A SERIOUS WARNING
The tragic result of such a pitiful history of the kings among God’s chosen and blessed elect should be a serious warning to us, God’s elect in the New Testament age, and should indicate to us how sober we should be to take heed to the particular points of each case. Just to be one who is according to God’s heart, like David, and just to be partly right and good in the eyes of God, like some honest Christians, do not qualify us to partake of Christ in full and to enjoy all the rights in Him that we may become adequately the church as the Body of Christ and as the kingdom of God and of Christ. Conformity to Christ’s death by the power of His resurrection is required of us, the New Testament overcomers, that we may die to ourselves, our natural man, and live to God in resurrection. A life of living Christ, magnifying Christ, and moving and acting with Christ by the bountiful supply of the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit, doing everything in and according to the Spirit, is indispensable for us, God’s New Testament seekers, to be winners in the racecourse of the divine life that we may fully enjoy Christ as the God-given good land in the church age and be gloriously rewarded to partake of Christ, in the fullest sense, in the kingdom age.
KINGS RULING FOR GOD’S ETERNAL ECONOMY
Every king should have had a thorough realization that they should be kings who did not rule a nation for their own interest and prosperity but ruled for God’s eternal economy that God could have a nation on the earth to keep the land of Immanuel (Isa. 8:8) for Christ’s reign and a people for a lineage of the genealogy to bring Christ to the earth. For this purpose they had to be a Nazarite to take God as their Head, their authority, and submit themselves to Him as His servants, and abandon all the pleasures (wines) of the world. But all the kings failed God in this, including David, the best one among them. Thus, they did not fulfill God’s purpose for His economy. Rather, they lost their reign in God’s kingdom, which is the top portion of the enjoyment of the good land (the all-inclusive Christ).
THE DEPUTY AUTHORITY OF GOD ON EARTH
To be a king among God’s people is to be the deputy authority of God on the earth. The deputy authority of God on the earth is composed of God’s oracle, the speaking of God, and God’s authority, the ruling of God. Both items were entrusted to the priesthood, as in Moses, who was represented by Aaron the high priest. When the Aaronic priesthood started to wane, God raised up Samuel to speak for Him as a prophet (1 Sam. 3:19-21), and Samuel brought in the kingship for God’s authority (16:1-3). The kingship among all the kings of Israel was always regulated by the prophets, such as David by Nathan (2 Sam. 12), Ahab by Elijah (1 Kings 18), and Jehoram by Elisha (2 Kings 3), and was strengthened by the prophets, such as Hezekiah by Isaiah (2 Kings 18—20) and other kings by Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1-3). After the captivity of Israel due to the kings’ failures, it was through the prophet Daniel’s prayer that the captivity was returned (Dan. 6:10; 9:15-25).
We need to realize that these three classes of people—the priests, the kings, and the prophets—are the structure of the entire Old Testament. In a very real sense, the Old Testament is a history of the priests, the kings, and the prophets. God’s deputy authority is composed of the priesthood and the kingship. However, both the priesthood and the kingship became a failure, and the prophets came in to strengthen, regulate, instruct, help, and support the weakened kingship.
The kings should always go along with God’s oracle, that is, go along with the priests. Then God’s deputy authority will be maintained on earth by the priests speaking as His oracle and by the kings ruling as His authority in His kingdom. These are basic principles for our knowing the Old Testament.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Kings, Chapter 23, by Witness Lee)