THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
The Comparison of God
By Denise Kohlmeyer
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Continued from Page One
Hezekiah — "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done...He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following Him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered" (2 Kings 18:3, 5-7).
Josiah — "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left" (2 Kings 22:2).
Did you notice that in every instance the comparison was to David's heart? Not to his appearance. Not to his military successes. Not to his kingly authority or wealth. His heart!
But why David? Why would God compare all others to this imperfect, somewhat neglectful parent, and one-time immoral man? He clearly wasn't perfect.
Because, as an earthly king David was the closest representation of the heavenly king, Jesus Christ. David epitomized the King of kings and the Lord of lords both in obedience to doing God's will and in his undivided loyalty. His heart again! And this is just one of many reasons why David is known as a "type" of Christ in the Old Testament.
In OT typology, people (like David), places (like the Tabernacle), and even things (like Noah's ark) are symbols, shadows, and representations of something future and greater, of the True Substance, Jesus Christ. In his "Types of the Messiah," Puritan preacher and evangelist Jonathan Edwards explains just how David and his life closely paralleled that of Jesus Christ. This is the abridged version:
Anointed — David was selected by God, anointed with oil and the Spirit prior to becoming king (1 Samuel 16:13); Jesus was sent by God, anointed by the Holy Spirit prior to beginning His three-year ministry (Matthew 3:16);
Beloved — David's name in Hebrew means "Beloved" ("dearly loved"); Jesus is the only begotten and beloved Son of God (Matthew 3:16);
Conqueror — David took on the enemies of Israel in honor of God and save his people; Jesus took on our enemies (Satan and our sins) to glorify His Father and redeem the lost;
Devoted — David was wholly devoted to keeping the commands of the Lord (1 Kings 11:4); Jesus was single-minded in His devotion to doing the will of His Father (John 6:38);
Servant — David was referred to by God as "my servant David" (Ezekiel 37:24); Jesus came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for our sins (Matthew 20:28);
Shepherd — David oversaw the care of his father's sheep as a young man and then as a king over the people of Israel (1 Kings 16:11, Psalm 78:70); Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the world's "lost sheep" and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords over all peoples (John 10:11; 1 Timothy 6:15).
Given all this, the obvious question I then asked was: Does God compare today? And, if so, to whom?
To the first question, I have to answer: Yes. In my opinion, I do believe God still compares today. While there aren't verses that explicitly say it (as in the case with David), I believe it is implied in Romans 8:29, "For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers."
And in that verse is also the answer to the second question: Our comparison is to Jesus Christ. Not to other human being. Just to God's beloved Son.
The idea of comparison to Jesus Christ comes from the concept of being conformed to Jesus Christ, to "be like" Him in every aspect of our lives (a.k.a. Christlikeness), just as the kings of old were to be David-like.
Now Jesus is God's righteous Standard-bearer and God now views our lives in comparison to His. And thankfully through eyes of grace! God knows "our frame, and remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). He knows that we are spiritually incomplete, lacking in maturity (though whole and healed in Christ). He knows that there are (and always will be this side of heaven) areas in our hearts, our thinking, our lives and our characters that are "unChristlike," areas that will continually need Divine refinement.
He also knows that we are stumbling, sinful saints (though redeemed for all eternity) still in constant need of His forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). And this is where grace comes in. From God. And from ourselves.
Just as God looks upon our dusty frames through eyes of grace, we too must view our own journeys (and those of others too) with this same kind of grace-vision. As we're daily striving towards Christlikeness — trying to live out His love, compassion, kindness, joy, peace, forgiveness, mercy, holiness — we must embrace grace along the way. Stumbling. Picking ourselves up. Repenting when necessary. Encouraging others. Pouring out grace upon grace. Pressing on. And on. And on.
All with our eyes on Christ.
All with the intention of becoming more like Him.
As best as we can. With the help of the Holy Spirit.
And then wonderfully hearing God say of us — like He did of Hezekiah and Josiah — on the day we stand before Him:
and you did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 2 Kings 22:2
Image Credit: FixiPixi_deluxe; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth Christian-Life God-Father Jesus-Christ
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