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by Robert Dean
Series:Holiday Specials
Duration:1 hr 0 mins 33 secs

The Seed, a Sign and the Servant King

 

The word "seed" is an interesting word. It is a word that while singular in its basic identification as a noun is one of those classifications of nouns that also can be a plural. That gives it a certain level of ambiguity. Genesis 3:15 NASB "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed [Descendants, plural, either physically or spiritually] and her seed [An individual, singular]; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." The implication is that in the process both would be killed.

 

Prophecies give us a trajectory from the Old Testament that first of all in Genesis 3:15 the Messiah would be human, the seed of the woman, and that line is narrowed down by Genesis 12 to Abraham, narrowed down by Genesis 49 to Judah, and then that line the seed line that we have to follow. The seed gets narrowed down even further to the seed of David and this is done in 2 Samuel 7 where we have a covenant or contract, an unconditional covenant that God entered into with David. It is also stated in 1 Chronicles 17:11-14 and Psalm 89. In each of these passages we understand that this is an unconditional promise that this line for the Messiah would be a royal line that came specifically through David, and that there would never be a time when a Davidic king would not rule over Israel unless God took the people out of the land. We read in 2 Samuel 7 that God is going to promise David an eternal house, He is going to provide an eternal kingdom, and He will provide an eternal throne.

 

There is only one way in which a human descendant can have an eternal line and that is if the line ends in a person who Himself is eternal. If it ends with a person who is eternal then He can sit on the throne and establish an eternal dynasty, an eternal kingdom. This is what will happen in the Messiah, so this again is an indication that not only is this royal Messiah going to be human but also divine.

2 Samuel 7:12 NASB "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant [seed] after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. [13] "He shall build a house [temple] for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever…. [16] "Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever." Three times there is the repetition of this phrase ad-olam—"until eternity." And olam is a Hebrew word indicting eternity in the future most of the time, although there are a few exceptions when it refers to the past.

There are some other interesting things stated about this seed when we get into some of the psalms. Psalm 72 is a messianic psalm. There are a number of psalms that focus on this future ruler who will come from the line of David. Psalm 72 is a psalm of Solomon, David's son who next ruled over the kingdom, and it focuses on the one who will co0me and His dominion over all of the nations. 

Psalm 72:4 NASB "May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor."

Psalm 72:2 NASB "May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice."

Psalm 72:7 NASB "In his days may the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace till the moon is no more." That doesn't happen until far into the future, so this is a clear prophecy of this future ruler and has not been fulfilled yet.

 

Psalm 72:8 NASB "May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth." He has world-wide dominion and He is the ruler of the earth.

Psalm 72:9 NASB "Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust." This is referring to those nations that surrounded the southern part of Israel: Edom, Moab, and other nations which became historical enemies to Israel. This indicates that He will defeat them. What does "his enemies lick the dust" remind us of? The serpent that will crawl and eat the dust back in Genesis 3:15. So it is making a specific intentional allusion through vocabulary here to take our thinking back to that serpent and the one who will defeat the serpent is the seed of the woman.

 

In Psalm 89 we have another allusion to the curse of the serpent. Psalm 89:23 NASB "But I shall crush his adversaries before him, And strike those who hate him." This is talking about the Messiah, so this terminology of crushing, striking, take us back to the imagery of Genesis 3:15.

Micah 7 focuses on the Messiah as well and the coming of the kingdom to Israel and Israel's restoration to the land. This begins in verse 8. What is interesting is that Micah is a prophet who is a contemporary of Isaiah. Micah 7:8 NASB "Do not rejoice over me [Israel's fall in the ancient world], O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. [9] I will bear the indignation of the LORD Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, {And} I will see His righteousness." God pleads the case because of His grace and compassion. [10] "Then my enemy [Damascus] will see, And shame will cover her who said to me, 'Where is the LORD your God?' My eyes will look on her; At that time she will be trampled down Like mire of the streets. [11] {It will be} a day for building your walls [Fences around a vineyard, indicating a time of prosperity]. On that day will your boundary be extended. [12] It {will be} a day when they will come to you [Israel] From Assyria and the cities of Egypt, From Egypt even to the Euphrates, Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. [13] And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, On account of the fruit of their deeds…. [16] Nations [Those who opposed and defeated Israel in the past] will see and be ashamed Of all their might. They will put {their} hand on {their} mouth, Their ears will be deaf. [17] They will lick the dust like a serpent [the defeat of the serpent again], Like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses; To the LORD our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You." In the end times it is Satan who brings all these kingdoms against Israel and they will be destroyed and ultimately defeated by the Messiah.

Micah 7:18 NASB "Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love." The God of the Bible is often mis-portrayed, especially in the Old Testament, as this horrible judging, avenging God. Yes, He is righteous, and yes, there are consequences for sin; but He is still portrayed in the Old Testament as a loving, forgiving, compassionate God. Here is one of those passages that does it. That is the grace of God because sin cannot be paid for by man; sin is paid for by the death of the Messiah on the cross. That payment is made and then God is free then to extend His mercy, His grace, and to forgive sin. [19] "He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea." He does this through the one called the Messiah.

