He Shall Reign Forever

But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom’” (Heb. 1:8).

- Hebrews 1:7–9

For the second time, the author of Hebrews compares Jesus Christ to angels. In verse 7, the author quotes from Psalm 104 in which the Psalmist proclaims the greatness of God and His providence over all creation. Quoting verse 4, the author of Hebrews provides evidence from the Old Testament that angels are servants under God’s command. “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire”; thus, the writer says that angels were created by God and are used by God to carry out His will. Nevertheless, to say that angels are servants of God is not to belittle them; rather, in being compared with the Son, angels are put in their proper place.

God has declared to the Son that He shall reign forever and that His kingdom shall be ruled with righteousness. Again, quoting from the Psalms, the author of Hebrews ascribes, with absolute certainty, the name “God” to Jesus Christ directly. At this point, the author’s purpose becomes very clear. In verse 5, he writes, “For to which of the angels did God ever say….” Then, in verse 8, quoting Psalm 45:6, he writes, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever….” On this point, John Owen writes, “It is the Christ, the Son, that is spoken to and denoted by the name , ‘Elohim,’ ‘O God,’ as being the true God by nature.” There is no doubt what the author is communicating when he quotes from Psalm 45 — Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman, the descendant of David, is the eternal king of glory whose kingdom shall never end.

Christ is described as a king who loves righteousness and hates wickedness. “This shows the complete righteousness of God’s kingdom. The laws of his rule are righteous, and his administrations are righteous. They all proceed from a constant love of righteousness and hatred of iniquity,” Owen writes. God’s love of what is right is observed throughout Scripture, and here we are told that His love for what is right, and His hatred for what is evil, is a characteristic of His rule. Not only is He righteous, but He loves righteousness. And, not only does He love righteousness, but He administers His kingdom with righteousness. Therefore He has been anointed with “the oil of gladness.” He is no mere angelic servant — He is the incarnate Son of God whose righteous kingdom shall endure forever.

Coram Deo

Christians are called “heirs of the kingdom” (James 2:5). We have received the King’s pardon on account of a sacrifice, but it is not just any sacrifice — the King of glory sacrificed Himself for our eternal righteousness, and He shall reign forever. Indeed, the King of glory, our King, is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise.

Passages for Further Study

Ps. 45
Isa. 66:1–6
1 Cor. 15:24–27
Titus 2:11–14

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