For most of my life there has been a Queen. I do remember the day King George the sixth died, the ceremony as the flag at school was lowered, but now, seventy years later the Queen is dead. There are many lessons to be learned from history. However, a few verses written by the Apostle Paul teach us where to place our trust in changing times.
The first King over the Jewish nation was chosen by God. In fact the first 3 were specifically appointed by God. Saul, because he rejected God’s ways was replaced by David, whose son Solomon became famous as the wisest man on earth. Their histories are recorded in the Old Testament books of 1-2 Chronicles and 1-2 Kings. Since then many kings have projected the thought that they were chosen by God, but the truth remains to be seen. Certainly many of David’s descendants did not live lives which glorified God.
The Bible says “Everyone must submit himself [herself] to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established”. Do we believe that? Apparently submission to ruling authorities was important to Paul since he also instructed Titus to “remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good” (Titus 3:1). It is interesting to note that Titus’ ministry took him to the former Yugoslavia (Dalmatia) as well as to Corinth and to Crete, where he died.
Peter also was concerned that followers of Jesus would “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God”. Part of that entailed submission – “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men, whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by Him [God] to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:12-14).
“It is important to recognize that God establishes and upholds the principle of government even though some governments do not fulfill His desires” (Ryrie). These rulers appointed by God are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrong-doer (Romans 13:4). We must recall incidents in the Old Testament when the Jews were dispersed because they refused to follow God. The land God had given to them was over taken by pagans. In recent history we have seen the promise of God to restore them to their land, coming true when they gained their independence in 1948.
Today a new King sits on the throne of England. Queen Elizabeth was a follower of Jesus and her faith in Jesus is being celebrated as an integral part of her life. King Charles 3 has already declared his faith nurtured in the Anglican Church. Let us pray that his life, going forward, will bring glory to God as his mother’s did. For her 90th birthday a book was published “The Servant Queen and the King She Serves”. She was pleased to call herself a “servant” of the King of Kings!
God has a purpose in everything He does. He remains actively engaged in the affairs of men and women here on earth. We may not always understand why He allows suffering, sickness, famine, flood and fire, but we must never forget He must remain true to Himself. He is a God of love, but He is also the God of justice. When He warns us that judgment will fall He means it. We need to review, from time to time, what we actually believe about God. If we believe He hears and answers prayer, let us pray that God will save the new King!
by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)