Prophets, Priests, and Kings

Dave Shirley Photo Dave Shirley

Well, the children of Israel need unity. They need a king. They’ve got twelve separate states. They are not a nation really. They are close to it, but they need a political leader. And God is going to give them one. And so there is a transition from Eli to Samuel. Eli was a priest/judge. Samuel was a judge/prophet. And you know the story. Hannah comes on the scene in 1 Samuel, which is the first book in the Bible to use the word anointed. And anointed is where the word messiah comes from, and so Jesus is the Anointed One. He is the Messiah, “the one upon whom the Spirit of the Lord came” in Isaiah 61. And He preached the favorable year of the Lord. He preached the grace of God because He was the grace and truth of God.

And so, here comes Hannah. She is speaking in her heart, only her lips are not moving. Her voice is not heard and Eli actually thought she was drunk. And Hannah said, “No, my lord. I am a woman oppressed in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15). And Eli answered, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him” (1 Samuel 1:17). Well, in due time after Hannah had conceived, she gave birth to a son and she named him Samuel.

So here again, every time God wants to do something new, what does He do? If He is going to do something great, it usually is this: He just has a little baby born. And so here comes Samuel, the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. So he is a prophet. He is a child of prayer. Hannah was barren. Here we go again—she is crying out to God saying, “Why can’t I have a kid?” She is so intense and emotional about it that everybody thinks she is drunk. Yet God hears her cry. He answers and we have little Samuel born. And he is committed to the Lord even before he was born. And he is established as a prophet because God is establishing now a channel that He can speak through. He wants to prophesy. He wants to speak to His people. He wants to bring His people where they need to be, but He needs a spokesman. He needs a prophet.

Just like in the New Testament it says, “Despise not prophesying” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:20). Why? Because God is trying to get His people to where they need to be and we do not want to despise it.

God speaks directly to Samuel and He establishes him as a judge. So Samuel is a guy that really unites the nation. How does Samuel unite the twelve states? It is by prophesying the word of God. And as he prophetically gives God’s mind, God’s heart, God’s direction to the people, and the people begin to come together. Now God has a channel He can speak through and it is Samuel the prophet. God needs that.

So what brought about the great revival that took place after the time of the judges? Well, the Lord brought it about through a praying mother, through a chastened people who sensed their need, and through a faithful prophet who spoke God’s word.

And usually you will find those three things as ingredients for revival. You will have a group of people pray. You will have another people that know they have a need. And then you will have the Word of God going out and revival takes place. You pretty much have to have all three of those things to see great revival.

So, we have a praying mother, a chastened people who sensed their need, and a faithful prophet who preceded the revival. Do they still need a king? Yes, because you have to remember what God is doing at this point, He is building a great nation through which He is going to provide salvation to the whole world. They have to have a king to have a nation. So it says,

Appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations. But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, they have rejected Me from being king over them. (1 Samuel 8:5-7)

So, what is up? Does God want them to have a king or not have a king? One moment it sounds like God says, “Have a king.” The next moment God says, “Boy, I wish they did not want a king.” And you are like, “Well, what does God want?” He wants to be King. And He wants them to want a king that will rule for God. But that is not what they are asking. They are saying, “We want a king that is just like every other king on earth. We want to be like everybody else. We do not want to be different. We want to be like them.” And so it was not that they were asking for a king that was so bad. It was that they wanted a king just like every other king. They did not want a theocracy. They did not want God to rule. And often times that is no different today, is it? We will let God be in charge as long as He just lets us be like everybody else. But do not ask me to be different. That is not the kind of king I want, but that is the kind of King God is.

A Monarchy

So, what do they need in Scene Ten? They need a king. Are they going to get one? Yes. So, God is going to establish what is called a monarchy. In 1 Samuel chapters 8 through 31, you will see the reign of Saul. As Saul comes on the scene, he begins a monarchy. We do not really want a monarchy, we want a theocracy. And as Israel demands a king, what is wrong with the demand? They wanted a monarch not a theocracy because a monarchy leaves out God. A monarchy is when man does it. A theocracy is when God does it.

