The Son of David Has Arrived
Today is my last class of the semester at Bethlehem College and Seminary. We wrap up our journey through the Old Testament with 1–2 Chronicles. One of the students told me that he and his fellow freshman are sad to leave the Old Testament! This is the work of the Lord!!! The Old Testament, though, calls us to leave it as it points forward to the continuation of the story. In other words, the OT demands a sequel, and 1–2 Chronicles was crafted to expect a part two. Now, you might be wondering why we are ending with Chronicles and not Malachi. According to our English Bible table of contents, the last book before the New Testament is Malachi. Chronicles is right after Kings, which ironically sets us up to miss the glories of the book.
Super is being attached to words at our house these days (i.e., super good, super tired, super yummy, etc.) Chronicles after Kings seems super repetitive. Through the semester, we have been following the Hebrew ordering of Scripture, which has Chronicles last (btw: As we look to a new year of reading the Bible together, let me encourage you to read in the Hebrew ordering of the OT this year and switch it up!) Unlike the 1–2 Kings, which focuses on the doom coming to God’s unfaithful covenant people, 1–2 Chronicles points to the dawn of hope on the other side of exile. One scholar wrote that “Chronicles is fundamentally a book of hope.”
I know you are on the edge of your seat asking, “how so?” Well, one way that hope arises is through the story of King David. In Chronicles, we get these stories about David that paint him positively. The negative stories like the Bathsheba account aren’t in Chronicles. The author isn’t trying to whitewash David, though. He depicts David as one who points to the ideal future messianic King who is coming. David’s story points to a son of David who will be the perfect King who will finally build the true temple of God.
It is this hope that the original readers of Chronicles were meant to pick up on the other side of exile where they tasted some of the Lord’s promises but not a complete restoration. Chronicles end the Old Testament in the hope of Christ, the Son of David. What happens as soon as we pick up the New Testament with the Gospel According to Matthew? Matthew 1:1,16 — The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham…who is called Christ (!). The New Testament picks up with this announcement that the Son of David has arrived…the very Son of David that Chronicles anticipated.
When we say that Jesus is the Son of David, we are making a tremendous faith statement. We are stamping the arrival of Jesus, the Son of David, with our amen to the promises of the Lord to do what he said he would do! Every time we think of Jesus as the Son of David, we declare that our God is faithful. He speaks promises, and he keeps his promises. I pray that this would be a source of tremendous hope for you this season of Advent. We look back at the fulfillment of promises in the Son of David’s arrival and fueled by God’s faithfulness, we look forward to the promise of the Son of David’s return — “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star (Rev 22:16).” He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:20)! Looking back and looking forward fuels today with fresh sustaining grace.
Jubilee, keep looking at Jesus the Son of David!