For most in the world today, the concept of being ruled by a king is a very foreign thing. We do not have in our minds a genuine picture of yielding ourselves to someone with absolute authority in the land. And here I am not talking about a brutal dictator, nor am I talking about a figurehead monarch, but simply a single person who is the total ruler of the land.
But when Scripture talks about the Lord, the Bible talks in kingly terms. God is not the head of a government that keeps him in check. God is not the president who must compromise with a congress or the prime minister making deals with parliament. God is the supreme, the sovereign, the only Lord and king.
A common thread in the Bible is the fact that humanity, at the core of our sinful nature, has tried to throw off the rule of God and be our own masters. In Genesis 3, the woman was tempted by the idea of herself being her own master, sitting in the place of God.
Also hear the words of the enemies of God in Psalm 2.
1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
Verse 1 tells us that the scheming to come is in vain. They cannot win. But the rulers of the earth, the people who should be bowing down to God as King are scheming. And the language is that of revolt. They act as though being ruled by God is to be bound, tied up, imprisoned. And so these enemies of God have determined in their own lives to throw off the bonds of god and be free, their own masters.
But the remainder of Psalm 2 shows us that God is not threatened by the schemes of the kings of the world. He is not thrown off his game by people thinking that they will be their own masters. Instead, the Lord scoffs at our foolish schemes. The Lord promises to send his own King, his Son, into the world to rule. And God commands all, from smallest to greatest, to bow to the Son before it is too late.
What should we take away from such a Psalm? I suggest two kingly thoughts. First, recognize that, when we sin against God, whether we think it to be big or small, we are rebelling against the king. WE are saying that we want to burst the bonds of God and be unrestrained in our self-rule. This makes us see our sin as more ugly, more rebellious, and more ungrateful, which is exactly how we should see it.
We should also grasp that, in our determination to escape the rule of God, we are making two great mistakes. One is the simple fact that we cannot win. WE will be ruled by the Lord. The other is the fact that the rule of God, if we will submit to it in Christ, is not a burden but a glorious grace.
Christians, think of God as your King. Do not let that thought slide past you too quickly. The Lord you have asked to be your Savior is also the Lord who claims absolute authority over every aspect of your life. He is good. He is wise. He is kind. But he is King. To battle against him is crazy and self-destructive. To surrender to him is wise and right.