What about you in your life? Do you need a king? What kind of king do you want? Do you want it where man does it, or do you want it where God does it? And that was the issue going on there with God. So He was upset that they wanted a monarchy. But He would have been tickled to death if they would have said, “We want a theocracy.” And He told Samuel the deal. He said, “They are not really rejecting you, man. It is Me they are rejecting because they want a monarchy, not a theocracy.”

So God gives them king Saul in 1 Samuel 9. And Saul’s failure is seen. He is jealous. It causes him to seek to kill David on several occasions. So David has to flee for his life. Throughout this period of his life, Saul’s son Jonathan remained David’s close friend. Jonathan was a brave, godly man. And it was Saul’s carnal anger that dragged Jonathan down to death. For further study you can look at 1 Samuel chapters 13-31.

So, Saul made some huge mistakes in his life, but he is the king. And it is interesting what conditions God gave for kingship back in Deuteronomy 17. He says, “When you get into the land and you want to establish a theocracy, here are the conditions for starting toward a theocracy.” Now, let’s read them because it is really neat to see how to do it. First, He says:

Set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses. [It has got to be God’s choice.] You may not put a foreigner over yourself. Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses since the Lord has said to you, “You shall never again return that way.” (Deuteronomy 17:16)

So, He says, “You cannot go back to Egypt and get all their horses.”

Neither shall he multiple wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. (Deuteronomy 1:17)

It is because gold and money will make your heart turn away too. It is deceptive. There is something about it that just tricks you. So you cannot multiply wives and you cannot multiply money. But here is what he should do”

He should write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priest. And it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right or to the left. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)

Wouldn’t that be neat if every time we had a president inaugurated in the United States he had to handwrite a copy of the law out? And then he had to read it all the days of his life. He had to read it every day. First thing he did when he gets up he reads God’s law every day. God says, “That is the way it ought to be.” And He says, “And I do not want him to exalt himself above his countrymen. I want him to remain humble. I want him to be a humble guy that will just submit and rule for Me and read My law and do what My law says.” So, it was pretty amazing what God initially wanted.

Saul had so many failures. And two of his big mistakes were simply that he intruded into the priestly office when he was not supposed to. You remember in 1 Samuel 15, he was not supposed to be a priest but he went ahead and took the responsibility of a priest. And then secondly, he did not fully obey God.

So Saul was a monarch. He did things his way. He did not do things God’s way. And that is where we learn that obedience is better than sacrifice because we have to learn to do things God’s way. That is what is important. We say, “Yeah, but what if I do it my way but I give You a bunch of gifts or something?” God says, “No, that is not what I want. I just want you to do it My way. I am King. I am God. I am Lord. I do not need all that other stuff. I just want simple obedience.” That is a theocracy and Saul was not giving God that.

the LORD Rejects Saul

Saul ruled for himself and Saul did what he thought was best. He wanted to spare Agag’s sheep and stuff or cattle, and he spared the best. He said, “Well, I think that is best. That is what I am going to do.” It did not matter if God said, “Don’t do it.” God said, “Kill them all.” He said, “Well, that does not make sense to me. I am going to do it this way.” God says, “Well then you cannot rule for Me. I reject you as being king. You are not the real king. I have got to have somebody that will actually rule for Me”—because that is a theocracy.

So in 2 Samuel to 2 Kings 10, we see the reigns of David and Solomon. We are getting to the theocracy. A theocracy is God ruling the nation through a man. And this is the only one really that has ever existed to this point in time on earth. But I believe there will be another one when Jesus Christ returns.

So David is victorious in war. He is a war hero. He is called in 1 Samuel 16 which says, “I have selected a king for Myself from among the sons of Jesse the Bethlehemite” (cf. 1 Samuel 16:1). Isn’t that neat? Just like Matthew 2 fulfills the prophecy of Micah 5:2 that Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah and that He came out of Bethlehem.

And Bethlehem Ephrathah, though it was small, you shall be great among the nations because the Messiah, the Anointed One comes out of you, Bethlehem” (cf. Micah 5:2).

