Davidic succession of kings that would thereafter provide the royalty for the House of Israel. From this royal seed of the tribe of Judah from the House of Israel and the race of Adam would come the ultimate heir and king to rule over Israel: the Lord Jesus Christ is that Branch destined to grow out of the roots of Jesse, the father of David (Isaiah 11:1). Moreover, it was Isaiah who, just prior to the Assyrian invasion and plunder of the northern kingdom of Israel, had prophesied of the future restoration of the kingdom of Israel when Jesus Christ, the Greater David, ascended the throne: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).
Isaiah was not the only prophetic voice to announce the future restoration of the kingdom under Jesus Christ, the Branch that was to descend from David. On two different occasions, the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied the appearance of Jesus Christ, the Greater David, to rule upon the throne of a glorious restored Kingdom: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called (Jehovah—tsidkenu) THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
The second announcement from Jeremiah is further confirmation of the future reign of Jesus Christ, the Greater David, in a world-wide, theocratic kingdom: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness (Jesus Christ) to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness (Jehovah—tsidkenu). For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel…Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers” (Jeremiah 33:14-21).
The Holy Spirit speaking through the lips of Ezekiel provided a detailed prophetic account of the ultimate re-gathering, conversion, and re-unification of both Judah and Israel into the original geographical perimeters of the land Jehovah gave by unconditional promise to Abraham. Moreover, Ezekiel announces that one king, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Greater David, will rule over the Kingdom of God: “…Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into the own land…and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations (Judah & Israel) neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:…And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd:…And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt…and my servant David (Jesus Christ, the Greater David) shall be their prince for ever” (Ezekiel 37:21-25).
The Bible gives us the ultimate destiny toward which all of history is moving as the consummation of the ages unfolds. The chaos of six thousand years of human failure will ultimately end in divine intervention as the one, true, and living God initiates His own paradigm for the earth and those who qualify to dwell in His Eternal Kingdom. For six thousand years, this earth has been the scene of every form of government known to man. Each in succession has failed. There can be no peace without the Prince of Peace. It is only His divine intervention into human history that the present chaos and anarchy will end. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Greater David intended to come and restore the Kingdom of God to His redeemed people Israel (Acts 1:6).
When Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Heir to the Davidic throne, returns in power and glory, He will quickly subdue all of His enemies, together with all of the pomp and power of Satan and his minions. Jesus Christ will ascend to the throne of David and will rule in authority and power for one thousand years. At the conclusion of this Sabbatical Age, Jesus Christ will deliver the Kingdom to the Father (I Corinthians 15:24-26): “Then cometh the end (end of the thousand-year millennial reign as in Revelation 20:1-6) when he (Jesus Christ) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet” (Luke 19:27; II Thess. 1:7-10; Rev, 19:11-16). What is the last enemy to be destroyed? Death! Hallelujah!
Back to the Newborn Royal Heir
The throne of David has never been vacated in all the extended generations since David sat upon that throne (1055-1015 B.C.). The last surviving male from the line of Pharez (Genesis 38:28-30) to sit upon that throne in Jerusalem was Zedekiah. King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (588 B.C.), forcibly removed Zedekiah from the throne and carried him to Babylon, where he lived out his days. Zedekiah was blinded and his sons slain in his presence (Jeremiah 39).
King Zedekiah’s surviving daughters (Jeremiah 41:10, 43:6) were numbered in the remnant that Jeremiah and his servant Baruch later carried with them on their voyage into Spain; one of those daughters (Tamar Teah Tephi) was taken by Jeremiah into Ireland, where she married Eochaidh, prince of the tribe of Zarah. The other daughter, Scota, remained in Spain and married into royalty there.
Zarah was the twin brother to Pharez (Genesis 38:12-30). A portion of the offspring of Zarah (Genesis 38:28-30) had migrated on to Ireland many generations prior to the Babylonian invasion of the Kingdom of Judah (606-07, 588 B.C.) and established a flourishing dynasty at Tara, Fortress of the Kings, twelve miles northwest of Dublin in the County Meath. The union between Tamar Teah Tephi from the Pharez line of Judah and Prince Eochaidh with the Zarah line of Judah healed the long-standing breach between these two royal brothers.
The royal family of Great Britain, now consisting of four generations with the birth of the newborn son of William and Kate, descended from an unbroken line of descendants going all the way back into Anglo-Saxon history, the royalty of Ireland, and before that back to the Hebrew/Israelite line of kings that began with David.
Indeed, the Mighty Jehovah has kept His unconditional promise to Abraham and Sarah. What was that promise? That from their offspring Isaac would come a succession of nations and kings. Moreover, God has been faithful to the covenant made with David that there would never fail to be a member of the Davidic line to rule upon this throne. Just prior to his death, the aged Jacob had prophesied that the scepter (ruling power) would never depart from Judah until Shiloh (our Lord Jesus Christ) would return. Unto Him would the gathering of His people be (Genesis 49:10).
Our sovereign God is keeping His promise. The entire world breathlessly awaited the birth of a child to a special woman, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband Prince William. The hundreds of millions of people who celebrated this birth and will continue to hold this child in the highest esteem among men all rest on the promises of our very faithful, covenant-keeping God.
Covenant people everywhere can rejoice that for a brief time, the minds of the entire Anglo-Saxon world focused on the birth of this royal heir. For a fleeting moment, time stopped as the world watched to capture a glimpse of the innocence, virtue, love, and joy of an Anglo Saxon family, a biblical family—one man and one woman of the same race, holding in their arms a beautiful, fair-skinned, Anglo-Saxon child. This is the essence of the married state and a family. For a moment, this adventure into British royalty reminded the world of God’s original design for marriage, children, and the family.
The nations of this world are in chaos, including the United States of America; but to the praise and glory of God, there exists on earth an enduring throne, one that will continue with a tenant awaiting the true heir, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Greater David, to assume this throne and rule over the nations and kingdoms of this world: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
B. A. Wiseman
Watchman - Fall 2013