Tag Archives: Lion of Judah

Failed Leadership

2 Chronicles 24-28; we are about to finish the history books of the Bible. In this second book of Chronicles, we are reliving the reign of the 19 kings in Judah and Israel. As I have stated before, Israel, the northern kingdom who withdrew from the united Israel kingdom, had 19 kings, all of which established their own kingdom which lasted only as long as the reigned. Israel had 19 kings with 19 different dynasties. The kings repeated have the familiar commentary – “and he did that which was not right in the eyes of the LORD, as Jeroboam, who lead Israel to reject God and embrace Baal.” When we come to Judah, the kings who reign are all from the line of David – affirming the promise Jehovah gave to King David – saying “your throne will not cease to have one from your line upon it. This was an eternal promise – David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD. This statement would mark many of the Kings that followed after the Israelite kingdom was divided. Judah also had 19 kings – but only had one dynasty. In other words no other families in Judah reigned on the throne except those in direct line of David. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this eternal promise. Jesus will reign on the throne of David. Even this is interesting because normally the first born of a family would inherit the place of leadership. Judah [the  son of Jacob] was not the first, that fell to Reuben, and even Simeon, the second born should have been the heir of the Patriarchal clan. Even Levi should have gotten the scepter, but God separated Levi out for service to the Sanctuary.  The scepter fell to Judah – now Judah is not without reproach, but it was Judah who came to the place of reigning lineage. Reuben eliminated because he took one of Jacob’s concubines sexually. Simeon excused because of the revenge he inflicted after Dinah had been raped. Levi, as I have said already had a special service dedicated to the LORD and the Temple/Ark of the Covenant.  Judah was the one who protected Joseph from death by promoting the idea of selling Joseph instead of killing him; he was also in the lead position to seek and find Joseph. Judah was not a perfect leader. His dealing with Tamar, his daughter-in-law and “prostitution” does not view him favorably. However, God saw to had the scepter to his – Genesis 49:8-12.

Leadership for Israel and Judah are marked with leadership failures. We are no less than and no more than they. God knows that we are but dust.

Rather than chronicle the individual lives of each king, I found a more significant issue that needs to be addressed. I have mentioned this once before, but it became more glaring in our reading this week. The youthful leaders/kings many times in Judah were under the tutoring of a man of God or priest that taught them the ways of God. Judah more than Israel [northern tribes] had the prophets of God that would advise and direct the King in the ways of God. An easy example is Josiah; but there are many others. In their youth they listened to the prophets of old and did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD. Joash, Uzziah and Jehoshaphat and Amaziah are all examples of how youthful kings began so strong for the LORD, but because of success, pride and arrogance, they drifted away from God in their latter years. This happened not without repercussions.  We will see this fulfilled in Hezekiah’s life next week.

Failed leadership because they didn’t stay true to the LORD God. Opulence with Solomon was a downfall to succeeding kings. In our country today, America, the thought has to be investigated, has the success economically and militarily caused the decline of our nation? I read much about the original signers of our national sacred documents, and how those men were central in establishing a country and nation founded on the premise of “doing that which is right in the eyes of the LORD.” Much is being done today to try and undermine the foundation of those men, and rewrite history from their personal failures, not from the core and heart of each man. Ultimately, Israel fell along with Samaria in 722 BC; Judah would fall to the Babylonians in 587 BC; again Israel in the Second Temple era fell at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD. When a nation departs from God; failure and demise is surely bound to happen. But in each case of destruction and fall; the nation had already crumbled from inside; Rome included. When looking at our own country – Have we gone the way of Israel by departing from God? I deal everyday with dying churches that are more concerned with their own “comfort and preferences” rather than serving God and winning the Lost with the Gospel.

The people quit listening to the prophets and the Word of God – people in America have come to a place where they don’t even discuss God. God is not even on their radar of topics to discuss. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go? Where are we in that continuum?

