The Day of the LORD
The Destruction and Restoration of National Israel: the Sovereign Rule of the Lord Christ.
In chapter 5 I showed in a general manner from the Scripture that a central component of the Day of the LORD is the guaranteed restoration of national Israel concomitant with the sovereign rule of her LORD, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this chapter is to open the Scriptures on the second of those points, the rule of the Lord Christ.
[While the language is different, the thought of this text is identical:
But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.]
It is important to note, though, that this eventual rule does not depend in any way upon the cooperation of the nations of the earth—or even of national Israel.
The coming rule of the Lord Christ is the fulfillment of a promise the LORD made to king David nearly 30 centuries earlier (relative to our time):
2 Sam 7.8-29
“Now therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
[It should be obvious that the time for the “[appointed] place” for Israel has not yet been fully realized, but is coming (something David realized, see highlights below). The remainder of this section relates to the coming rule of Solomon.]
Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord God, for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord God. Again what more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord God! For the sake of Your word, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. For this reason You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do a great thing for You and awesome things for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods? For You have established for Yourself Your people Israel as Your own people forever, and You, O Lord, have become their God. Now therefore, O Lord God, the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as You have spoken, that Your name may be magnified forever, by saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’; and may the house of Your servant David be established before You. For You, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You. Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant. Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You. For You, O Lord God, have spoken; and with Your blessing may the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”
[Note how David gives thanks and prays consonant with what the LORD had just promised him through Nathan.
It is vital to understand, especially in view of the spectacular eschatological errors of postmillennialism and amillennialism, that David viewed this promise as a personal gift from the LORD. He did not—nor could not—understand the promise in any other way (such as being "commuted" to the church as these false eschatologies would have us believe).]
1 Chr 17.7-15
Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth. I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be moved again; and the wicked will not waste them anymore as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies.
Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you. When your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up one of your descendants after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”’” According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
While the eschatological fantasies of both postmillennial (especially with its idiotic and ridiculous notion of a “Christianized” earth!) and amillennial eschatology err greatly at this point, when the Lord Christ returns to the earth, it will be to a hostile planet (and which will remain hostile, Zec 14.16-19):
The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
[Many years ago I spoke with a young man (a professing Christian) who had leanings to postmil eschatology. When I raised this verse, with its attendant truth that the Lord Christ returns to a hostile world that remains hostile for His entire reign, he literally was like the proverbial "dear in the headlights". He had been so deceived in his "eschatological framework" that he was quite unable to grasp the truth of this great text.
I heard a few years later that this "Christian" young man and his wife had converted to Roman Catholicism—something that did not surprise me, given that he was already self-deceived.]
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
[The earth to which to Lord Christ returns is hostile, not welcoming as the postmil adherents claim.]
It is equally important to realize that the fulfillment of the promise made by the LORD to King David did not, in any way, depend on David, Solomon, the royal line of Judah, the nation of Israel or anyone or anything else.
It was an unconditional covenant made by the LORD to King David! It is impossible for it not to be fulfilled!
Note that this was the understanding of the Jews long after David’s death. Look at this incredible historical Psalm of Ethan:
I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever;
To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.
For I have said, “Lovingkindness will be built up forever;
In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.”
I have made a covenant with My chosen;
I have sworn to David My servant,
I will establish your seed forever
And build up your throne to all generations.” Selah.
Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones,
And said, “I have given help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
“I have found David My servant;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,
With whom My hand will be established;
My arm also will strengthen him.
The enemy will not deceive him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
But I shall crush his adversaries before him,
And strike those who hate him.
My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him,
And in My name his horn will be exalted.
I shall also set his hand on the sea
And his right hand on the rivers.
He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
I also shall make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.
My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall be confirmed to him.
So I will establish his descendants forever
And his throne as the days of heaven.”
“If his sons forsake My law
And do not walk in My judgments,
If they violate My statutes
And do not keep My commandments,
Then I will punish their transgression with the rod
And their iniquity with stripes.
But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him,
Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.
My covenant I will not violate,
Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.
Once I have sworn by My holiness;
I will not lie to David.
His descendants shall endure forever
And his throne as the sun before Me.
It shall be established forever like the moon,
And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah.
What a statement! What a powerful truth! The LORD will keep His promise to King David and will place the Lord Christ over Israel and the earth regardless of any conditions which would try to thwart the LORD's purpose! Truly He will rule with a “rod of iron”!
The LORD’s promise to King David was unconditional and unilateral!
The record of the kings of ancient Israel is abysmal: every king of the Northern Kingdom and most of the kings in the Southern Kingdom were idolaters, indifferent to the LORD and His Law, and careless with nearly everything except their own position and power.
[Josiah stands out as one of the very few exceptions, followed by Hezekiah.]
If the future of national Israel depended in any way upon her kings in the Southern Kingdom, then she is doomed. But—and this is the point—the LORD’s unconditional and unilateral promise to King David ensures that the Lord Christ, the prophesied Son of David, will rule national Israel and the earth with absolute authority and righteousness.