And it is neat to trace that whole story with Ruth because it came from Bethlehem, all the way, full circle around Moab, its mountain, and back to Bethlehem. And then when you get even to Revelation 5 there you are again. And it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.


David was the one that God chose because God does not see as man sees. God looks on the heart. And when you are going to have a theocracy, the issue is looking on the heart. 1 Samuel 16 “God looks on the heart; He does not see like men see” (cf. 1 Samuel 16:7). And that is what He wants today.

So David is called, he is trained, he goes out and defeats Goliath. But why did he do it? Remember why he defeated Goliath? What was the whole deal there? What was David’s heart there? He had two things on his heart. One, he says, “I want to honor God.” That is the issue. “And I want to glorify God’s name.” So already, here is David ruling for God because his heart is right. Did he have problems? Yeah. But his heart was right. And God says, “Boy, this guy is close to what I want,” because He is looking at the guy’s heart.

David is Made King over all Israel

David is made king over all Israel. He spent fourteen years as the anointed king, seven years running and hiding, and seven years reigning just in Judah. He was not over the whole land for fourteen years. He is anointed king but he is not really the king. In God’s eyes he is king, but for seven years he is hiding and for seven more years he is just in Judah alone and nowhere else does he have some measure of fame. But God said he is going to be king so they are going to make him king because God’s promise does not fail.

Finally David does reign and this is how the theocracy works. God rules through a man whose heart is right with Him. He wants to build God a house because he loves God so much and his heart is right. But God says, “You cannot build a house because you are a man of war and you have got blood all over your hands. You are war hero and we appreciate that.” Because see, Saul established the nation, but David expanded the nation because he was such a war hero. The way David expanded the nation was by killing a lot of people. And he would go out and fight and he would wipe out whole groups of people and he would expand the nation. So he just had blood everywhere, all over his hands. He was a bloody man. So God says, “You cannot do it.”

But He does establish a covenant with David and He says, “David, I promise you that there will always be somebody from your loins who will be the guy that rules in Israel. He has got to come from you because you are the guy that has a heart for Me and wants to do everything I ask you to do in terms of rulership.” And so that prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 1, ultimately in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of David, which means He has throne rights.

That is why I believe there will be a millennial reign on earth, because Jesus Christ came from David and David has a right to sit on a throne and judge on earth. And when Jesus Christ returns He will set up for a thousand years those throne rights on earth. And many people say, “Oh no, that is just all spiritual.” No, it is not. And that is partly because of what we are going through now with all of this history. Everything that God is doing here, taking all this time to put it into history, is because God intends to actually fulfill His plan. And that plan is having a people on earth that are completely ruled by God and filled with God. That cannot happen until the True Ruler that comes from the loins of David returns to do it. And that will be Jesus Christ. And what a glorious time that will be and quite amazing.

David's Sin

But, David, he was a man. He sinned, didn’t he, by committing adultery? He murdered but he repented. Now, the difference between David’s repentance and Saul’s repentance was what? David’s repentance was real. Saul’s repentance was just for a short time until things did not work out again and then, “Oh sorry, that happened.” But back in the flesh again and repenting again. But David is like truly repentant and has a godly sorrow that works real repentance; where Saul had a worldly sorrow that brings worldly grief. And if we want to read Psalm 32 or 51, we can see his repentant heart there before the Lord.

But really, I like the way that Acts 13 describes David. In Acts 13:20-23 it describes him as a man after God’s own heart. And to me that is the best description of all because that is really who he was. But even in David’s case, though he was the king God chose—is God a respecter of persons?—no.

The Irrevocable Consequences of Sin

So what happens? We see the irrevocable consequences of sin. 2 Samuel 12:14 says,

However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.

And so the child of David and Bathsheba died. And you remember David went in and fasted. He was before the Lord and they came and said, “The child is dead. You need to rise up, anoint yourself, go back and get to work.” And he did. And then some people had a problem with that. And they said, “You should be mourning more.” He said, “No, God said it is over. It is a done deal. I need to get back to work. The kid is dead. There is nothing I can do about it.” And so he had to move on.

