We naturally anticipate things that are coming. When our calendars prompt us that we have an important event coming up, our impulse is to analize the situation. If we are well prepared, then there is nothing to worry about. If the meeting approaches and we are not ready, then we will feel uneasy and not excited about the upcoming event.
Anticipation generally comes in one of two forms. Somtimes anticipation expresses itself in the form of dread. Dread causes fear that cripples any hope of good coming to us. Other times anticipations comes in the form of longing. Longing holds on the the hope of good and makes the catalist of our anticipation.
In the case of the arrival of the everlasting King, both responses are natural.
Some will dread the coming of the King because they have not lived under His rule and authority. King Herod is a prime example of what it looks like to dread the coming of the Everlasting King.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of the them where the Christ was to be born. They told him "In Bethlehem of Judea,"
Herod was troubled by the news that there were some wise men who had come looking for a child who was born to be "King of the Jews". Herod calls a meeting to access the situation and finds out that it is worse than he expected. After finding out where the messiah was prophesied to be born in Bethelehem, Herod responds to his
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.
For Herod a new and permanent King, meant a loss of his power and stature as even he would have to bow his knee to this King. Herods dread and fear caused him to do horrendous things in order to protect the status quo.
Some today treat the coming of Jesus in the same way. They fear they will lose their independence and their power over their own life. If these people were to cross paths with the King whom they have not obeyed or honored, they understand that they would deserve whatever they receive. They dread the coming of the King,
Then there are those who long for the coming of the King. They long to see Him, and they long to hear from Him. They do not dread his punishment, because they know His mercy. They know that He has come to save His people and make right all that is wrong in His kingdom. And they long for the day when the people who love their everlasting King will always be in His presence.
These people delight and long for the the King.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.