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There are two verses in Isaiah 16 that describe the kind of leadership that the world needs and ultimately will have.
When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
and marauders have vanished from the land,
Then a throne shall be established in steadfast love
in the tent of David,
and on it shall sit in faithfulness
a ruler who seeks justice
and is swift to do what is right. (Isaiah 16.4-5)
A Throne of Steadfast Love
The world has known plenty of oppressors and marauders, who rule by force and destruction.
There will come a time when the government over all the earth will be founded on steadfast love.
The Hebrew word that is translated as “steadfast love” originally referred to the ability of two parties to keep an agreement between them.
The agreement between God and his people was expressed by God with these words:
“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
“Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples.
Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites” (Exodus 19.4-6).
God delivered the Hebrews from bondage in Egypt and established a relationship with them. The Creator of the Universe told these former slaves that out of all the people in the world they were his treasured possession.
God’s part of the agreement was to be their God and to permit them to know him and receive his perfect guidance for life.
Their part of the agreement was to serve God as a nation of priests to the world. What is the role of a priest?
A priest stands between God and humans. With one hand the priest reaches out to God on behalf of people. With the other hand, the priest reaches out to people for the sake of God.
One way the Hebrews would fulfill their priestly function is found in the next chapter. In Exodus 20 God guides people’s behavior with the Ten Commandments.
As they live the Ten Commandments daily, they will serve God. But they will also be a living demonstration to the world of what is the best way to live.
Year after year, God kept his agreement with his people. The Hebrews knew they belonged to God and experienced his blessings.
However, the people did not keep their part of the agreement. Over and over, they turned away from God’s direction in self-will and rebellion.
When the people quit keeping their part of the agreement, but God kept his, the word’s meaning evolved from “covenant keeping ability” to “steadfast love.”
Isaiah prophesied about a time when there would be a throne “established in steadfast love.”
When Jesus came proclaiming, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1.15), he was speaking about the throne that Isaiah spoke about.
A Faithful and Just Ruler
Who will sit on the throne of steadfast love? Someone faithful and just.
A person who exercises faith in God places their entire trust in him. A faithful ruler is someone whom we can fully trust.
My father was a lawyer and I am a preacher. I used to tell him lawyer jokes and he told me preacher jokes that we both knew before the other finished telling it.
He was also a politician. Here’s a joke for politicians.
“What’s the difference between UFOs and an honest politician? It is possible that UFOs exist.”
Isaiah knew that on the throne of steadfast love there would sit an honest politician, a completely trustworthy ruler.
Jesus was the fulfillment of that ruler. He initiated God’s kingdom and one day he will bring it to complete fulfillment.
He is also entirely just. As we read the Gospels we see how Jesus conducted his life with absolute justice.
The kingdom of God invaded our world 2,000 years ago when Jesus inaugurated it. We will fully realize his kingdom and live in it for eternity at a time determined by the Father.
For now, Jesus’ direction for us is to repent and believe the good news.
When we repent we change our minds about how to live life. We live according to the pattern that Jesus gave in his actions and teaching.
To believe is to fully trust our lives to Jesus who sits on the throne of loving-kindness.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.