But you know that whatever we sow, we reap. There are consequences for our sin. There is for mine, always has been and always will be. And there is for yours. And that has been true from the Old Testament right into the New Testament. And sin just causes problems, so no wonder we need to do our best to stay away from it. Because God is no respecter of persons, even if it is David the king that He has chosen, He still has to punish sin.

Solomon Peace and Prosperity

Solomon comes on the scene after David. Saul has established the nation. David has expanded the nation. But now it is going to be glorified through Solomon. There is going to be peace. There is going to be prosperity everywhere. Mainly because of what David did, but Solomon is appointed by David. His request is for wisdom, you remember. And then he actually builds the temple that David wanted to build. Solomon does it. He is like his father in the sense he is a prolific writer. He wrote 1,005 songs and 3,000 proverbs. Nine hundred of them are in the Bible. And we have the others in apocryphal literature and stuff, but 900 pieces of what he wrote are actually in the Bible. He was quite a guy, Solomon was prolific.

So the glory of the Lord filled Solomon’s temple just as it filled the tabernacle. They are in the land. They have expanded the nation. They are glorifying the nation. They have possessed the land. They have put all their—David is actually the one that went in and got the Jebusite city. I mean, he defeated the kings in the Jebusite city, something Joshua could not do because there was a greater than Joshua coming. And the greater than Joshua that came was David. Joshua could not take the Jebusite city. David came and he took the Jebusite city. But there is a king greater than David too and that is Jesus Christ, who is greater than either Joshua or David.

But here is Solomon enjoying the fruits of the labor of David and the warfare. And God is there because, of course, God is omnipresent. He is an infinite Spirit. He has manifested His presence in a tangible manner in the temple, but He did not dwell totally in the temple. I mean, it was the presence of God there, the Shekinah, the glory of God there. But that does not mean God was all there. He was still omnipresent. He was everywhere. And they are in this nation, in this land.

the Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

The queen of Sheba actually comes and visits Solomon. And she checks him out and verifies the reality that God’s blessing is on Israel. And she says, “I have heard stories about this place. And I thought the stories had to be just ridiculous. This cannot be true. That is ridiculous. I do not believe that.” And another story comes in. “You ought to hear about this kingdom over here and Solomon and what is going on.” And she says, “No, really?” And the reports keep coming in and finally she says, “Get my camels and get my stuff.” And she takes off and she comes across the desert. She travels hundreds of miles.

She wants to come into Solomon’s kingdom. She gets there and what does she say? She says, “You know what? I heard all these stories and I thought this was just ridiculous that something like this could even exist.”

You know, Solomon and the Israelites developed hydraulics. And they had hydraulics. Solomon’s gardens were one of the Seven Wonders of the World because through hydraulics he had developed a system that came up. And they had a watering system, a terraced garden with watering systems all through Solomon’s pools and all through his gardens and stuff. And it was like people could not believe it. It was unbelievable. But God had given him wisdom and no doubt he was probably the guy that came up with the whole concept of hydraulics. And later we use it for a lot of things. But, I mean, Sheba got there and she says, “Even half of what has been told about this kingdom [she says]—I have only heard half of it and I did not think that was true. And now I am here and I just cannot believe what I am seeing.” And there never was a man as wise as Solomon in that respect.

How could you be so wise and so stupid at the same time? He excelled all the kings of the earth, it says. So, Act One actually ends on this glorious note. Israel is a theocratic nation. God is ruling His people. They have a great house built for God and they have a great nation. God has filled the house. And the Lord has done what He said He was going to do.

But the issue is this—what is wrong? How come, if now we have gone from what God promised and we have gotten to this place, there is a glorious nation, God’s house is there, the Shekinah glory of God is filling the place, then why don’t we just end the Bible here? I mean, what is up? What is going on here? Has God’s goal been accomplished yet? Why not? Why hasn’t God’s goal been accomplished? It looks like He has done everything He said He was going to do. I mean, as far as I can tell, He has. But what is His goal? He wants the people on earth, the whole world, all people from every tribe, every tongue, every ethnic, every people—He wants the whole world to be filled with people that are in a theocracy. But was the whole world filled with a theocracy?—no, just one place.

