Friday, May 11, 2012


“Then the king returned. When he arrived at the Jordan, Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and escort him across the Jordan.”(2 Samuel 19:15 HCSB)

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were good friends. Each man, in his own right, was a literary giant. They were also professing Christians, and elements of Biblical truth were woven into the fabric of their writings. Lewis was much more overt. In fact, some of his books are theological treatises—particularly, in the field of apologetics. His Narnia series was an allegorical presentation of Scriptural principles—a fantasy which conveyed Gospel truth. Tolkien was not so intentional in using symbolism, but his Biblical worldview permeated his thinking and so “pops out” throughout his books.

Of all Tolkien’s works, none is more famous than “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which has been made into Oscar winning movies. The third book is titled, “The Return of the King.” Aragorn is the rightful heir to the throne of Minas Tirith, the shining white city, and capitol of the kingdom of Gondor. The evil Sauron and his hordes are sweeping over Middle-earth, plunging the world into darkness. But, the forces of good triumph in the series; the Dark Lord is defeated and Aragorn returns as the king.

The books were written against the backdrop of Hitler and his Nazis, who were as Sauron and the forces of evil ravaging the world. But, as in the trilogy, good ultimately would triumph. By extension, one can see the long, spiritual conflict between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness, which will end with Christ, the King coming and conquering, crowned as King of kings and Lord of lords. What a day that will be!

There is similar imagery found in 2 Samuel 19 which can furnish us with an illustration of the promised return of the King.


David abandoned Jerusalem in the rebellion led by Absalom. He wept as he went across the Kidron Valley and up the Mount of Olives (see 2 Sam.15:30). The Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ, would take that same ancient road. He had looked over the city and grieved as He said,

“ ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem! She who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, “He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One”!’ “ (Matthew 23:37-39 HCSB)

Jesus traveled, on the darkest night of his life, up that mountain where the rejected King David, his ancestor, had gone centuries before, and Jesus cried out to God in agony in Gethsemane. The King had been rejected.


Absalom won the hearts of the people. He seized the throne of Jerusalem. The usurper sought to obliterate the rightful king and his small band of followers. This is what Satan has attempted to do through the ages. The pinnacle of his diabolic activity will be when the Devil personified will seize the throne—the Beast, the Antichrist will hold the reins of global power in the last days—a time galloping toward us like the thundering hooves of the horses bearing the riders of the Apocalypse (Rev.6).

As Absalom cast his spell over Israel and they bowed to him, so the Antichrist will beguile the world. Paul puts it this way,

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way. For [that day] will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God's sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God. Don't you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this? And you know what currently restrains [him], so that he will be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming. The coming [of the lawless one] is based on Satan's working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. [They perish] because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned-those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.” (2Thessalonians 2:1-12 HCSB)


The war between Absalom and David was enjoined. Jesus said that the last days would be marked by “wars and rumors of wars” (Matt.24:6). This will intensify during the final seven years of what we call “The Tribulation Period.” Reading the Book of Revelation, gives us a portrait of armies on the march across the earth. It is written in letters of blood.


Absalom’s dominion was short-lived and his doom came quickly. So, it will be when the Beast goes out with the armies of the world to oppose King Jesus when he returns with the legions of heaven. Look at this:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty.

And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Then I saw an angel standing on the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying high overhead, ‘Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.’

Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed the signs in his presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:11-21 HCSB)


David takes his rightful place. The king has returned. You can be sure that the King of kings is returning, just as He promised. When I think of it, my heart begins to race and I find myself in the midst of a world in rebellion, crying out to heaven, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

In the story, we see David forgiving those who had once rejected him. Israel and Judah would repent and the king would forgive them. So, it will be in the future for the nation of Israel. He will honor the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David—the Jews are His chosen people, and one day all Israel will be saved.

"Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for Him as one weeps for a firstborn….

‘On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, [to wash away] sin and impurity….

If someone asks him: What are these wounds on your chest?-then he will answer: I received the wounds in the house of my friends.

Sword, awake against My shepherd, against the man who is My associate--[this is] the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will also turn My hand against the little ones. In the whole land--[this is] the Lord's declaration--two-thirds will be cut off and die, but a third will be left in it.

I will put this third through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: They are My people, and they will say: Yahweh is our God.’ ” (Zechariah 12:10; 13:1,6-9 HCSB)

So, the King is coming! Let us crown Him in our hearts today, that He may welcome us into that glorious Kingdom. As David’s little band of men were loyal to him in the darkest hour of his rejection, let us be faithful to the Son of David, with the confidence that one day we will accompany the return of the King. Evil will be overthrown; the rebellion will be crushed. We win!

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