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A House For the LORD

A House for the Lord from 1 Chronicles 13-17
Our passage reading begins with David trying to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. While he probably thought he was doing a good thing – he was doing it the wrong way. Often in our own lives we can attempt to do the good work of ministry, only to find out we should have consulted with the LORD on how to get it done. The incident that stops the whole show is when the oxen stumble and Uzza reaches out to steady the cart. God strikes him dead and then King David gets angry at the anger of the LORD. Needless, to say the Ark winds up staying three months with Obed-Odem and the blessings of the LORD are poured out there instead of Jerusalem. There is a bit of mysticism with the Ark of the Covenant – now I’m not trying to go Indiana Jones on you, but the Blessings that seemed to accompany anyone who had the Ark in their possession seems odd at best. The exception is when the Philistines capture the Ark [thinking that they have Israel’s god] and are “blessed with hemorrhoids. I found it quite interesting that the place from which the Ark had been left all the days of King Saul was in Kiriath-jearim. By now you are saying where? The place Kiriath-jeraim was the location in Numbers 13/14 where Israel was to crossover the first time into the Promised Land. Very Interesting, could this mean that we must sometimes have to go backwards to the point of our last failure/disobedience in order to start fresh? Probably so!
The Ark of the Covenant appears to have an unknown power about it; even the anger of the LORD if not properly handled. The Israelites felt there was a mystical power with it; they took the Ark before them before crossing the Jordan River and into battles. There is a great identity of the Ark and the Presence of God.
David has two battles against the Philistines which he ensures that God is with him in the battles – God affirms the how of the attack as well as the victory for David. The fear of King David grows throughout the land. King David attempts a second movement of the Ark. This time with great detail and caution, involving the Levites, priests and seems like just anyone else to ensure proper procedures are followed. We have covered the disgruntled Michal with David’s dancing and subsequent barrenness.
There is a great time of worship of the people, even King David is benevolent; he gives everyone a loaf of bread, raisin cake and portion of meat.
King David has an established unified throne with Judah and Israel. He lives in a fine house of Lebanon cedar. David had created a Tent for the Ark of the Covenant but appears to see the House of God as insufficient when compared to his house. He talks to Nathan about wanting to build the LORD a house. Nathan says go ahead. But the LORD comes to Nathan in a dream and says – Nope – not my way. Interesting that David desires to build a House for the LORD; and the LORD God turns around and establishes the HOUSE OF DAVID and the Throne of David as a perpetual eternal throne. The Covenant that God makes with David is an “unequaled covenant.” By this I mean that God and David are not equal. Just when David thought he could do good FOR God; God does more for David.
In this Davidic Covenant we have the establishing of Solomon to build the great Solomon’s Temple to the LORD, but also have the throne of David, the LION OF JUDAH prophecy. David was covenanted by GOD that there would not cease to be an heir of David on the throne of Judah. Ultimately, this prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah, and will one day be the LION of Judah, sitting on David’s established throne pictured here.
Speechless is what I would be. But I think we must remember that GOD is the initiator of the Covenant relationship. We are blessed beyond measure with God’s love towards us. We do not DO to receive the blessing; but are merely recipients of God’s blessing through faith in Jesus Christ. Just when we think we can honor God and bless Him; He blesses us more. Think now on John 14:1-6 and the House of God prepared for those who love Him.

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Genealogies And Why they are Important

1 Chronicles 1-7 are very important to Jewish history and property rights. Many times Christians come to genealogical records and just skip over all the unpronounceable names. Here in our reading we are privileged to read the multiple records of Judah/Israel ancestries. Genesis is broken-down into various “Record books” of lineage. I just did the 23 and Me genealogy test to find out more about my ancestry. Some people are afraid to do such a thing for fear of what they might find out about their relatives. The capturing of Israel/Judah history speaks to the authenticity of the Bible. If man were writing the Bible we would have left out a lot of the negative shenanigans of the people and cleaned it up to make us look favorable. The writer of 1/2 Chronicles has been attributed to Ezra, the scribe. All of the names and lineages begin with Adam and include the Patriarchal Fathers like Noah, Seth, Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob]. We are given the lines of Isaac and Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s second wife. Quickly the writer delves into the 12 sons of Jacob and their ancestors. We are given extensive accounting of King David’s line, to include his many wives and children. There is a method to all the names; in that the writer is getting to a point of identifying the ancestry line of Jesus Christ. This line can be found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. It becomes obvious to the reader that the line from Judah is most important; for from that line will come the Messiah.

A question I am sure everyone asks while reading the myriad of names is WHY are they so important? Well, 1 Chronicles gives us the historical line from creation to Abraham, then through Jacob’s son’s then through David’s line. The Messianic Line; the line of Promise and perpetual covenant. David was promised that there would always be one of his line on the throne of Judah. Jesus being the final King to sit upon the throne  – as He becomes the Lion of Judah. While there is prophetic and Messianic connections there is one more point that makes the lineage connections important.

