The Key of David Pastor A. W. Weckeman – June 2015
The Mysterious Term “Key of David”
Rev 3:7-8 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the KEY OF DAVID, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” [Emphasis added]
The Philadelphian Church, the sixth of the seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation( Chapters 2-3), represents the church period from 1500-1900. The Philadelphian Church is called the church of the “open door.” During this time, missionary activity reached its pinnacle, the Gospel being preached to the ends of the earth. The “Reformation” and the greatest revivals ever to occur broke out during this period. The Philadelphian Church is the Church that published the “King James Bible” and believed it to be the very word of God.
The Philadelphian church is the only one, among the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, to which God said, “hast kept my word” also the only one to mention the phrase, “key of David.”
In the context of the Lord’s exhortation to the “church of Philadelphia,” the mysterious term “the key of David” obviously refers to something which God uses or grants to open doors (“of utterance”) which no one can shut (1 Cor.16:9 & Col. 4:3). Why is this supernatural key referred to as the “key of David”? Why not the key of Peter or Moses or Abraham or Paul?
While we may not be able to define the mystery of the key conclusively, one thing is certain; the key has an intrinsic connection to David, the second King of Israel. Common sense dictates there has to be something exceptional about David connecting him to this unique term.
I am convinced that it has something to do with the twice-mentioned phrase “hath kept my word” (vs.8 &10) in our text. I believe the key is connected to David’s heart attitude toward God and His Word, and nowhere is that passion more evident than in Ps. 119 (found in the heart, center) of the scriptures. Consider:
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, totaling 176 verses, out of which only six do not mention the word of God in one form or another: vs.3, 37, 84, 90, 122, and 132. Psalm 119 defines the “key of David.”
Like all of us, David had his assets and deficits, strengths and weaknesses; yet the one outstanding thing which most characterized his life was his heart attitude toward God and His word (as extolled in Ps.119). Such was the depth of David’s personal relationship with God that even the gross sins of adultery, lying, and murder could not sever his heart from God.
When the prophet Nathan, being led of the Lord, confronted David and exposed his heinous sin, instead of becoming defensive (as did his predecessor Saul), David’s heart was broken (consider Ps.51). He immediately acknowledged his sin, repented, and sought forgiveness. Then humbly accepted the consequences, and continued to love and seek the Lord with ALL his heart. Hence, in spite of everything the Scriptures declare:
“…I have found David the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MINE OWN HEART, which shall fulfil all my will.” Acts 13:22 [emphasis mine].
Consider the revealing terms used by the Lord when testifying to Solomon concerning his father, David:
“And if thou will walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt KEEP my statutes and my judgments.” (1 Kings 9:4). [Emphasis added]
Compare: (1 Kings 11:4 & 6) “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD is God, as was the heart of David his father.”
“And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.” Half-hearted, lukewarm. Contrast, (Ps.119:2 & 2 Chron. 25:2).
“The heart of every problem is a problem in the heart.” Everything begins and ends with your heart attitude toward God and His word. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matt. 22:37
Because Solomon’s heart was not perfect with the LORD, he went not fully after the LORD. Solomon’s deficit, a lack of love for God’s word, was manifest by his disregard and failure to keep it. So then, so now!
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” [emphasis added]
The fact that love is mentioned six times in these two verses reveals it to be the motivating force behind this “keeping” of God’s words.
Prov. 22:17-21 “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightiest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?”
From the context of the above verse, we learn that “keeping God’s word” goes well beyond outward obedience. The exhortation speaks of an inward essential, keeping in the sense of retaining or internalizing.
Prov. 4:20-21 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.”
As we saw in David’s life, keeping God’s word is a thing of the heart. For God’s word to become effectual in our lives, desire must take precedence over duty.
There can be no genuine change on the outside until something changes on the inside. Before attempting to keep God’s commandments with our head we must first learn to love them with the heart. Making scripture an integral part of our lives is what renews our minds (Rom.12:2), changing our perspective and attitude toward sin, self, and “this present evil world.”
Ps. 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Ps. 119:97-104 “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.”
Ps. 37:31 “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”
1 John 2:14 “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
1 John 2:5 “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
Eph. 6:17 “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”
Ps. 119:2 “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
In the above verse, David equates true happiness with keeping God’s testimonies; stating that genuine happiness, to be blessed of God, is the result of a correct heart attitude toward His Word. If you are saved, you are truly blessed, for “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Ps. 32:1.
Without the key of David?
The opposite of keeping is losing. If keeping God’s Words with your whole heart results in true blessing, what happens when you fail to do so? The obvious answer is that you lose true happiness in your life. However, happiness is not the only thing we forfeit when we disobey God and His Word.
(To be continued)