“I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.” - Psalm 89:4
In the year 1215, King John of England traveled outside London to Runnymede, on the banks of the River Thames, and signed the Magna Carta. He had to! His barons had told him that if he did not sign, he would be in big trouble. They were tired of his heavy taxes, his ineffective leadership, and his less than spectacular rule. So they forced him to sign. In doing so, King John severely curtailed the traditional powers of the monarchy. Many people date monarchical decline from 1215.
Political systems now favor democracies over monarchies. Given the abuses of power by the latter, there is much to be said for the former. But as thrones and empires have been toppled, respect for the majestic has all but disappeared. This may not be politically significant, but it does have spiritual implications.
In the days of the Old Testament, kings were anointed by prophets and the trappings of their reign and the splendor of their person were often seen as reflections of the glory of the Lord. Even the extravagance of their palaces, their vestments, and their inordinate wealth were regarded as evidence of divine favor. The queen of Sheba was overwhelmed by Solomon’s splendor. He had built for himself “a huge ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold. . . . No other throne in all the world could be compared with it” (2 Chron. 9:17-19). From this splendid platform, Solomon ruled his vast empire. He was powerful, splendid, and majestic.
Solomon’s reign, part of David’s dynasty, came to an end. His throne is lost, and his empire has long been divided. But God’s throne is “founded on two strong pillars—righteousness and justice” (Ps. 89:14), and he promised King David, “I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity” (89:4).
When David’s dynasty collapsed, was the promise rendered null and void? Not at all! Hundreds of years later, a humble girl in Nazareth was told by an angel, “You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. . . . The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:31-33). One day, Mary’s son Jesus will sit on his everlasting throne in his eternal kingdom. Unlike Solomon’s throne, we do not know what Jesus’ throne is made of—but we do know that it is majestic! Even more important, though, is the one sitting on the throne—he will be the focus of attention! He will be marvelous, majestic, and magnificent. And we will be overwhelmed with the glory and the majesty (see Rev. 4).
For Further Study: Psalm 89