In Jeremiah chpt. 33:17 it talks about how there will not cease to be a descendant of of David’s to rule on the throne nor a priest to offer burnt offerings.
But weren’t there periods of time when this did happen. Even today there rules in Israel people who are not descendants of David and sacrifices are not being made.
This is a question that is going to require a rather lengthy answer, but I will do my best to boil it down as much as possible without leaving out important content.
First, let me state the answer in summary in the beginning and then consider how we get to this answer point by point. Instead of being a literal physical promise in regard to the Davidic reign and the Levitical priesthood, this is a spiritual promise that is now being fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He is now ruling as King over heaven and earth and is also our High Priest, having offered the perfect sacrifice before God, His own blood. The key passages that teach these truths are Acts 2 and Hebrews 7. Now, how do we get there?
First, concerning Jesus becoming King, God made a promise to David that He would set one of his descendants upon the throne and he would rule forever. 2 Sam. 7. However, in Jer. 22:24-30, God says that in Jerusalem, there would never be a descendant of David ruling on that throne again. So, in a physical literal sense, this promise would never come to pass.
Then, In Jer. 33:15-17, we are told that one of David’s descendants would rule and prosper. But, how? The answer is in Acts 2, where we read of the apostles speaking the gospel for the first time. Jesus, having been crucified, is raised from the dead and seated a the right hand of God. Here, He receives all authority from God to rule over all the nations. Instead of the throne room being in Jerusalem, it is in Heaven itself.
Although there are some who look for Jesus t one day rule on the earth, this day is not coming for He is ruling the earth from Heaven now. His reign will end at the resurrection of the dead on the last day. 1 Cor 15:20-28.
Then, as to Jesus being our high priest, in Gen. 14:18-24, we read a strange story of Abram (Abraham) giving tithes to a high priest named Malchizedek. This tells us that he was above the coming Levitical priests because Levi was a descendant of Abraham who paid tithes to Malchizedek.
Not much is told of him again until the 110th Psalm where we read that there would be one who would not only be a priest like Malchizedek, but would also be a king. This is Jesus who was our perfect high priest who offered the perfect sacrifice,His own blood, so that we might be saved from our sins. Heb. 7. Jesus is now both priest and King. And, although He is not a literal Levitical priest, He is greater than that priesthood was, for they needed not only to offer sacrifices for the sins of others but also for their own sins. Heb. 5.
Therefore, although the passages in Jer. 33:15-17 seems contradictory to what actually happened in history, there is no contradiction for all has been fulfilled in the reign of Jesus. He is both priest and king now!
By Gary Hunt