With the deportation of all the nobles, craftsmen and skilled people to Babylon and only the poorest of people left remaining; how can the Jews [as they are now called] reestablish their inheritance in the Promise Land when they return? In other words who is rightful owner of the property, what tribe do they belong to and what authority do they have to inhabit the Land? The problem comes when “rightful” owners had to prove their ancestry and inheritance lines. During the 70 years of deportation and exile, the left behind people inter-married with the Assyrian “imported” people. Understanding the rightful owner had to prove purity of line. Ezra condemned the inter-marrying that occurred; not on racial basis, but spiritual lines. [Ezra 9]

The extensive details of who begat who was the litmus test to proving ones line and right to the land upon returning from Babylon. If you could not prove you lineage, you forfeited any claim to the Promised Land. So what does all this mean for us today? While there is growing interest in where we came from, as Believers the ability to prove our lineage/ancestry enables us to know Where we are going.

We are [those by faith in Jesus Christ] now the Sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus. There will be a similar requirement of identification. It is found in Revelation 20:11-15. In this verification of lineage; those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into an inheritance of Eternal Life in the New Jerusalem. Those whose names are missing, will be cast out of the Hold City and exiled to Gehenna Hell. Our heavenly ancestry avails us to all rights and privileges of the King – King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ the Son of God who died and gave Himself for me.

It is interesting to know where one came from; but more important to know where was is bound! There are many I am sure that think that because they hang around with heirs of Salvation, that they get to come along, but sadly, only those whom the King recognizes as His will obtain the unsearchable riches of God.

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Finished Race

2 Samuel 19-24; the end of the days of King David. If we look at David’s life, it has so many ups and downs, successes and defeats. Acts 13:36 “For David after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay.” Many of you probably thought I was going to quote Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8; about finishing the race set before him. Well, both men finished what GOD wanted of them in their lives. When I was growing up, and after I became a Christian through faith in Jesus Christ; I asked the Lord for one thing – that my life would count, that my life would make a difference. Well, it some 45 years later and I’m not sure of the answer. We all have our lives that we live out, and I’m sure we all wonder did our lives count?

David was chosen, brought into fame and success as a young boy [shepherd boy] who took on the giant Goliath and won. He demonstrated a faith and obedience unlike many his age. Yet being anointed as the future King, David went through tremendous battles and persecution from King Saul. Yet, David had a friend the king’s own son – Jonathan. David was a warrior, he had blood on his hands from all the thousands of enemies he killed. The people loved David, the Lord loved David, but David was a mere man. Scripture tells us that he was a man after God’s own heart. He would be blessed with a covenant from God, whereby the Messiah/Savior would come through his line and would one day sit on the throne of Judah as the Lion of Judah – this covenant/prophecy will be enacted with the reign of Jesus Christ when He comes back as the Conquering LORD.

David was not a good father figure. We have looked at the lives of Ammon, Tamar, Absalom, and King Saul. David like Eli and several other fathers did not reprove the sins of their children. Absalom kills Ammon after he raped Tamar; then Absalom hides for three years, when he does come back, David doesn’t talk to him for two years. Even when Absalom for 40 years undermines the King’s throne by swaying people to listen to him rather than David; David does nothing but run away from the situation.
I find that David is very high at times and very low at times. He is so gifted with musical talent and artistry, yet he is also plagued with a melancholy spirit for long periods of time.

David dances before the LORD while bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Zion; yet is forbidden to build the Temple [left for Solomon to do]. So David after he had served God in his generation, he died and suffered decay. I find that many of us can identify with David. Our spiritual life has successes and defeats; there are events and actions that have caused us great pain and guilt. We fail, and when we do, we really fail BIG. David was not perfect, but he was forgiven. Reading 2 Samuel 22 a great song – I call David’s Swan Song. I read through and find that David says that he is blessed because he has not acted wickedly, he has kept the ways of the LORD. I go huh? What about the failure with Bathsheba, the murder of Uriah, the absentee father? What about all those failures? How can you say that you are innocent and blameless? [22:22-26] I had to be reminded by the Holy Spirit that God does not see as I see. Isaiah 1:18-20 speaks of God’s forgiveness. Either we have complete and total forgiveness or we don’t. David a man after God’s own heart – read Psalm 51 and note the completer brokenness of David, the strong confession and repentance he speaks of. Admitting that we are failures and have great offense towards God is the beginning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we know us, we must admit not only are we sinners, but we have a sin nature. The root of our problem is the heart in the problem, namely our heart.

