Born a King

Jeremiah

Born a King

December 20th, 1959 @ 10:50 AM

Jeremiah 33:4-21

For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
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BORN A KING

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Jeremiah 33:4-21

12-20-59    10:50 a.m.

 

To you who listen on the radio, you are sharing with us the 10:50 o’clock morning service of the First Baptist Church.  This is the pastor bringing that eleven o’clock message, entitled, Born A King.  The message is based on the thirty-third chapter of [Jeremiah], which is also one of the great chapters of the Word of God: Jeremiah 33, Jeremiah 33:

 

For thus saith the Lord –

beginning at the fourth verse –

For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down,

They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in Mine anger and in My fury –

[Jeremiah 33:4-5]

now the tenth verse –

Thus saith the Lord;  Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye shall say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,

There shall be heard there the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord –

or in the Hebrew language, hallelujah –

 for the Lord is good; for His mercy endureth for ever,.

[Jeremiah 33:10-11]

Twelfth verse –

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down . . .

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land,

In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely:  and this is the name wherewith they shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.

For thus saith the Lord; David shall never lack a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;

[Jeremiah 33:12-17]

– twentieth verse –

Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break My covenant of the day, and My covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;

Then may also My covenant be broken with David My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne,.

[Jeremiah 33:20-21]

 

The prophecy by Jeremiah, spoken about six hundred years before Christ, the prophet is speaking of the day when the Chaldeans, the Babylonians have already come and are to return, he says, and destroy the kingdom of Judah.  Israel is to be plowed up and left in heaps.  Jerusalem is to be burned and desolate.  The people are to go into slavery or are to be slain by the edge of the sword [Jeremiah 52:4-10].  And Zedekiah the king, with his eyes out, destroyed, punched out, burned out, is a prisoner in a dungeon in Babylon [Jeremiah 52:11].  The whole land is desolate, without inhabitant, wasted.  And it looks as though this is the end of the program of God in the earth.

Then Jeremiah raises his voice to prophesy and to say, in the tenth verse, “the cities of Judah shall be inhabited again” [Jeremiah 32:10].  The eleventh verse,

 

There shall be heard,in the streets of Jerusalem,the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, and the voice of God’s children saying, Hallelujah, or, Praise the Lord.

[Jeremiah 33:10-11]

 

In the [twelfth] verse, “There shall be around Jerusalem shepherds causing their flocks to lie down” [Jeremiah 33:12].  And Bethlehem is just five miles, just over there from Jerusalem.  And in the fourteenth verse, “And I will perform that good thing which I promised” [Jeremiah 33:14].

Just to say that word, “God is to perform that good thing which He promised,” just the use of the word brings back to our minds the protevangelium, which first promise made to our parents: the Seed of the woman shall crush the serpent’s head [Genesis 3:15].  “I will perform that good thing which I promised” [Jeremiah 33:14], as God promised to Abraham, “in thy seed” [Genesis 22:18].  “As of one,” says Paul, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” [Galatians 3:16].  “That good thing which I promised” [Jeremiah 33:14] brings to our hearts the great prophecy of the patriarch Jacob to his son Judah, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between His feet, until Shiloh come” [Genesis :10].

And that great promise brings to our mind the thing that God sware unto David, and the thing that Jeremiah repeats here, “In those days,” fifteenth verse, “and at that time, will I cause the Branch to grow up unto David” [Jeremiah 33:15].  He may be cut down, house of Israel, its ruler, may be destroyed; looks that way, but out of the stump of the tree that is hewn down, there shall grow, sprout, a Branch.

 

In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely…

Thus saith the Lord:  David shall never lack a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.

[Jeremiah 33:16-17]

 

“Thus saith the Lord; if you can break My covenant with day and night, that there is not any day and that there is not any night, if you can do that, then you can break My covenant that I make with David My servant, that he should not lack a son to reign upon his throne forever and forever” [Jeremiah 33:20-21].

That is some prophecy, to say in the day when Israel is cut off, and when the house of David is thrown down, and when the people are in slavery and captivity, and the land of promise is plowed up in heaps, that is a great prophecy; but it came to pass.  And we have not yet seen the full meaning and glory of that ultimate promise.