You have got this queen that comes over and she says, “Wow! There is no nation, no people that has ever had what you have.” I mean, the guy had 700 wives. I mean, just him. And he had 300 concubines. So, I mean, can you imagine the money, the wealth that it would take? And I was reading where they said the average king in that day might have like anywhere from three to—a real successful king—could have up to twenty wives. That would just be excessive. That would be really pushing it. Sheba comes over and he has 700 wives.

So, what is going on is that—what has not happened yet is what we should still be praying about, I hope. Are you praying this? “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Is God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven at the point of Solomon? No, not even Solomon is doing God’s will. As a matter of fact, Solomon is out multiplying horses and multiplying wives, which was not God’s will. But he is still allowed to be king and God is still glories in it, to a point.

Will there come a time when God’s will shall come and God’s will shall be done on—where?—earth? Will that happen? Yes. The seed began with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross when He died. And still God is going to get a people on earth that are filled with God. That is His goal, that is where He is headed and that is where He is taking us.

Act One Ends on a Glorious Note

All right now follow me for a moment. I want you to be able to know this. I want you to be able to write it down from memory. Here is kind of what we have gone through. We have done Act One, which is what? You should know that. God is building a nation, a channel through which He can bring what? The Messiah. Redemption. That is Act One.

What did God do in Genesis 1-11? What do we call that? He is setting the stage, right, in Genesis 1-11? God did all these big things: creating the earth, creating heavens, creating man. Man falls into sin through the influence of Satan, but God gives a promise in Genesis 3:15. He says, “I will bring a Redeemer from the Seed of the woman. I am not going to leave you, man, in sin.” Why? It is because the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis 1 and 2, do not have any sin. That is the way we started out.

The last two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22 do not have any sin. That is the way we are going to end up. We started out without sin. We are going to end up without sin. But everything from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 is all about sin and how God removes and takes care of sin. We call that redemption, the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

But He sets the stage saying we are dead in the water. He takes us through a flood and everything else. He scatters them at the Tower of Babel. God does all these huge things but He ends in chapter 11 with the birth of the Hebrew race because God wants to do something through one man. God begins to work through one man and that is Abraham. And what God says through him is, “I am going to take you, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am going to build a nation through you, Abraham. I promise.”

So, how does He do it? Well, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it gets to this point where we have Jacob and he has got twelve sons. These twelve sons of Jacob are going to be the tribal framework that is going to begin the nation. But one of those sons is special. He is a little unique. This son’s name is Joseph and he gets sold down into Egypt. And while they are down in Egypt, God is just preparing a way to take care of them. And they are down there for what? Four hundred years. And what are they doing? They are making bricks and babies. I mean it is just like there is nothing else to do. But they are just making bricks and babies.

And God then says, “Okay, I have got this huge nation now. I have got all these people and they have a language. I have kept them confined. They cannot go anywhere. They are servants and all they can do is to make a big nation.” That is what they do. He raises up a leader within them and that leader, Moses, takes them out. And they cross through the sea and come out on the other side. God supernaturally delivers them from Egypt and takes them through the sea. They pass right through the sea.

And so they have got this big nation out here and it has got all these people in it, millions, maybe three million people. Two and a half to three million people are out there and there is this huge nation. Do they have a leader? Yes, they have got a leader. And who is that leader? That is Moses. So Moses is out here leading them.

What do they need now? They have got a leader but what are they missing? They need law. So He gives them the Ten Commandments and they have law. But they are still not where God wants them. They have not reached the goal yet, but they are getting there.

Well, Moses dies. God buries him. God takes a shovel, buries His workman and God carries on the work, right? So, He has another guy lead them out and they cross the river. And this guy takes them out. They cross the river. God took them out supernaturally here. He brought them in supernaturally here. They got into the land and what is the first thing they did? They divide the land into what?—east and into west. They have a leader and his name is what? Joshua. And we have got east Canaan and we have got west Canaan.

