The Kingdom of God: Israel's Hope
Dear Kaleid Women,
Jesus came and announced the kingdom of God to His people. It was here--at hand--and this was good, good news! Worthy of a change of mind, worthy of a dropping of nets, worthy of a day on a hillside to hear more, worthy of an upheaval of life’s normal rhythms, ailments, and expectations.
Why was this announcement such good news to the first century Jews in Palestine?
Simply speaking, it was because Israel--more than any other people--already knew God as their King and they already knew His rule to be intensely good. First, God had come to Abraham with a permanent promise of land, descendants, and blessing to the whole earth. Then, God had come to Moses with reassurance of His steadfast character and a law that set Israel apart as a nation with an God-given identity, a code of ethics, and a divine ruler. God had also visited David, promising to give permanence to his kingdom. Finally, God had come to Jeremiah and promised to move His perfect reign into the very beings of His people, writing His law and His grace on their hearts.
Jesus’ people had encountered their King already, and they were eager for His reign to return home to roost. Jesus’ news was the best news they could have imagined.
You and I both know that Israel’s expectant hope was skewed by their limited understanding, their material desires, their confused ways of relating to God, their greed for power, and their simple humanity. (The very things that keep us from life in the kingdom of God every day, too, right?) We also know that most of them missed it altogether and crucified the King of the Jews because they were so offended and threatened by Him. But even this violent act was the thing that the King used to inaugurate His new covenant and bring His reign into the hearts of humans like us, so that we could live in the kingdom even now.
Israel’s King was unshakably strong, just, and powerful. He was unshakably loving, merciful, and compassionate. In Jesus, He was here. And even in the face of the most violent human misunderstanding, He was powerfully faithful.
Today, it is worth going back with Israel to meditate on the character of their King. Psalm 145 is a celebration of the character of Israel’s God--Israel’s King.
We invite you to take five minutes, open the Scriptures to this Psalm, and ask God what He wants to say to you about Himself as King of your heart on this beautiful Wednesday morning.
The Kaleid Team