Like David Like the Son of David
No, the Messianic kingdom has not yet been established. Just like David was anointed as king but had to wait many years before he was enthroned, so too has the Son of David been anointed but has not yet been enthroned. David was first rejected and experienced suffering before he eventually reigned, and so too was the Son of David first rejected and experienced death on the cross before he will eventually rule as king at his second advent.
Just as David is a man after God’s heart, so too is the Son of David the ‘beloved Son’ of the Father — with blessings overflowing to others. What typological connections can be identified between the life of David and that of the Son of David, specifically relating to the time between being anointed and then later enthroned as king?
The Offer and Rejection of the Messianic Kingdom
During his first advent, Jesus offered to establish the Messianic kingdom for Israel in accordance with many unconditional Old Testament prophecies — and to do so by way of the cross. If Israel repented and accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus would still have gone to the cross, the seven years of Jacob’s trouble would still have followed and thereafter the Messiah would have returned to establish the Messianic kingdom on the earth (Toussaint 1980:64). To convince that generation of Jews that he is indeed the Son of David, Christ authenticated his Messianic claims through his words and deeds (Mt 4-12; cf. 22:41-46). Moreover, Jesus performed what can be described as ‘Messianic miracles’: the healing of a Jewish leper (Mk 1:40–45), healing a person born blind (Jn 9:1–41), and exorcising a demon that caused muteness (Fruchtenbaum 2016:143–155).
After exorcising a demon from a blind and mute person (Mt 12:22–32; cf. Mk 3:20–30), the religious leaders, who represented Israel, not only rejected the Messiahship of Jesus, but did so on the basis that Jesus had ‘an unclean spirit’ (Mk 3:30). This blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven (Mk 3:29). The result was that Jesus rescinded the offer of the Messianic kingdom for Israel at that time. Henceforth, the kingdom was not presented as ‘at hand’ or ‘near’ anymore (Toussaint 1980:164). Not only would Jesus later tell a parable (Lk 19:11) to ‘show that the kingdom of God was not “going to appear immediately”’, but the kingdom would only ‘become “near” in the future with events associated with the coming tribulation period’ (Vlach 2017:323). Regarding ‘this generation’ of Jews during Christ’s first advent, ‘they lost out on the opportunity, privilege, and benefit of seeing the kingdom established in their day. It is now destined to be reoffered to the future Jewish generation of the Great Tribulation who will accept it’ (Fruchtenbaum 2016:384; cf. also Vlach 2017:367–369). When they do (Hs 5:15-6:3; Zch 12:10; Mt 23:39), Christ will return to the earth and establish the Messianic kingdom.
During the Inter-Advent Period, the kingdom ‘exists in this intercalation only in the sense that the sons of the kingdom are present’ (Toussaint 1980:172). These sons and daughters of the kingdom walk in faith in Christ. As Woods (2016:250) rightly says, an interesting parallel is found in the careers of David and the Son of David:
An interim period transpired between David’s anointing as king (1 Sam. 16) and his actual enthronement (2 Sam 2; 5). During this interim period Saul was still reigning as king. People were forced to choose to either walk by sight and follow Saul or to walk by faith and follow David. … A similar interim period exists between Christ’s anointing as the Davidic heir and His enjoyment of glory at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33-35) and when He will actually rule on the Throne of David during the Millennium (Matt. 25:31; Rev. 20:1-10). During this present interim period a Saul-like entity, Satan, is reigning as king (Luke 4:5-8; John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph 2:2; 1 John 5:19). Thus, people today are being similarly forced to choose to either walk by sight and follow Satan or walk by faith and follow a David-like individual, Christ. They do the latter by trusting God’s promise that the anointed Christ will one day reign after Satan has been deposed.