But the problem is that once they got into the land, they did what we can do. They settled down, got a little lazy, got a little selfish. They said, “You know, it has been a long trip, we finally got some land here. I know God said we have got to go drive everybody out. But I am just really tired of fighting. My kids are tired of fighting. My wife is tired of me being gone. We just—I am just tired of doing what God said.” And so they settled down and they did not complete what God said. Joshua tried to encourage them. He said, “Look, for me and my house we are going to serve the Lord. I hope the rest of you guys will do it.” But for the most part, you know how that goes. It is always a few, isn’t it, who end up doing stuff?

So what happens is they enter into a time called the time of the judges. And you have got all these groups of people during the time of the judges and different little states. They are in the land but there is no unity. So what God does during the time of judges is that He will raise up a judge here and deliver them. Then He will go over here in this area of the land. He will raise up a judge over here and that judge will deliver them. He will pull Deborah up over here. She will deliver them. Or He will pull Othniel up over here and they will deliver them. And the whole period of the judges is described as a time where they “did what was right in their own eyes” (cf. Judges 21:25). It was just a time of total disunity.

So for them to become a nation, they have got to be unified. How do they get unified and who unifies them? Well, Samuel does. How does he do it? He takes disunity, this time where He raises up judges here and there, and He brings unity to it. They have got their twelve states still, the twelve tribes, but there is a unity to them. There is coherence to them. They have this unity because of the prophecy of God. There is a prophet of God speaking for God. And really they are beginning a theocracy.

But what happens is they say, “We want a king like everybody else. We think the prophet Samuel is really cool and everything. We know we hear from God when he speaks, but we want our own king just like the rest of the nations.” And so what they do—God says, “Okay, I will give you a king.” And so here is God in all of His holiness and omnipotence, He wants a king and that is Saul. He gives them Saul and He wants to rule through Saul and rule the nation.

Saul, he looks a little different. The only problem with Saul is that he is a bit empty. Because I do not think he has a real heart for God. He has a heart for himself and therefore he is empty. It is like what it says in Proverbs. “She that lives in pleasure is empty while she lives.” And it is so true. Well, he is not the answer because what do you call this? When you got a guy that rules for himself, what is the name of this? It is a monarchy, isn’t it? But what does God want? God wants to rule through a man and He finally gets one.

God wants to rule through this man who has a heart for Him, and that is David. And so God raises up a man that has a heart for Him. And David—though this guy was good as a monarchy—what did he do that was good? He established the kingdom, because some government is better than no government. It is better sometimes to even have bad government than to have no government. I mean it is better to have Nero than it is to have nobody. And we have seen that throughout the history of mankind. One of the bad things about the last days is that the man of sin is called “the man of lawlessness.” He is going to set up a government that is so against God, it is going to be the worst government that has ever existed on earth because it is going to be lawless and against God. And that is the government of the last days, lawlessness.

But David is here. And Saul has established the kingdom, but David expands the kingdom, the kingdom of God on earth. But then along comes David and finally from David is Solomon. He sort of had a heart for God, but I do not think he had a whole heart for God. He was not as bad as Saul, but he was not as good as David. He had a half heart but God still works through him. And what happens here is what? This nation becomes just glorified. There is just glory in this nation. And so he glorifies the nation.

So God has done what He said He would do. He has set the stage for redemption. He has come to one man. He has called that man out through his family. And through those twelve sons He set a tribal framework. Joseph goes down, prepares the way in Egypt. They grow into this huge nation. God leads them out miraculously and supernaturally. Takes them out in the desert, gives them the leadership, and gives them the law. And then when Moses dies He buries His workman, raises up Joshua, leads them through the river into the land. They divide it into east and west but they do not really take the whole land. And then they divide up because of their selfishness and their concern for their own families and not finishing what God said to do. They do what is right in their own eyes. And God has to come along and say, “Oh man, they are still My people! They are rebellious. They are disobedient. They are selfish. They do not want to rule for Me. They are just so ignorant! But I still love them and I said I would build a nation. I am going to do it.”

