Have you ever wondered why humans always arrange themselves into leaders and followers? History reveals there is an innate need in all human beings to be led, to exist under some type of authority. Perhaps it was at the Tower of Babel when the people decided that being governed by God wasn’t enough. Though personal rebellion against God’s authority began in the Garden of Eden, it was Nimrod who took it to a national level; the beginning of his kingdom was Babel (Genesis 10:10). He capitalized on the fear of the people, elevating himself and devising a plan to build a monument to himself that would “reach to heaven” (Genesis 11).
Shortly after God separated humanity and confused their language, He chose Abraham to begin a new nation, sending him out to a land that he did not know. Abraham’s descendants wandered like nomads until his grandson Jacob’s family of seventy-two ended up in Egypt, growing into a multitude of millions that escaped Pharoah’s servitude and began a new era in Canaan, the land God promised to Abraham.
Nations developed after the Tower of Babel, each aligning themselves under various kings. Israel tried to be a true theocracy but went through a cycle of judges until they begged for a king. It was their second king, David, who finally proved to be someone worth following, and established the nation.
Centuries later, the children of Israel played out allegiance to various kings. Some kings took the throne by rightful inheritance, but many exalted themselves, killing off their competition, and even their own families. And each time, the common people had to align themselves under a new government. The quality of their lives depended on the personality, desires, and spiritual bent of each new king.
During this time of history, the prophets continued to give the people hope that one day they would have a true Messiah, a Savior, a good and righteous King who would again rule over all creation. Humanity’s God-given need for a king would finally be satisfied.
The first eleven chapters of 1 Chronicles are filled with historical records of families – the genealogies of Israel. While there are snippets of interesting facts about the people throughout these lengthy lists, it’s in chapter twelve that the historical narrative picks back up with the establishment of David as king over all of Israel. The authors skip over Saul’s reign and give us only the details of his death. The real story begins when the rightful king – the king who is a man after God’s own heart is set upon the throne.
Here, finally, is a man worth following – a man worth pledging full allegiance to, in order to build up the kingdom he will lead. Here are just a few of the ways the people came up under his authority and leadership.
- They pledged their skill and experience to the king’s army, including their weaponry skills, their physical prowess, and their passion (12:1-2,8).
- They willingly surrendered their lives into the king’s hands, for his purposes, declaring we are yours (12:18).
- They abandoned their allegiance to their former king (12:29).
- They pledged all their wisdom and knowledge, their understanding of the times, to be used for the king (12:32).
- They were willing to go to war for the king, ready and able to draw up into battle formation (12:23).
- They came under the king’s authority with their whole heart (12:38).
- They celebrated with joy because the king was in his rightful place, both in the land and in their lives (12:40).
David’s rule over the united kingdom of Israel was a small foretaste of what it will be like when Jesus Himself rules from Jerusalem. In fact, I believe David will be given authority again to serve Christ in the millennial kingdom.
The people’s willing allegiance and surrendered hearts are a picture of what happens when the rightful king, Jesus, takes His place on the throne of our hearts. Our innate, God-given, God-shaped soul and spirit are finally (and only) satisfied when we are fully surrendered to the King. Until that happens, we will search for, and give ourselves over, to others whom we believe will protect and provide for us.
God designed us to need Him. We were created to live in relationship with Him alone as our Maker and Father and King. History tells the sad story of depending on human leadership to satisfy what only God can do in our souls. Until we recognize Him as our true authority and give Him our full allegiance, we will live in bondage to the dictators and deceivers who try to take His place.
Have you surrendered your all to the rightful King? Look back over that list above. Does that describe your allegiance to Jesus?
It doesn’t matter who occupies the governing seats that man has created in this world as he tries to build his own kingdoms. Those who belong to King Jesus are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. We are simply serving out our assignments as faithful ambassadors in a foreign land until one of two things happen. Either we’re called back to the home office, or the King comes to take back His throne and establish His kingdom on earth. Either scenario will do.