Human enterprises can begin small and grow large. Google founded in 1998, Facebook in 2004 and Amazon in 1994 as examples. They can also, after expansion to many, shrink to fewer, one or none. Sears an example of the former, Blockbuster the latter Tower Records the last.
The kingdom of God on earth began with one man, Abram, Genesis 12:1-2. He alone carried that heritage 100 years before God added one to it in a baby called Isaac. He carried it in himself until, at age 60, his wife gave birth to twins Esau and Jacob.
Quietly, unobtrusively and privately, Jacob shared the heritage with Isaac for 75 years, outlasting his father’s personal disregard for God’s word and will. From an appetite for red stew Isaac would have forfeited the promise God made to Jacob before he was born Genesis 25:21-34.
Rebekah, because she didn’t forget the promise God made—what mother could?—outwitted her husband’s rejection of God and saved the birthright privileges God promised Jacob. She sent him away when Esau’s fit of rage determined to kill him. Rebekah sent him to her home country. If she had known how long Jacob would be gone, and she would never see him again, she may not have been so willing to part with him.
Jacob flourished numerically in Rebekah’s homeland by fathering through four women 12 sons and 1 girl in 20 years. For the first time in history God’s kingdom had multiple members.
Anointing Joseph as savior when the kingdom grew to 70 members seemed to exalt him to carry the kingdom’s torch into the future. But no, God separated Judah from the brothers when he insisted that Israel allow the brothers’ return to Egypt for provisions. However, some 20 years passed before Judah would be revealed as the progenitor of the Messiah Genesis 49:8-11.
From 12 men, fathering 12 tribes, God reduced leadership of the kingdom to one man and one tribe. The tribe of Judah would thereafter be the focus of messianic expectations. On one occasion the messianic line would be reduced to a single male as its repository II Kings 11:1-4.
Nevertheless, with one or many, that LINE remained intact, never collapsing into a shambles or vanishing. Nothing in history before then, at the time, or afterwards eliminated God’s kingdom. Nothing in history since, and certainly now, has or can. Anyone who endeavors to be the assassin of God’s kingdom finds himself instead under the STONE that crushes all enemies to dust Matthew 21:44.