November 5, 2020
"The Lord is King! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!" (Psalm 97:1). As I write this devotional on the morning of November 5, 2020, the world still awaits the final results of the Presidential election in the United States. Many of us are watching on the edge of our seats. Others of us are simply on edge. The bitter divisions in our country have caused enough anxiety, and we look with weariness at the prospects of further disorder. Thankfully, this morning Psalm 97 announces better news than any worldly headline can offer: "The Lord is King!"
Despite our fixations on earthly leaders, Scripture reminds us that God alone rules sovereignly over the world. We are warned in the Bible, "Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish" (Psalm 146:3-4). By contrast, "the Lord will reign forever" (Psalm 146:10). Even the most important vocabulary words of our faith remind us of these truths. In the Roman Empire, the word gospel originally meant an imperially issued statement declaring that Caesar was Lord over a given area. To announce the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ thus relativized the rule of the emperor. To say "Jesus is Lord" implied therefore that Caesar is not. This led to the accusation that Christians were "acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus" (Acts 17:7).
To be sure, Jesus rules differently from any earthly king. Only Jesus rules with "righteousness and justice [as] the foundation of this throne" (Psalm 97:2). Only Jesus "makes wars cease to the end of the earth" (Psalm 46:9). And only Jesus deserves our worship, praise, and adoration. His kingdom has not yet fully come over all the earth, but it is present within us when we profess Jesus as Lord and submit ourselves to his will.
If you need help remembering that Jesus is King today, here are some tips to help fix your eyes upon him:
Read your Bible more than you read the news. Spend time specifically with passages that describe the kingdom ruled by Jesus. I suggest Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 9:1-7, Isaiah 65:17-25, Matthew 5-7, and Luke 1:46-55.
Listen to music that exalts Jesus and proclaims the Kingdom of God.
Get outside and enjoy the beauty of creation. Let the majesty of the mountains and the expanse of the sky remind you how insignificant our human controversies are and how immense God's power is.
Intercede "for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life" (1 Timothy 2:2). This does not mean praying for your candidate to win. It does mean praying that whoever wins will lead in ways that bring about peace.
Include in your prayers scriptures like Psalm 2 which call all rulers of the earth to "serve the Lord with fear" (Psalm 2:11).
Repeat The Lord's Prayer occasionally throughout the day, remembering that we ultimately want God's kingdom to come and God's will to be done.
May the peace of the Prince of Peace rule in your heart today, and may the Lord hasten the day when Jesus' kingdom comes in its fulness.
Grace and Peace,