Advent Day 18: The Child King

“He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7:13

I’m a history buff. Growing up, my dad and I used to go on trips to visit Civil War battlefields in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. While other kids were skateboarding and going on trips to theme parks, I was reading non-fiction books while driving down the road looking for the next historical marker. Not only do people fascinate me, but the way that culture shifts over time, all the different factors that go into the progression of history, intrigue me beyond belief.

One of the things that always bothered me, though, when studying history was how entitled royalty was. I remember walking through Versailles with my family and seeing the “Hamlet,” which was a fake town set up by a young Mary Antoinette so she could play like common people. After seeing that and the rest of Versailles, I wasn’t surprises by the revolution that ensued shortly after.

When kings are born, historically, they are born stuck up. The best doctors, nurses, facilities, medicine, whatever the top accommodations are at the time period. When the God king was born, it would seem to have made sense for him to be born with the same privilege and entitlement typically afforded to royalty.

But instead of privilege, he was born marginalized. Instead of being heralded by the masses, he was rejected. Instead of the entire nation of Israel pouring into the streets to see the newborn king, as would happen in other countries throughout history. Only a few showed up, shepherds for that matter.

The God King’s beginning was ahistorical. It was without precedent. But it was perfect.

When Kings and Queens are born, the privilege they are born with is usually an indication of the type of kingdom they will rule. They rule a kingdom filled with nobility, an ornate kingdom disconnected with the harsh realities of their subjects.

God could have done this and he would have been just to do so. But he didn’t. God didn’t establish a kingdom of entitlement and pomp, he established a kingdom filled with the poor and the broken and the disenfranchised. God did not want to be some distant ruler born into a lifestyle set apart from the rest of the world. He was born into our mess.

As a student of history, I’m baffled at the way Christ came into the world. Jesus, by reason of historical precedent, should have been born differently.

As a sinner saved by grace though, I’m so glad he came the way he did.

Let us praise him today that he is not a distant and disconnected king!

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