Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 6, 2015

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 8.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+8&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel.  2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah;  they were judging in Beersheba.  3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah;  5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways.  Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”  6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.”  And Samuel prayed to the Lord.  7 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, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.  8 Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.  9 Now then, listen to their voice;  however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”  1 Samuel 8:1-9.

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First, we are reminded of “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation. 

You would think Samuel being a Godly man, even a priest and prophet of God, would have Godly sons.  “His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.”  Verse 3.

Likewise, you would think Eli, another priest of God, would have Godly sons.  But, Hophni and Phinehas were not.  “Now the sons of Eli (Hophni and Phinehas) were worthless men;  they did not know the Lord and the custom of the priests with the people …  Now Eli was very old;  and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.”  1 Samuel 2:12-13 and 22.

What about the first priest, Aaron?  “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.  And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”  Leviticus 10:1-2.

And, more generally, the people of Israel rejected the LORD.  “Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.”  Verse 8.

So, Reformed Doctrine teaches that our hope is not based on man, but that our hope is based on God.  We do not need a king who is man.  We need a King Who is God.  And, that is exactly Who we have:  Christ is our King. 

And, what about those who think that they can reject Christ as their King? 

“1 Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”  Psalm 2:1-6.

For His enemies, Christ the King shall destroy them. 

“‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”  Psalm 2:9.

For His people, God’s elect, Christ the King shall save them and otherwise bless them in His kingdom.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  Colossians 1:13-14.

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;  and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;  having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.  When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”  Colossians 2:9-15.

Here is what the Westminster Larger Catechism states in part.

Question 45:  How does Christ execute the office of a king? 

Answer:  Christ executes the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.  

Let us not glance over the forgoing Westminster Larger Catechism and miss the phrase that Christ our King powerfully orders all things “for his own glory, and their good“.

Christ our King is not like the kings who take the best from their subjects and who reign over their people with an iron fist for only their own good like those kings who are described in verses 10 to 22 of today’s Scripture. 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Mathew 11:28-30.

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