The People of God--God's Kingdom--VI
A fourth term the Bible uses for the earthly king of God's people is "son of God." Psalm 89:20-27 says:
"I have found DAVID my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him;
surely my arm will strengthen him.
No enemy will subject him to tribute;
no wicked man will oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him
and strike down his adversaries.
My steadfast love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers.
HE [DAVID] will call out to me, 'You are MY FATHER,
My God, the Rock my Savior.'
I [God] will also appoint him [David] MY FIRSTBORN,
the most exalted of the kings of the earth."
The psalmist is clearly describing David as king. He names David specifically in verse 20 (also again in verse 35), and states that he [through Samuel] ANOINTED David to be the earthly king (see 1 Samuel 16:1-13). Then in verses 26-27, the psalmist says that David call out to God: YOU ARE MY FATHER, and God said he would appoint David his [God's] FIRSTBORN. The point is that just as a son is subject to his father, so David the earthly king is subject to God the heavenly king.
Similarly, 2 Samuel 7:12-15 reports God's promise to David about his dynasty made to David through the prophet Nathan:
"When your [David's] days are over and you rest with your fathers, I [God] will raise up you offspring [Solomon] to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house [temple] for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever [i. e., David's dynasty will continue through Solomon]. I WILL BE HIS FATHER, AND HE WILL BE MY SON. When he does wrong I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my steadfast love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you."
Here God refers to Solomon the earthly king as his [God's] son, and to himself as Solomon's father. As in Psalm 89:26-27, the title for the earthly king is "son of God." The context of 2 Samuel 7:14 shows why God uses this metaphor: Solomon [like Saul previously] will sin greatly against God [see 1 Kings 11:1-13], and as Solomon's father God will punish his son severely, but God will not terminate the Davidic dynasty with Solomon, as he had terminated the Saulide dynasty with Saul. Rather, because of God's great and inexplicable steadfast love, God will support the Davidic dynasty for several generations to come.
The Newer Testament refers to Jesus as "son of God." Various contexts in the Newer Testament show that this phrase has two meanings when applied to Jesus Christ.
a. It indicates Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit--see Luke 1:26-38 [especially verse 32]--also implied in Matthew 2:13-15 compared with 1:18-25.
b. It indicates God anointed Jesus as king when Jesus ascended into heaven and sat down at God's right hand; thus, like earthly kings of Israel in the Older Testament, Jesus is subject to God in all things, and functions as God the Father's representative among human beings (Matthew 16:13-19; Hebrews 1:1-9).
[More to come]