2 Chronicles 21:7
"Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever."
While reading this verse, two things caught my attention. First, how committed is the LORD to His Word (promise)? Second, God's promise to David was a lamp. I thought God promised him a kingdom that would last forever, not an eternal lamp.
Jehoram was a vile, evil king. To ensure his kingdom, he killed his brothers and anyone else who was a potential threat. He married a daughter of Ahab, one of Israel's worst kings. Verse 20 (NLT) provides the summary of his life, "No one was sorry when he died." Jehoram was not the only king of Judah who deserved that epitaph. Despite Jehoram's sins, God made an unconditional covenant with David in 1 Chronicles 17:14, "I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever." Therefore, He would not destroy David's lineage of kings who would sit on the throne of Israel, even those like Jehoram.
In John 8, Jesus says His Word is equivalent to the truth. In John 8:31-55, Jesus uses the phrase "my word" five times. In verse 55, He says it is not only "my word" but my Father's word. In this passage, Jesus compares His and the Father's word to the devil's. "There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character." (John 8:44) Just as it is the devil's character to lie, God's nature is the truth. Not only is His Word true, but He is Truth. Therefore, when He promises David a Son who will sit on his throne forever, you can be sure that is precisely what happens.
Not only did the LORD pledge to establish a kingdom and throne, but He also promised David a "lamp to him and his sons forever." This specific promise is found only four times in Scripture. Twice the statement is made about Jehoram's reign, both here and in 2 Kings 8:19. 1 Kings 11:36 and 15:4 promises two other times an eternal lamp to David. These events are related to Rehoboam and his son Abijam; both are kings of Judah who did not walk in the ways of the LORD.
Even though this specific promise is made only four times, Psalm 132:17-18 says the same thing. "There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine." Psalm 112:4 says, "Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous." For the righteous of Judah during those dark periods of kings like Rehoboam, Abijam, and Jehoram there was the promise/truth of the LORD of a coming Lamp who would dawn because He is gracious and merciful. Jesus is claiming to be the Lamp in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
In John 5:30-36, Jesus says His testimony/witness about Himself is true. John the Baptist also testified to this truth. In verses 34-36 Jesus says, "I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony I have is greater than that of John." The Jews were willing to rejoice for a while in the light of both John and Jesus. But only those who know the Father and the Son celebrate in the Lamp that shines forever.
2 Peter 1:19 also links God's Word to His Light, "We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." Those for whom the morning star rises look forward to a city which needs no sun or moon because "the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Revelation 21:23) Revelation 22:5 adds, "The night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever."
Light of God and Lamb of God, I praise Your Holy Name. May my life reflect Your Light and Truth! Holy Spirit, please shine the Light of Truth in the dark places of my life so that no lie flourishes in me.