So He raises up Deborah and He raises up Gideon. He raised up Ehud. He raises up Othniel. He raises up all these guys to come deliver them. Until finally, Hannah is there praying. She cannot have kids. She is upset and she is thinking, “Why can’t I have kids? Everybody else can have kids. I am so upset about it.” And she is so upset about it everybody thinks she is drunk. And her heart is being poured out to God. And she says, “If You just give me a kid, God, he is Yours.” And God says, “Oh, a heart that is totally surrendered. What do you know!” And God takes that totally surrendered heart and gives her a baby. And Samuel becomes the prophet of God that brings unity to these twelve states. And it is like they really are a nation for the first time now, because they have unity. And God is ruling. And a theocracy is beginning.

But they want to be like everybody else. Boy, don’t we find that today? Often times aren’t we right here? God wants to prophesy through His Word. But what do we want? We have got to have some speaker come in that is famous. And if we cannot have that somehow we just can’t seem to hear God. Isn’t that amazing? We are not a lot different today than they were then because we are fleshly and we work on a horizontal plane often times, but God wants to just speak through His Word. And He can use anybody. He can use you. Hopefully that is what you are doing here, because He is going to prepare you to do it.

So He speaks through Saul and He brings him in and uses him. Even though they wanted a king to be a monarch and God wanted a theocracy, God is still faithful. And Saul actually establishes the nation until finally David is raised up. He has a heart for God. And David expands the nation through warfare. And he is a great war hero. And then Solomon comes on the scene and he glorifies the nation.

So God has done what He said He was going to do. He has built a channel, a nation through which He is going to bring the Messiah. And the Messiah comes as the root of David. And that is why I believe, because of all this history that goes into this, there will be an actual thousand year reign on the earth. Jesus Christ will return and sit on the seat of David on his throne. God promised it. It will happen.

So we are at this point where God has provided the nation. But it is still not, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is because there is still not a people on earth that are filled with Christ. There is still not a total theocracy on earth, is there? Right? So that is where we leave it. And because there is not, next time we will start Act Two. This is the end of Act One.

In Act Two God is going to deal with this issue because this is still not what He wants. And when God does not get what He wants, He has a way of dealing with it and getting it. I mean, you do, don’t you? When you do not get what you want, do you have your ways to try to get what you want? Well, God is the same way. I mean, He is not like you in that respect or me in that respect. He does not do it in a selfish, sinful way. But the bottom line is this: when God does not get what He wants, God has a way of getting what He wants. And we will begin to see next time in Act Two how God goes about getting what He wants. And as it was worked in the Old Testament, it will work out right now in your life as well.

So let’s pray,

Lord, help us to see that not one word that You promised will fail. You did it in the Old Testament. You brought it forward. You brought Christ. And then now You are building Your church and we know that when that is finished, when that is complete, that we are in a time right now where Your grace is calling people out. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. I mean, when we see what You are doing it is quite amazing to us and to know that it will happen. But then right now we are in a time where we have an opportunity to go out and tell people the good news about Jesus. And I thank God. I look at this and I think, Lord, if I went out and told people this they would think I was nuts. And they would not believe me.

But You said, “The gospel, the good news about Jesus; it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first.” So, Lord, help us to see from Your perspective what is going on in terms of history on earth, learn things from it, and realize where we live now today. We want to get out the wonderful good news around this earth, because You are going to call every tongue, every tribe, every ethnicity, every people to be there. And it will be so neat to be one of the people that were so yielded to You and living in Your theocracy in such a way that we might go where You lead us. We might go where You guide us, wherever that might be. And we would share the good news about Jesus. And then there will be people there because we were obedient to You and not just selfishly concerned about our own little thing, just like they did in the Old Testament. Lord, deliver us from that kind of selfishness and bring us into the heart of Jesus Christ who came to give His life a ransom for many. For Your glory, we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.