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by Dr. John Thomas
The terms of the compact were highly eligible.
No nation had received such a liberal and honourable proposal before, or since.
Would they accept it, and abide by it?
Moses was sent to see.
Having arrived at the encampment, he convened the elders of the people, and laid the proposition before them.
Having consulted the nation, they returned answer to Moses, saying, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do".
Upon this, Moses returned the words of the people to the Lord.
In this transaction a formal agreement was entered into between Israel and the Lord.
In the word they sent back by Moses, they accepted the Lord as their King, and became His subjects, or "the children of His kingdom".
The relation of God to the tribes as their king is undoubted; for when they demanded a visible king like other nations, the Lord told Samuel that they had not rejected him, but the Lord Himself, whose representative among them he was.
By this political compact, Abraham's natural seed became "the kingdom of god".
It was the first, and the only kingdom, He has ever had among the sons of men.
He will yet have other kingdoms.
All the kingdoms of the world will become His; and will yet acknowledge the King He has provided to rule over them.
But even then, the kingdom founded at the beginning of the ages, the kingdom of Israel, will be His "peculiar treasure above them all".
If, then, we would understand "the things of the kingdom of God," we must never lose sight of Israel in connection with the kingdom.
Indeed, without them there is no kingdom of God; and to affirm the contrary is to believe in a kingdom of which there is no nation to rule!
No misconduct of Israel can dissolve the covenant entered into between them and God.
The rebellion of a nation does not do away with the rights of the king.
If they set His laws and government at defiance it becomes a question of might.
If the rebellion triumph the king is dethroned; but if the rights of the throne prevail, the rebel nation has no alternative but to submit to whatever terms the conqueror may prescribe.
This is precisely the state of things between God and Israel.
The tribes have rebelled against Him.