I just take one part of it, one small part of it, and that is, the prophecy of Jeremiah that David should have a greater Son who would sit upon the throne and reign forever, and forever, and forever [2 Samuel 7:12-17].  The Child then is to be born a king, born a king, the Son of David [Luke 1:32].  And in those days there came to Jerusalem magi from the East, saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him” [Matthew 2:1-2].  The Child is born a king.

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive,” said Isaiah, seven hundred fifty years before His birth, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” [Isaiah 7:14], with us is God [Matthew 1:23].  And again in Isaiah, the Child is born a king,

 

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given:  and the government shall rest upon His shoulder:  and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government, – on and on with increasing might, and glory, and power, – Of the increase of His government, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order and to establish it with judgment and with justice for ever.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform it.

[Isaiah 9:6, 7]

 

He is born a king.  The Child is a king.

Naturally, the magi, when they sought Him, went to the capital city, Jerusalem;  went to the palace of the king himself and asked their question, “We have seen His star.  Where is He, born a King?” [Matthew 2:1-3].  Not in the palace of Herod, not in the capital city of Jerusalem, for Micah had said seven hundred years before, and the Scriptures cannot be broken, for Micah had said, “Thou Bethlehem, though thou be little among the cities of Judah, yet out of thee shall come the Prince that shall govern My people” [Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6].

So to little Bethlehem did they go [Matthew 2:1].  When you name the name of Bethlehem, brings back to our hearts the times it is mentioned in the Scriptures; Bethlehem, little Bethlehem.  First time it is mentioned, it’s the place where Rachel died when she gave birth to little Benjamin [Genesis 35:16-19], upon which sorrow Jeremiah wrote, his prophecy that was fulfilled here in the second chapter of the Book of Matthew, “a voice heard in Ramah, weeping in great lamentation, Rachel crying for her children, and would not be comforted because they are not” [Matthew 2:18].

Bethlehem, where Rachel died and was buried.  Bethlehem; the next time we think of it, and the next time it is mentioned, it was the home of Naomi, and to little Bethlehem returned Naomi with her daughter-in-law, Ruth [Ruth 1:19].  And there Boaz rebuilt the fallen house [Ruth 4:13-22].  Bethlehem.

The next time we hear of the little city is in the story of the shepherd boy David [1 Samuel 16:4-13], who belonged to the house of Jesse, who grew up there in the fields of Boaz, his great-great-grandfather [Ruth 4:21-22].  Bethlehem.  “Thou Bethlehem, though thou be little among the cities of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come who shall rule My people” [Micah 5:2].  He is born a King.

And how marvelous, how like God, that when the magi came to find Him, He was in a manger in a stable, with the cattle and the sheep, wrapped in swaddling bands, that is, so poor, couldn’t buy a little gown, or a little garment, or a little robe, but just took rags and bound up the little Child, swaddling bands, just pieces of cloth wrapped around the little Baby.

And to kneel down, oh, wonder why they translated “magi” wise men?  I have never been able to find out; magi, wise men.  But it was a wonderful translation, the magi, wise men, recognized in that little infant in a manger, the incarnate Son of God, the newborn King.  And they bowed down and worshipped Him [Matthew 2:11].

How like God!  Had He been born as befits His glory and majesty, there would be many who would never have dared reach forth to touch the hem of His garment [Matthew 9:20-21; 14:36], but born in a manger, the highest may lowly kneel like those three kings of the Orient [Matthew 2:11], but also the humblest may come boldly and welcome like the shepherds keeping their flocks by night [Luke 2:8-20]. Born a King: how little sometimes, how little do outward circumstances reflect the inner light and the inner glory of the human spirit and the human heart? The Son of God in a stable – the King of the angels among the beasts – God incarnate [Matthew 1:23], in a manger [Luke 2:10-12, 16].

Like many of you, I have gone through those marbled, mirrored palaces of Versailles built by King Louis the XIV, and in which great palace Louis the XV, the XVI, the XVII, and the XVIII were born.  So lavish, so luxurious, so given to splendor and affluence that they finally broke France and brought on the terror days of the bloody French Revolution.  I walked through that palace, thought about those kings and the great, lavishness of that extravagant court.

