The Relation Of David’s Family To The Messiah -- By: E. P. Barrows

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:42 (Apr 1854)
Article: The Relation Of David’s Family To The Messiah
Author: E. P. Barrows


The Relation Of David’s Family To The Messiah

E. P. Barrows

For the clear understanding of a large part of the Messianic prophecies, it is necessary that we rightly apprehend the relation of David’s family to the Messiah.

And, first of all, we must remember that this relation had for its basis a pure act of Divine sovereignty. The sovereignty of God does, indeed, underlie the whole constitution of the church from the beginning. Abraham was not constituted the father of the faithful by his own act, but by the act of God. The covenant came not from him but from God, in the form of a free sovereign promise: “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”1 By the same sovereignty Isaac was made the heir of the promise given to Abraham, and Ishmael was rejected. And, lest any one should say that the ground of this preference lay in the fact that Isaac was the son of the free woman, and Ishmael of the bond woman, he afterwards chose Jacob, and rejected Esau, his twin-brother, before the children had been born, or done either good or evil, “that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.’’2 The same sovereignty was afterwards displayed in the selection of Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, of Joshua to be their military chieftain in the conquest of Canaan, and of the Judges who successively delivered them from the oppression of the surrounding .nations; but, especially, in the appointment of the tribe of Levi to the general ministry of religion, and the family of Aaron in that tribe to the priesthood.

And when, in compliance with the request of the Israelites, a king was to be set over them, God did not leave to them the selection; he exercised his sovereign prerogative in a twofold way.

By his own immediate act he designated Saul as the man whom he had chosen; and, when he had now been solemnly

installed in the kingly office, he placed him on probation, not for himself personally, but for his family. After Saul’s first offence in the matter of the burnt-offering, Samuel said to him: “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would he have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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