David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.
1 Chronicles 18:14
This says it all! These were the golden years for Israel and for king David.
The united Kingdom of Israel lasted for only three kings: Saul, David and Solomon. Saul was appointed as king after Israel demanded one “like all the nations” (1 Sam 8:7). In spite of God’s warnings that their king would be a dud, they insisted and God gave them the king they deserved in Saul.
Saul’s continual disobedience to God’s will eventually led to the kingdom passing to God’s anointed – David.
David in contrast is continually referred to in scripture as “a man after God’s own heart”. Here in Chronicles 18 we see David at his best, subduing long time enemies of Israel that Saul had failed to challenge.
Just as David subdued the land in the Jewish Theocracy, so we need to allow God to subdue our will into his. We need a “personal theocracy” where Jesus is lord of our hearts and minds.
In Jesus words:
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
In the book of Revelation, our attention is turned to the ancient city of Philadelphia, now know as Alaşehir in modern Turkey.
Philadelphia means “brotherly love”. Matthew Henry points out this is an ancient name, most likely bestowed upon in because of the love and kindness shown by its people even before Christianity came to them. This love then found a new meaning through the grace of the gospel.
They are commended as a faithful church:
I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (v8)
They have remained true even though they are under attack by “the synagogue of satan”.
The German government and many who called themselves Christians were demanding that non-Aryans – and particularly Jews – must not have positions of authority. Both in society in general and also in the church. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others like him stood their ground against this assault on Christian truth. Society had drawn a line in the sand but the faithful Christians, like those in ancient Philadelphia, would not be moved.
Are we awake and aware of the lines being drawn in the sand by our society? Are we willing to be called names or to be unpopular for standing faithfully for our Christian convictions? The time to decide is now, before you are asked to cross the line. In Joshua’s words:
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.