I’m halfway to the finish line in my plan of reading the Bible through in a year chronologically, that is, reading the Bible in the historical order in which the events it records occurred. I highly recommend it. While it requires some skipping around, it brings a continuity to the historical sections and a relevance to the prophetic sections of the Bible you wont get from merely reading the Bible from cover to cover. You can download the daily reading plan here, and you can start any time.
I started on January 1, 2010 and, according to plan, I’m about halfway through the Bible, in Isaiah to be exact. Last week I read through Isaiah 9 and came across one of my favorite Kingdom scriptures in verses 6-7:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this”
There are at least 4 conclusions one can glean about the kingdom of God from these two verses:
1. God’s kingdom is a government. God’s kingdom is not merely a realm or an experience but a government, and governments exist to manage, people, places and things, in other words, the earth.
2. The Kingdom will bring peace on earth. Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace, and as His kingdom spreads so does the peace that is characteristic of its King and kingdom. That peace is planted first in man’s heart, and like anything in man’s heart it is manifested in his word and deed. Bottom line: as the kingdom continues to advance on the earth, war will gradually become a thing of the past.
3. The kingdom of God will grow. “There will be no end to the increase of His government…from then on and forevermore.” “Then” refers to the birth of the child, i.e. the birth of Jesus, and from that time on the kingdom of God will continue to grow. This is good news. No cowering in the corner waiting for Jesus to return, but victorious expansion and progress as the earth is transformed into the place God intended from the beginning.
4. God’s enthusiasm for His kingdom guarantees its success on earth. His zeal ensures these things Kingdom promises will be accomplished (v.7).
This is all good news for citizens of the kingdom of God, which is why it’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible. GS