God’s covenant with king David assured him that God would “stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:13). It is clear the kingdom promised to David was to be an eternal kingdom, but its location was not specified. The use of the term for ever implies that David’s throne would exist in heaven, and yet, in the time David lived, man did not have access to heaven. Therefore, David’s kingdom would have to transcend the barrier between heaven and earth.
Typically, in the times of the Old Testament, a king “‘reigned’ as the earthly representative of the god (or God) who was recognized as the real king” (4427). So, David’s throne was designated as the throne through which God would govern his people. It was a precursor to the throne of Jesus Christ. In order for David’s kingdom to be transferred to heaven, the Messiah, Jesus Christ had to be born and take possession of David’s throne.
After David’s kingdom was divided, the kingdom of Judah retained the rights to David’s throne. Through the course of time, Solomon’s descendants maintained possession of God’s kingdom until the death of Ahaziah, approximately ninety years later. “And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal…And Athaliah did reign over the land” (2 Kings 11:1,3).
Athaliah, the daughter of king Ahab and Jezebel, was a worshipper of Baal. Her position as queen of Judah indicated that Baal had taken over possession of God’s kingdom. This situation triggered a stipulation in God’s agreement with Solomon that he would cut off Israel out of the land if they “go and serve other gods, and worship them” (1 Kings 9:6). Nevertheless, God did not break his promise to David.
“Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stale him from among the kings sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain” (2 Kings 11:2). Even though Athaliah reigned over the land, she did not reign over God’s kingdom. In essence she was a puppet queen. God’s sovereignty did not rest in the position she held, but in the person who was God’s designated representative. Only David’s descendants had the authority to rule over God’s kingdom.
The land that Athaliah reigned over was “the temporal scene of human activity, experience, and history” (776). “All human rule is under God’s control” (4467). Consequently, Athaliah’s effort to destroy all the royal seed (2 Kings 11:1) was unsuccessful and she was removed from her position as queen (2 Kings 11:16).