God’s Kingdom: From OT to NT

An Old Testament Theology: A Canonical and Thematic Approach In chapter six of An Old Testament Theology, Bruce Waltke argues that the center of the OT is that Israel’s God, who is holy and merciful, glorifies himself by establishing his rule through the Messiah; the Lord’s Prayer “Hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come” encapsulates this center, Waltke notes.  After discussing this theme in the various genres of the OT, Walkte explains it from a NT perspective.  Here’s his summary near the end of the chapter.

“This summary also shows that there has always been an already-and-not-yet aspect of the kingdom.  The portrait of God’s kingdom on the broad canvas of the Bible depicts the realization of Israel’s physical kingdom in the Old Testament as a picture of the true kingdom to come.  The prophets and the psalm writers proclaim the hope of this new kingdom:

Waiting in the wings is a greater seed – not the physical people of Abraham, but a spiritual people, true inheritors of his faith.

There is a greater law, a new covenant that Christ writes on the heart of his people through the Holy Spirit and that supersedes the covenant mediated by Moses.

There is a greater land, which is both present and not-yet.  On the one hand, the land is presently ‘Christified,’ for in Jesus Christ his people find the place of life and rest that is not bounded by geography and is available to the heretofore disenfranchised.  On the other hand, the land promises will be consummated in the future new heaven and new earth.

And there is a greater king – a King who rules from a heavenly, transcendent throne and establishes his reign, not through military conquest over foreign powers but through his defeat of Satan through suffering for his people.

Ultimately, the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provides the full resolution to the questions posed by the two narratives [OT and NT].  In Paul’s theology according to Colossians, Jesus Christ unites the universe – heaven and earth – by his death, resurrection, and heavenly session.”

Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology, p. 168.

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

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