In this video, we’ll explore David’s rise and fall as Israel’s priestly king, and we’ll see how his story points to the ultimate priestly king, Jesus.
Jon: The story of the Bible begins in a place where Heaven and Earth are united as one, the garden of Eden.1
Tim: And in that place, God installs his image, Adam and Eve, who will be God’s royal priests and rule all creation on God’s behalf. And this whole scenario is called God’s blessing.2
Jon: But they’re led astray by a deceptive creature. And they’re exiled from the Heaven-on-Earth place and lose their job as royal priests. And humanity spirals down into violence.3
Tim: But God promises that a future descendant will come and defeat that deceiver by striking his head while giving up his life, so that all the world can experience the blessing of Eden again.4
Jon: This promise is passed on to Abraham and his family, from whom this royal priest will come.5 And this family grows and becomes a large people.
Tim: And so God invites all of Abraham’s family to become a kingdom of priests. God will come and live among them in the tabernacle, and that’s where Israel’s priests will do their work.6
Jon: But that priesthood gets off to a horrible start.
Tim: Yeah. And so when Israel eventually becomes a nation, their priesthood has become really corrupt. And so the people start asking for a king.7
Jon: And eventually God raises up David.8
Tim: King David. And he’s full of trust in Israel’s God. In fact, with God’s help, he defeats Israel’s most powerful enemy.9
Jon: All without proper weapons and without an army.
Tim: Now, not long after becoming king, David goes up into the high hills at the center of Israel’s tribes, and he establishes a capital city, Jerusalem, otherwise known as Zion or the city of David. And It’s like a new Eden.10
Jon: This is the same hilltop Abraham visited. It’s where he met Melchizedek, and it’s where God provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham’s failures.11
Tim: Exactly. And so David brings the tabernacle up into the city, so he can make this the place of God’s royal presence.12
Jon. And during the inauguration, David’s dancing with excitement.13
Tim: Not only that, he deliberately dresses like Israel’s high priest. And once the tabernacle arrives, he offers a sacrifice and makes this huge feast for all of the people, and he blesses them.14
Jon: King David is acting like a new kind of priest.
Tim: Yes, and God approves.
Tim: In fact, in the next story, God promises that from David’s line will come a king who will reign forever and build the ultimate new Eden, a temple for God’s presence.15
Jon: David talks about this descendant to come in a poem we call Psalm 110.
Tim: Yeah. David recalls God’s promise that one of his descendants will rule at God’s right hand, and he goes on to say that this future king will also be a priest like Melchizedek.16
Jon: Yeah. Melchizedek, he’s a priest-king that even Abraham honored. Melchizedek’s priesthood is older than Israel’s priesthood.
Jon: But why can’t David be that royal priest?
Tim: Well, David was pretty amazing sometimes, but he also failed. He slept with the wife of one of his soldiers, and then, in order to hide the whole affair, he had that man killed.17
Jon: That’s horrible.
Tim: It is. And his failures actually continued, leading up to this key moment where Israel’s enemies were threatening to attack. And, sadly, David doesn’t trust God to deliver him like he did in his early days.18
Jon: Right, he counts all of his soldiers. He’s trusting his own power instead of trusting God.
Tim: And so God’s not happy. He brings severe consequences on Israel. And David responds by surrendering to God and by offering his life as a substitute sacrifice on behalf of the people.19
Jon: That’s like Moses, who offered himself for the sins of the people.20
Tim: And it’s like Isaac, who was offered up for Abraham’s sins, but then God provided a substitute.21
Jon: I see, so there is a pattern here.
Tim: Right, and it’s this pattern that leads us to the story of Jesus. He claimed to be the promised royal priest that the story is pointing to, the one who will bring the blessings of Eden and restore humans to their lost calling, to fulfill God’s promises to Abraham and David. And it’s his story that we will look at next.