With the above as background, typological correspondences between the life of David and that of the greater Son of David can be considered. The table below summarises many interesting parallels:
|Life of David||Life of Son of David|
|Even though he was not from the tribe of Judah, Saul was the first king of Israel, but because he was disobedient and drifted from God’s Word, God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse.||Even though he was not from the tribe of Judah, in fact he was an Edomite, Herod was king in Israel when God lead the wise men to worship the real king of the Jews (Mt 2:1-12).|
|David was still young and tending to sheep when the LORD chose David to be anointed as the first king of Israel from the tribe of Judah (1 Sam 16:11-13).||Even before Jesus was born from the tribe of Judah, God had already chosen him to be the king over all the house of Jacob (Lk 1:31-33).|
|When Samuel anointed David with oil, the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward (1 Sam 16:13).||When John baptised Jesus, the Spirit of God descended like a dove upon Christ and the Father identified his beloved Son (Mt 3:16-17).|
|A while later, Goliath taunted the armies of God for 40 days (1 Sam 17:16, 26), and then David battled against Goliath.||The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. After 40 days, Jesus was tempted by the devil (Mt 4:1-11).|
|David did not take Saul’s sword and armour for the battle; instead, he took five smooth stones from the brook, proclaimed that the battle is the LORD’s, and then prevailed over Goliath with a sling and a stone (1 Sam 17:39-40, 47).||Jesus did not use his divine attributes (ex: to turn stones into bread) outside of the will of the Father; instead, he faithfully and accurately used the Word of God to prevail over the devil (cf. Mt 4:1-11).|
|During the next few years, Saul tried to kill David many times (1 Sam 18:9, 11; 19:1, 15; 20:31).||During Christ’s first advent, the devil tried many times to kill Jesus in a manner or at a time not prophesied (cf. Mt 26:51-54; Lk 4:28-30; Jn 8:59).|
|God showed time and again, however, that his favour is on the anointed king (1 Sam 16:18; 18:12-16; 2 Sam 5:10).||The Father showed time and again, however, that his favour is on his beloved Son, the anointed king (Mt 3:17; 9:8; 17:5; Mk 2:12).|
|During a time when David was still not enthroned as king, he took consecrated showbread from a priest for himself and his men, for they were hungry (1 Sam 21:5-6).||During a time when Jesus was still not enthroned as king, in fact by that time it was already clear that he would be rejected by Israel (cf. Mt 11:16-24), his disciples plucked grain on a Sabbath and ate, for they were hungry (Mt 12:1-8).|
|David had to continuously move away from Saul, even withdrawing out of the land of Israel (cf. 1 Sam 21:10-14).||It was then that the Pharisees started plotting to kill Jesus, but Jesus withdrew from there (Mt 12:14-15), later even withdrawing temporarily outside of the land of Israel (Mt 15:21).|
|During a time when David was still not enthroned as king, his brothers and all of his father’s house went to him, together with everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, or discontented (1 Sam 22:1-2).||During the time when Jesus has still not been enthroned as the Davidic king, his mother, brothers and sisters are those who do the will of the Father, together with all those who labour and are heavy laden, for Christ gives them rest (Mt 11:28-30; 12:46-50; Jn 7:37; 1 Cor 1:26).|
|David became captain over these people, and later more joined to follow David (1 Sam 22:3; 23:13).||Jesus is Lord over these disciples, and one of the Lord’s commands is to make disciples of all the nations (cf. Mt 28:18-20).|
|They followed David through the valleys and the mountains and the wilderness.||The disciples take up their cross and follow Jesus.|
|These followers walked not by sight after the physically tall and strong Saul, but instead walked by faith, followed the anointed but not yet enthroned king — and some of these followers became known as the mighty men of David (cf. 2 Sam 23:8-39; Woods 2016:250).||These disciples walk not by sight after the god of this world and his worldly values (Lk 4:5-8; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2), but instead walk by faith, following the anointed but not yet enthroned king — and Christ will reward some of these disciples when the Messianic kingdom is established (cf. Mt 25:14-30; 1 Cor 3:9b-15; 2 Cor 5:20).|
|They also followed David in war, even before he was enthroned, and when the LORD gave the victory, David shared the spoils with them all (1 Sam 30:23-24).||The disciples of Christ are to be strong in the Lord and in his power in spiritual battles (cf. Eph 6:10-18), even before the Messianic kingdom is established, for the Lord gives the victory.|
|David was anointed when he was young. Many years passed before he was enthroned and started to rule, first as king over the house of Judah and later also over the all the tribes of Israel (2 Sam 2:5; 5:1-5).||Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit nearly two thousand years ago. He has still not been enthroned as king, for this will only happen when a future generation of Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah (Mt 23:39; cf. Hs 5:15-6:3; Zch 12:10).|
|Then Jerusalem became the capital city of the king (2 Sam 5:6-10).||When that Jewish generation does so, then Christ will return to the earth, rule from the Davidic throne in the city of the great King (cf. Mt 5:35; 19:28; 25:31, 34).|
Christ clearly distinguishes between two thrones: ‘To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne’ (Rv 3:21; own underlining). During the Inter-Advent Period, Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, for a session, but on the Father’s throne (Ps 110:1). Immediately after the Tribulation Period, the Son of man will return to the earth (Mt 24:31), and then he will sit on his glorious Davidic throne (Mt 19:28; 25:31, 34). Until that happens we have a choice: be a citizen of Satan’s world or walk by faith after the coming King. No, the Messianic kingdom has not yet been established, but when this long period between his anointing and his actual enthronement is over, Christ will sit on his glorious Davidic throne and rule from Jerusalem (cf. Ps 2; 110:1-2; Mat 25:31, 34).
Fruchtenbaum, A.G., 2016, Yeshua: The Life of Messiah from a Messianic Jewish Perspective, Vol. 1, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio.
Toussaint, S.D., 1980, Behold the King: A Study of Matthew, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids.
Vlach, M.J., 2017, He will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God, Lampion Press, Silverton.
Woods, A.M., 2016, The Coming Kingdom: What is the Kingdom and How is Kingdom Now Theology Changing the Focus of the Church?, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth.
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