I have also walked in the shrine at Hodgenville, Kentucky.  There is a little cabin, not half as big as this platform, one little door, one little window, an earthen floor, a little chimney.  A little Baptist family lived there, Tom Lincoln and his wife, Nancy Hanks.  Just beyond that little cabin, inscribed on the marble wall, is what Abraham Lincoln said about his mother, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

How little, how little does outward appearance reflect the inner light and glory of God.  Like the tabernacle with rough badger skins on the outside [Exodus 25:5], go inside and there see the beauty of the glory of the presence of God.  Born a King in a manger, in a stable, among the cattle and the flocks and the herds, but no less a king. The Man is a king.  Pilate said, “Therefore art Thou, art Thou – You – a king then?”  Jesus answered, this is the strongest affirmation in the Greek language, “Thou sayest that I am a king” [John 18:37].

The Man is a king.

If you think the magi could have been astonished and overwhelmed, being led from the East by a star, not to Herod’s palace or some great court of a Caesar, but to a stable, and a stall, and a manger.  If you think they might have been overwhelmed, think of how Pilate and all of his court were overwhelmed when this Man says, “I am a king” [John 18:37].

That is the same thing that the old rabbis pored over.  We are going to listen to some of that tonight in our White Christmas program, and I like that kind of a program.  The old rabbis pored over these Scriptures.  That is a scroll from Isaiah.  It is one, two, three, it is three leaves from the scroll of Isaiah, and the old rabbis pored over it.  “And His name shall be called Wonderful, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father,” this Child, born the Prince of Peace [Isaiah 9:6].

Then they turn to the scroll of Isaiah, and what you have up here is the fifty-third chapter of the Book of Isaiah.  “He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him” [Isaiah 53:3].

The old rabbis pored over those Scriptures.  In the same prophecy, in the same book, “And His name shall be called Wonderful, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father” [Isaiah 9:6], then they turned the scroll and read again, “Despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” [Isaiah 53:3].  And the old rabbis could not understand.

John the Baptist was the same way in the prisons.  He would read in the Book of Malachi where he fulfilled the great prophecy, “I send My messenger before My face who shall prepare the way before Me,But who may abide the day of His coming?  He shall sit like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall refine and purify and purge the sons of Israel” [Malachi 3:1-3].  Then he would turn the page, “But unto you that love Him shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings” [Malachi 4:2].

The two are always together.  In one breath the prophet will speak of the glory of the kingly coming and reign of the Lord, and in the next breath he will be speaking of the sorrow and the pity and the grief that fell like drops of dew distilling from His face.

We understand.  We understand.  He became poor that we might be rich [2 Corinthians 8:9].  He sorrowed that we might rejoice.  He suffered that we might be saved [Hebrews 10:5-14].  He was bound that we might be free.  He was killed that we might live [Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21].

However the obscurity of His birth, however the complete rejection by His people [Isaiah 53:3; John 1:11], however the sorrow of His sufferings and the shame of His death, the Man is a king.  He is the King of hope, the King of every promised tomorrow.  He has identified Himself forever with His people, with His children.  He is here with us.  The angels returned to glory [Luke 2:15], but He stayed.  The voice of the angelic choir ceased, but His voice is with us still. Our Lord’s name is “God with us, Immanuel, God with us,” and “His name shall be Immanuel, God is with us” [Matthew 1:23].

One of the most beautiful stories still going on is in a little town in Germany named Goldberg, Goldberg.  At two o’clock every Christmas morning, the entire village arises and sings a song they have made famous by doing it, the Marien-lied.  And it came about like this, in the days of the black plague, in 1353, the village was decimated.  The country was decimated.  Men turned into beasts, fleeing from one another.  Families had nothing to do with each other, everyone afraid of everyone else, the terrible scourge of the black plague, wiping out whole cities, and towns, and countries.

In this little town, there was a man who thought he was the only one left, all the others had died.  And finding life miserable and unbearable, behind a barred door where he lived in a living tomb for fear, he flung open the door, rather die than remain, walked out under the starry night, and as he stood in the midst of death and desolation, he remembered that it was Christmas, two o’clock in the morning.  And recalling the joys of other Christmas times, he began to walk through the streets of the desolated village, singing,

 

Unto us this day is born a child,

God with us, God with us.

His mother is a virgin mild,

God with us, God with us, God with us.

Against us who could be?”

