The Sovereignty of God and the Faith of Man:
Over the course of these studies we've observed God's miraculous work in the affairs of mankind. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives examples of men and women who were chosen for various tasks. Each faced various circumstances when the Word of God communicated to them and each responded by faith and thus was born witness thereby. However they all died not having received the complete fulfillment of God's promise, a Kingdom which is permanent, (everlasting) Hebrews 11:22 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
, 13 - 16, 39 & 40; 12:27 & 28. The last two men mentioned by name in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews are David and Samuel.
We have observed that Samuel was ordained by God as Israel's Priest, Judge and Prophet. After a life of faithful service in this offices Israel decided they wanted a king like other nations so he was commissioned to annoint Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, as king. So it was that Saul was actually appointed because of the will of man, i.e., Israel. Saul subsequently disobeyed God and the Lord rejected him as king, (See Faith Study Vol 2, No 40.) God then instructed Samuel to go to Bethlehem where He had provided a king from one of Jesse's sons, 1 Samuel 16. Both the idea and the implementation for this originated in God's mind. At Bethlehem Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to be present when he offered a sacrifice to God. Seeing Jesse's oldest son Eliab, Samuel said that God had surely chosen him to be king, 1 Samuel 16:5 & 65 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.
. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:77 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
. Jesse's other sons were subsequently rejected as candidates for king. Samuel then asked if there were any more to which Jesse said his youngest was tending the sheep. David was called from that duty and the Lord told Samuel to anoint him as Israel's future king. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward, 1 Samuel 16:8 - 138 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
. This all happened by the providence/ volition of God. All Samuel did was by faith obey God's Word and in this he was a type of the Man Jesus Christ, Israel's perfect Priest, Judge and Prophet.
There is nothing in the record to indicate David had any thought or desire to be king. He was chosen by God. We will observe in future studies how he was used by God to defeat Israel's human enemies, those who enslaved and oppressed the Jews in their Promised Land. David made a lot of mistakes, as any man is prone to do, but he responded by faith to God's Word in carrying out God's plan. In his obedience by faith in God's Word he was a type of the Man Jesus Christ.
Jesus was born not by the will of man, but of virgin birth. He came into the world at Bethlehem, the place where David entered history: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:1111 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
. Without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:66 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
, and the Man Christ Jesus pleased God: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:1717 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
See also Matthew 17:55 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
& Mark 1:1111 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
He did not follow His own will but did the Father's bidding to the letter and bitter end: “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:4242 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
. He offered up his life as a sacrifice for the sin of all mankind, John 3:1616 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
, rose from the dead and is seated on the right hand of God, Romans 8:3434 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
, Ephesians 1:2020 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
, Hebrews 1:1313 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
, 12:2. He lived by faith in perfect obedience to the Law God had given through Moses. He thus fulfilled God's requirement for righteousness which no other man could ever accomplish because of sin inherited from Adam, John 19:2828 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
, Romans 8:1 - 41 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
, and because of this He, as a man, defeated Israel's (and mankind's) arch enemy, Satan, who had the power of death. Jesus Christ thus obtained eternal life for all who believe in Him, Hebrews 2:1414 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Jesus was the Author of faith for it was He as the pre-incarnate Word of God (John 1:11 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
, 14) Who spoke this world into being (Hebrews 11:33 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
) and Who spoke to each of those in the Old Testament, including Samuel and David. And He was/is the finisher of faith for as the man Jesus He lived a perfect life of faith, Hebrews 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
. It was His finished work that made an everlasting Kingdom possible. However it has been about 2000 years since then and that Kingdom still has not materialized. But God always delivers what He promises, Psalms 33:1111 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
; Isaiah 14:24 & 2724 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
; 43:13; 46:9 & 10, and the Kingdom promised to the Old Testament Saints will come to fruition some day.
After The Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, the Nation of Israel was offered the promised Kingdom again through His disciples/apostles but only a small group believed. The majority rejected Jesus as Messiah and persecuted His messengers, Acts 1 - 7, driving all except the Apostles out of Jerusalem, Acts 8:11 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
. God then intervened unilaterally. A Pharisee named Saul, who like King Saul of old was from the tribe of Benjamin, was one of the chief persecutors of any believing Jews. He was traveling one day on the road to Damascus when the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to him from heaven. (The Word of God spoken to David and Samuel was the pre-incarnate Jesus, but the Word to Saul was in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.) “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Acts 9:4 & 54 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
. Saul was not looking to believe in The Lord Jesus Christ at that time. In fact he was on his way to Damascus with authority from Israel's leaders in Jerusalem to arrest, tie up and bring back to Jerusalem any Jews in Damascus who did believe in Him as their Messiah, Acts 9:1 & 21 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
. So it was by pure grace (unmerited favor) that The Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to Saul and gave him the where with all to believe.
Where as Saul followed in the footsteps of his namesake King Saul, God changed him and appointed him as the Apostle Paul, to whom was revealed God's plan of salvation for both Jew and Gentile, Ephesians 2:11 - 2011 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Samuel, David and Saul, like all mankind were/are incapable of reaching out to God on their own because of their unrighteousness, as declared by the profit Isaiah: “Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righeous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.” Isaiah 41:2626 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.
. The Apostle Paul later wrote directly to us, quoting Isaiah: “As it is written, There is none righeous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10 - 1210 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
The answer to why the promised everlasting Kingdom has not as yet arrived lies in God's Word to the Apostle Paul, Romans 9, 10 & 11. And whereas Samuel and David looked forward to the faith that was to come in the person of Jesus, because of the revelation to the Apostle Paul we look back to that faith. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4 - 104 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Paul told the Philippian jailer all he had to do was to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved, Acts 16:3131 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
, and so it has been for the last 2000 years. As that Philippian jailer became a member of the Body of Christ when he believed, so do we today.