This is a facisnating idea that I am trying to engage and work through, so these thoughts are more for my future reflection and consideration.
From Dr. Miller’s book “Listen Up, God Talking!” he makes an interesting argument that David’s kingship was a determental endeavor for Israel. It resulted in a consoladated and centralized power (geographically: Jerusalem, and personally: a King).
He said that the early Biblical understanding of the “city” was a negative perception. Cain, the first murderer, was sent to wander but his first action was to build a city.
When God relented to Israel’s cry to be like the rest of the nations, He did not bless the kingship but rather gave them what they asked for. The end result, two generations later there was a bloody civil war, a scattered nation.
The struggle I have with this interpretation of David is that it forces us to reconsider the understanding of Christ as the “Son of David.” To which, Jim argued that Christ never responds to the people’s title. Nor does the linage in Matthew connect Christ to David (rather Joseph) thereby showing the descrepency of Christ as the King of Kings then the heir to David’s throne.
I find this interesting because it brings to light the practical problem of ministry being based around particular personalities. A centralization of ministry under one charasmatic individual is dangerous in that it creates a cult of personality.
Beyond Jim’s book, I find a similar reading of Kingship in Bruggerman’s Prophetic Imagination. And some other book about Christ’s decentralization of religion (perhaps Rob Bell, that would be funny bed fellows!).
Also, Jim noted that along with the rise of kingship (Saul, David, and Solomon) came the rise of the prophet. A voice that sought to decentralize.