[“Uns ist ein Kindlein Heut’ Gebron,” traditional German Christmas song]

 

To his surprise, out of a living tomb at another barred door a voice replied.  He flung open the door, came out, stood by the side of his fellow villager, and two of them walked down the street, singing that song.  In a little while, all that remained of its population, men, women, and children, numbering twenty-five, they came out of their tombs, and the little band walked through the village, singing in the morning, “God With Us.  Against us who could be?”  The black death had run its course.  Not one of the twenty-five fell a victim.  They buried the dead; they turned their face to the task of rebuilding homes.  And from that day until this, at two o’clock in the morning on Christmas Day, they go through the streets singing the Marien-lied.

That is a parable of all of our lives.  We live in a world of death.  It is everywhere.  It is down every street, it is in every village, it is in every home.  The pale horseman [revelation 6:8] comes to every house, but our Lord is the King of life, and of hope, and of every tomorrow.  “His name is God is with us” [Matthew 1:23].

The Man is a king.

One other word, our Lord is a king.  The Child is a king.  The Man is a king.  Our coming Lord is a king.

Don’t  you wish we had another hour?  Just stay for another hour.  Our Lord is a coming king.

 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was Faithful and True.

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns,

He was dressed in a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God,.

He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

 [Revelation 19:11-16]

 

Our coming Lord is a king.  He is the King of the years, of the ages, and of the centuries.  The tooth of time gnaws all else, all else away, but time has never been able to touch the figure or the majesty of the glory of the Son of God.  After the passing of two thousand years, He is still as glorious today, more so, than when He walked through the hills of Judea.

He is the King and the Lord of the new humanity.  He is the new Adam, the second Adam and the federal head of a new and a spiritual race.  The Son of God, the superlative Man, greater than the greatest, purer than the pure, fairer than the fair, lovelier than the loveliest, better than the best, His song is the Song of Songs, His dwelling place on earth is the Holy of Holies.  His home is the heaven above the heavens, and His name is the name above every name.  The Man is the King and the Lord of the new humanity.  He is the Lord of the coming age.  His coronation has been long delayed, but it will come someday, sooner, later, some day His coronation shall come.  King, not only over the land of Palestine, but over the whole universe; King, not only over Judah and the house of Israel, but King over all the families and peoples of the earth.  King, not only over the great redeemed humanity but King over the host of the angels of glory: our Lord is a King.

 

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,

Ye ransomed from the fall,

Hail Him who saves you by His grace,

And crown Him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe,

On this terrestrial ball,

To Him all majesty ascribe,

And crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng

We at His feet may fall,

And join the everlasting song,

And crown Him Lord of all.

Our Lord is a king.

Would you like to sing it?  Would you?

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.

[“All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” Edward Perronet]

 

It is going to be a great day, a great day.  Jeremiah spoke of it.  Isaiah spoke of it.  All the prophets speak of it.  Our Lord spoke of it.  The evangelists and the apostles spoke of it.  And we wait, that glorious and ultimate and final coronation, our coming Lord is a king.

I do not know what our invitation is.  “O Worship the King,” good.  “O Worship the King,” number 20, number 20.  And while we sing the song, somebody you, to bow in the presence of the Son of God, would you come?  Is there a family you?  Come.  In this balcony, down one of these stairwells and up to the pastor, “Here I am, and here I come.”  On this lower floor, a family or one somebody you, “Here I am, pastor, here I come.”   Taking Jesus as Savior or putting your life into the fellowship of the church, would you make it now?  Would you make it this morning, on the first note of the first stanza?  “Here I am, and here I come.  Pastor, I give you my hand, I give my heart to God”; while we stand and while we sing.

BORN A KING

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Jeremiah 33:4-21

12-20-59

I.          Introduction

A.  Desolation wrought by Chaldeans

B.  Prophecy of the coming King out of David (Genesis 3:15, 22:18, 28:14, Romans 5:18-19)

II.         The Child a King (Matthew 2:1-2, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7)

A.  The magi

      1.  To the capital city, palace of Herod

      2.  To Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

a. First heard of Bethlehem in story of Rachel (Genesis 35:19, Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew 2:18)

b. Story of Naomi and Ruth (Ruth 1:22)

c. Story of David

3.  To a manger

B.  King of the poor, lowly, humble

III.        The Man a King

A.  Pilate overwhelmed at His claim

B.  Old rabbis could not understand (Isaiah 9:6, 53:3)

C.  John the Baptist did not understand (Malachi 3:1-3, 4:2)

D.  We understand

IV.       The Lord a King (Revelation 19:11-16)

A.  King of the years and of the ages

B.  King of the new humanity

C.  King of the coming age