People in Israel still worship at the tomb of David; David was a great man, but he was a man. Something that I learned reading through 2 Samuel – Israel was always ready to leave David, only Judah was fully committed to him. Also the life lesson of David’s failure with Bathsheba, changed him. He was no longer that strong warrior. It seems that the failure and murder of Uriah plagued him from then on. We must move past our failures and sins and not let them keep us captive and shackled. I don’t mean minimize them – but deal with them according to the Lord and then move on. We only have “our generation to serve God” – there is someone coming after us. A new generation, a new king in Solomon.


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Ark of the Covenant and the Davidic Covenant

1 Samuel 6 & 7; in these two chapters we have David trying to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and the Davidic Covenant that God makes with David, that his throne would be established forever. In chapter 6, we have David attempting to bring the “forgotten and forsaken” Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant that was built by Israel in the wilderness. The same one that was stolen by the Philistines and returned because of the “tumors” they were plagued with. he same Ark of the Covenant that housed, Aaron’s rod that budded, a bowl of Manna and the Two Tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Ark that was so revered by the people, for they saw it as the presence of God with them. David is not going to move the Ark without fanfare. He elicits 30,000 to bring the Ark home. The place where the Ark is located is significant – it was left vacated at Kiriath-Jearim. You may say so what, what does this place have to do with anything – it is the very place where Israel refused to cross over in Numbers 13 to inhabit the Promised Land! A place forgotten and the national symbol of Israel, left in the Wilderness.

David prepares are the pomp and circumstance to move the Ark with great celebration and extravagance. On a new cart, with people playing the harps, castanets, tambourines and cymbals – what a parade! Until at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumble and the Ark almost falls off, Uzzah walking along side the Ark reaches out to steady it, and is struck dead on the spot. Talk about crashing a party! David is enraged with anger, and leaves it right there – leaving it at Obed-edom’ house. David hears that because of the Ark at Obed-edom’s house he is being blessed. SO David again tries to bring the Ark into the city of Zion. Again the parade is on, this time without any mishaps – oh except King David is prancing around, dancing in his linen garments before the people and the entrance into Jerusalem – Michal [Saul’s daughter] is incensed with David frolicking around half-naked before the maidens. David says “I will act even more undignified than this.” [This was a song sung by DC Talk in the 1990’s]. Because of her rebuke of David, Michal was barren all her life.

Reflecting now on these two events – David absolutely enraged because Uzzah was struck dead. Here David is trying to do the right thing, and for no apparent reason, when Uzzah touched the Ark, he was killed. Seem a little harsh doesn’t it. Why did God strike him down? To us it doesn’t make sense, but we are given insight into God’s actions. “Irreverence” was the reason in 1 Sam 6:7. God didn’t need any help in ensuring the Ark was safe. It had been protected against enemies and elements of nature until Israel got ready to put it in its proper place. God was bringing the Ark in, not David and 30,000 soldiers. Irreverence means to disrespect or mock. Now I don’t fully understand how Uzzah reaching out to steady the Ark shows disrespect or mockery towards God, but it did. I do know that no one was to touch the Ark itself, it had loops at places along its outer frame so 2 poles could be pushed through and the Ark carried. The Ark is the Mercy seat of God, the place where the sacrifice done on the day of Atonement was done. A sacred place, a holy place, a revered place. I guess because of the Holiness of God, and Uzzah’s quick reaction of thinking like a man, he forgot the Holiness of God and approached God’s represented presents flippantly. We cannot regard things of God as common, nor should we regard things common as holy.

David was in the Spirit, rejoicing and praising God as he saw the Ark of the Covenant come to rest in Israel – there will always be those that will regard our celebration before the Lord and foolishness – people of the world don’t understand the things of God – Michal, would bear the reproach of woman being barren all her life.

Regarding the Everlasting Covenant of the Davidic throne. God bestowed a covenant of unequal participants between He and David. David was given the honor, that through his lineage there would not cease to be an heir on the throne. Many of you already understand this – the Heir that would reign is Jesus. King Jesus would/will/is reigning on the throne of Judah as the Lion of Judah. David wanted to build a house for God, to house the Ark of the Covenant. God tells David, you cannot “house me.” But God does tell him that his son would build a house where God would put His Name. Instead of David building a House for God; God established the House of David. Jesus was born into the House of David, the Covenant is still intact. When Jesus returns, He will take his seat on the throne of David – and execute judgment as the Lion of Judah.

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