Editorial - Why Are You The Last?

From the time the prophet Samuel had anointed the youngest of Jessi's sons to be the future king of Israel, David had had a bumpy experience. He had had the envy and antagonism of King Saul whom he was to supplant to contend with, and his life had often been in peril.

He had finally been accepted as king by the tribe of Judah when Saul was dead, but the tribes of Israel and Judah warred against each other and so made life difficult, until "all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel" (2 Samuel 5:3).

But even then he had a problem, this time with his son Absalom, who under-mined his authority and succeeded in seizing the kingdom, and David fled from Jerusalem with a few of his faithful followers.

It wasn't till Absalom too was dead that David returned to Jerusalem, and it was then that his subjects were pricked in their hearts about their treatment of their king. They remembered that David had been their champion in the matter of the slaying of Goliath; also "the king saved us from the hand of our enemies, he delivered us from the hand of the Philistines." And yet they had anointed Absalom king!

They finally had been so challenged among themselves – "Why do you say no-thing about bringing back the king?" - that they had been ready to rise to the occasion and accept him, when David had summoned the elders and priests and had said to them:

"Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the words of all Israel have come to the king, even to his house? You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?" (2 Samuel 19:11,12)

In the New Testament John taught that "he (the Messiah) came unto his own, but his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on his name" (1:11,12).

The Messiah is even to this day not given His rightful place as King of Israel, a situation that will be rectified when His people as a nation finally acknowledge Him and acclaim Him. Zechariah puts it this way: "They will look unto me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a first-born" (12:10).