The coming presidential election has everyone up in arms. Although there are many reasons this is so, they are beyond my area of expertise.
Instead of weighing the pros and cons of each candidate, I will point you to a reality of which you may have lost sight. The reality of which I speak is this: If you are a Christian, you have a king and His name is Jesus.
We can find out more about Him from the pages of the Bible in Isaiah 11:1-5. I want to point out three particular characteristics of King Jesus found in these verses: He is in the Davidic Line (v. 1), He is “Spirit-Filled” (v. 2), and He is a Righteous Judge (vv. 3-5).
Isaiah 11:1 opens with a peek into the devastation the Lord has just introduced in the final verse of Chapter 10, where we see the kingdoms will be shorn to the ground like a forest that has been completely harvested. However, we also see a glimpse of the hope the Lord provides in the “stump.”
In this case, the stump is not the invading kingdoms that the Lord will judge, but instead the stump of the Davidic line, a line so disjointed and seemingly insignificant that the Lord refers to it not by King David’s name, but by his father’s — Jesse (cf. 1 Sam 16:1).
A significant hope for Israel then, and us now, is that the Lord is confirming His promise to King David to seat a son (Son) upon his throne forever (cf. 2 Sam 7:8-17; 1 Chron 17:1-15). In effect, we see that God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), is affirming His promise to King David.
From our point of view, we are able to look to the past fulfillment of this promise in the arrival of the King in the Incarnation, as well as to future fulfillment as presented in Revelation 19-22, when the King returns to claim the kingdom that is rightfully His.
We learn in Isaiah 11:2 that the King is what we might term Spirit-Filled, or Holy Spirit-Filled. In this case, the spirit being described is called the “Spirit of the Lord,” which is a translation of just two words in Hebrew. What we have then is the bestowing of God’s Spirit to/on His king in a special manner that perhaps has not been seen since the reign of David in Israel’s history.
We can derive two things concerning the characteristics of the King in this verse other than he is to be Spirit-Filled: 1) that his fitness to rule is by an endowment by/of God’s Spirit, and 2) as a result of this endowment, he will rule with perfect wisdom, knowledge, and judgment concerning all things.
From our point of view, we know King Jesus has claimed this ability for Himself when He tells the crowds He has come to do the exact will of the Father and not His own in John 6:38. In other words, King Jesus pursues the plan of God in all things, including His reign as King — perfectly.
Finally, Isaiah 11:3-5 provides the people of Israel a view of how it is the Spirit-Filled, Davidic King will utilize that perfect wisdom, knowledge and judgment. What both they and we are able to see is the fundamental characteristic of this King’s rule is Righteousness demonstrated by his insight (v. 3), his compassion and authority (v 4), and his overall uprightness (v. 6).
The insight of verse 3 seems to be of a deeper measure than what human senses can supply, indicating that like God, who looks upon the heart (cf. 1 Sam 16:7) so also this King. The compassion the Coming King demonstrates toward the helpless is the opposite of the contemporary Kings of Israel and would appear to be the exact activity God has in mind when He reveals He will be Israel’s Shepherd (cf. Ez 34).
The authority of the King is revealed to be absolute; whatever His mouth speaks comes to pass whether in blessing or condemnation. Finally, the inward righteousness of the King is displayed outwardly to such an extent that Isaiah compares it to clothing adorning the King!
You may be wondering what this has to do with you. It really doesn’t matter who ends up as president, because he or she will be unable to unseat King Jesus from His throne, and if you are a Christian, that should be a source of great comfort. However, this should not be taken as a call to abandon your right of franchise, but rather to use your God-given conscience in the exercise of the same while giving your King the glory He alone deserves.
Andy Lynch is pastor at Stansbury Park Baptist Church.