“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.” (2 Samuel 5:1-5)
God had always been the ruler of His people, Israel, but they did not like just having God in charge. They wanted to look like the other nations, so they demanded a king. Saul was chosen by God, but Saul did not want to follow God. God then chose another man, David, to take over the throne. David mostly walked in step with God, and he set the example of how God’s king was to rule.
Though David was considered to be a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), God promised David that an even greater King would come from his family and that King would rule forever. This moment in 2 Samuel is the beginning of the line of kings from which Jesus would eventually come.
Jesus is the perfect example of a godly king because He is God in flesh. David served and took care of his people like the shepherd that he was, but Jesus will shepherd the people perfectly (John 10:11-16). David was known as a mighty warrior, but Jesus will be the ultimate conquering King (Revelation 19:11-16). David was king for forty years, but Jesus’ rule will last forever (Luke 1:31-33).
As we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus this Christmas, we also look forward to His return and perfect kingdom. Like the people of Israel who excitedly celebrated their new King David, everyone who has accepted God’s free gift of salvation will one day worship around the throne of Jesus, the one who conquered death and sin and will make all things new again (Revelation 21:5).
Today, draw a picture of a crown to put on your ornament to remind you of God’s promise to David that his throne would last forever. Just like sheep, we need a Good Shepherd to follow. Pray for all of the leaders in your life and thank God that He is your perfect leader. Play Follow the Leader with your family to remind yourselves that, although we are all imperfect, we have the perfect Shepherd King to lead us.