This Messiah is also described under another image by another Old Testament prophet, a contemporary of Micah, Isaiah. From Isaiah 40 we have the latter part of the book of Isaiah which focuses on the Servant of God. This is a phrase, and image that is used to convey the role of the Messiah, the anointed one, the servant of God. In chapter 53 we see a picture of the Messiah who is depicted as one who has no external aspect of attraction. In other words, when Jesus showed up there wasn't a halo around His head, He just looked like every other kid on the block, He didn't physically look any different. He was a human being like every other human being, except that He had no sin nature. And He is depicted by Isaiah as one who is rejected by men, because when He who was perfect came His very presence was a condemnation, as it were, of people. They realized their sinfulness (some did) and acted in anger against Him. Others realized that He was there to provide a solution to sin and they responded by following Him and trusting Him.

Over 700 years before the cross Isaiah depicts it this way. Isaiah 53:3 NASB "He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him." Verse 4 depicts what His work was: "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. [5] But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. [5] All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. [7] He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth." He didn't utter a sound until 12 noon that day on the cross, and as darkness covered the earth God the Father poured out upon Him judgment and imputed the sins of the world to Him. And when those sins of the world hit Him that is when He creamed out at the top of His lungs, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus legally became sin on our behalf.

All of that connects the dots related to this promise of a seed. How else can we know this Messiah? How else can we identify Him? Isaiah 7:14 NASB "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." We have to understand a little about the context. This takes place at approximately the same time as the statement that Micah wrote. Ahaz was one of the evil kings in the southern kingdom because he disobeyed the Torah and he led the nation into idolatry. At this time in his reign he was co-regent with his father Jotham and he is living at a time of international instability.

Isaiah 7:1 NASB "Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram [Syria] and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to {wage} war against it, but could not conquer it." The northern kingdom has allied itself with Aram because off in the east are the rumblings of enemies—Assyria. They went to Ahaz to join them, and he said no. So they decided to attack Judah in the south. [2] "When it was reported to the house of David, saying, 'The Arameans have camped in Ephraim,' his heart and the hearts of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake with the wind." The house of David is what is being threatened here; that is what this is all about. They want to kick Ahaz out and put somebody else on the throne that they can manage. Isaiah emphasizes the house of David. So at this time the Lord is going to appear to Isaiah and to Ahaz and give him a little confidence. He is going to make a promise to him; He is going to reaffirm the Davidic covenant: that he is not going to get defeated and the house of David is not going to be destroyed.  

Isaiah 7:3 NASB "Then the LORD said to Isaiah, 'Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway to the fuller's field, [4] and say to him, 'Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.'" A stub is something about to go out. [5] "Because Aram, {with} Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has planned evil against you [singular, He is talking to Ahaz], saying, [6 ] 'Let us go up against Judah and terrorize it, and make for ourselves a breach in its walls and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it.'" They are going to end the house of David, that is the real threat here. [7] "Thus says the Lord GOD: 'It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.'" Their plan is not going to work, I am going to stop it. [8] "For the head of Aram is Damascus and the head of Damascus is Rezin (now within another 65 years Ephraim will be shattered, {so that it is} no longer a people), [9] and the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you will not believe, you surely shall not last." The basic point is: I am wiping out this alliance. [10] "Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, [11] 'Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make {it} deep as Sheol or high as heaven.'" But Ahaz gets self-righteous. [12] But Ahaz said, 'I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!'"

The Lord then gets angry with Ahaz, and now who is He addressing? The house of David, the Davidic line. [13] Then he said, 'Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men [plural], that you will try the patience of my God as well?" He is not giving a sign related to the individual, Ahaz, He is talking about the Davidic house, the Davidic dynasty. [14] "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you [plural] a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." He is giving this sign to the house of David to confirm the fact that they are not going to get wiped out by this alliance but that they will survive. This is not a virgin, not any old virgin but the virgin, there is a definite article in the Hebrew. Human birth. Immanuel is a Hebrew word meaning "God with us."

Things to note here: He says, "Behold," a term in the Hebrew meaning He is verbally grabbing him by his shirt collar and shaking him: Pay attention! This is important. The Hebrew is more abrupt: "Behold, the virgin is pregnant." How does a virgin get pregnant? It is a miracle, that is why it is a sign. The reason it is a virgin goers back to Genesis 3:15. This is the seed of the woman who is also the seed of David. So this is a promise again that the line will continue until this takes place, and it is the one whom she gives birth to who will be also divine—God with us.

There is another way of identifying Him and that is in Micah chapter five where we have an identification as to where this God-Man is going to be born. Micah 5:2 NASB "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, {Too} little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." In the Hebrew there "from long ago" is the word olam + qedem = eternity past. When those two words are linked together it always refers to eternity past. So here we have a prophecy about one who will be born (indicating humanity) in a specific location (Bethlehem), which is the city of David, and yet this same one who is born is one who has been in existence for eternity in the past. That can only happen if humanity is combined with deity.

So we have here these clear indications from the Scripture that are all fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth at the first coming.