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    March 27, 1890

    “The Throne of David” The Present Truth 6, 7.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Again we return to the children of Israel in the land of Canaan. We pass by the time of the judges, of their apostasies and consequent afflictions, and come to the time when the kingdom had been established, and given to David. The record says that “when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies” (2 Samuel 7:1), the king proposed to build a house for the Lord. The prophet Nathan approved of his project, but afterwards, at the command of the Lord, he told him that he should not build the house. After briefly rehearsing his dealings with the children of Israel, the Lord said: “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.” 2 Samuel 7:10.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 106.1

    Note this text carefully. When these words were spoken to David, the children of Israel had been in the land of Canaan four hundred years, and at that very time David, as king of all Israel, was in quiet possession of the land, for, “the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies;” and yet, ignoring all this, the Lord promised to plant His people in a land of their own, and to give them rest from their enemies. What could the Lord have meant by that? Simply this, that the possession of the small territory of the land of Canaan, was not the rest that God designed for His people. Not yet had the promise to Abraham been fulfilled, and the Lord had not forgotten it.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.1

    At this time the Lord identified David with the promise, almost as closely as was Abraham. The Lord said to him: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.” 2 Samuel 7:16. And in praising God for the largeness of His promise, David said: “Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O Lord God; but Thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come.... Wherefore Thou art great, O Lord God; for there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like Thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to Himself, and to make Him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for Thy land, before Thy people, which Thou redeemedst to Thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For Thou hast confirmed to Thyself Thy people Israel to be a people unto Thee for ever; and Thou, Lord, art become their God.” 2 Samuel 7:18-24.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.2

    Starting with this specific promise that David’s kingdom should be established forever, and that Israel should be a people forever, we shall very briefly trace the history of that kingdom. We find that it continued prosperous and undivided only through the remainder of his reign, and through the reign of his son Solomon. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam succeeded to the throne. 1 Kings 11:43. No sooner was Rehoboam seated upon the throne than the people came to him to learn what would be the policy of his reign, and asking that he would lighten the burdens imposed on them by his father. Following the counsel of the young men, Rehoboam replied: “My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke; my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” 1 Kings 12:14.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.3

    “So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.... So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel; there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.” Verses 16-20.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.4

    This division of the kingdom was effected in the year 975 B.C. It was in fulfillment of a prophecy made to Jeroboam, by Ahijah, which is recorded in the eleventh chapter of 1 Kings. The reason why the greater part of the kingdom was to be taken away from the house of Solomon, was thus stated by the prophet: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee (but he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel); because that they have forsaken Me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways, to do that which is right in Mine eyes, and to keep My statutes and My judgments, as did David his father.” Verses 31-33.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.5

    Thus the kingdom, with the exception of one tribe, was taken from the house of David, on account of Solomon’s terrible idolatry; and to Jeroboam the Lord said: “And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in My ways, and do that which is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as David My servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.” Verses 37, 38.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.6

    But Jeroboam did not heed the words of the Lord. As soon as he came to the throne, he made two calves for the people to worship, so as to keep them from going to Jerusalem to worship the Lord (1 Kings 12:26-30); and although he was reproved by the prophet of the Lord, he “returned not from his evil way,” but “made Israel to sin,” for which reason the Lord cut him off. Read 1 Kings 13 and 14.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.7

    The succeeding kings were no better; for among all the kings of Israel we find not one good man. They were all idolaters, and some of them were men of the vilest character, without a single redeeming trait. The children of Israel sinned against the Lord “and walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel;” “and they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree; and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger.” “And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” See 2 Kings 16:7-23.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.8

    So in the year 721 B.C., after the kingdom of Israel had continued 254 years, and had made a record of wickedness, which has probably never been exceeded by any nation, the Lord removed them “out of His sight.” In that year the king of Assyria took Samaria the capital of the kingdom, “and carried Israel away into Assyria,” and filled their places with “men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim.” 2 Kings 17:24. From this date the kingdom of Israel has no more a place in history. E. J. W.PTUK March 27, 1890, page 107.9

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