The Statesman Serving Under the Ultimate King
There is the repeated declaration throughout God’s instruction book that He is the ultimate King over our nations and our world. For example:
For the Lord Most High is to be feared [and worshipped with awe-inspiring reverence and obedience]; He is a great King over all the earth (Psalm 47:2).
King Jehoshaphat (873 to 848 B.C.) acknowledged this truth when he prayed to God:
O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to stand against You (2 Chronicles 20:6).
Throughout, there is the often-repeated declaration:
The Lord reigns! (Psalm 93:1, 97:1, 99:1)
One servant of God expressed it this way:
God is King of all the earth. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne. The nobles of the peoples have assembled with the people of the God of Abraham. For the leaders of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted (Psalm 47:7-9).
How does the Statesman deal with the reality of an unseen ruler over him or her? The reality is that God is not only King over the nations, but King over the kings and decision-makers of the earth. There are implications. First, all human rulers govern as His subordinates. And they are accountable to Him. As such, He expects those humans to operate as His hands and feet in the administration of nations and peoples. Therefore, He expects that they should work in harmony with Him, consulting Him in their decisions. In fact, they must operate under His guidance.
In an effort to appreciate this issue, consider if you had a subordinate who never consulted you, how confident would you be that this individual was fulfilling your intentions? You could be certain that the subordinate was not doing your will. Likewise, if we do not consult the ultimate King over us, we can be assured we are not doing His will.
One king prayed with this reality in mind during a time of national distress:
Lord of Hosts, … You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. Now, Lord our God, save us … so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord—You alone (Isaiah 37:16,20).
We have two ways we can respond to this essential truth that God is the ultimate King under whom we serve:
- We can ignore it and pretend He does not exist.
- We can acknowledge our need to submit to His rulership over our lives and actions.
Let us return to King Jehoshaphat’s understanding when he prayed to God:
Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to take a stand against You (2 Chronicles 20:6).
King Jehoshaphat was reminding us that we must view ourselves as accountable to the ultimate ruler under whom we serve. This is true not only for the ultimate human governor of a nation, but for all who serve under that governor. We have the example when God’s spokesman warned the king in a warning that was addressed to “you and your officers” (Jeremiah 22:2). Thus, all who serve are accountable to our ultimate Ruler. Furthermore, the head administrator is accountable not only for one’s own actions, but for those of all subordinates. We are accountable for the Government being God’s instrument from the highest to the lowliest official.
God is not only the ultimate ruler. He is the perfect ruler. As such, God then becomes a model for those who rule as His subordinates. We need to learn what His thinking is regarding governing. As one example, we learn from God’s words to one king:
This is what the Lord says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Don’t exploit or brutalize the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Don’t shed innocent blood in this place (Jeremiah 22:3).
Justice in all its forms is a high priority. Disobedience, even through ignorance, results in reprimand and disciplinary action. Following the above instruction was this warning:
“If you do not obey these words, then I swear by Myself”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“that this house will become a ruin” (Jeremiah 22:5).
REFLECTION FOR THE STATESMAN. Can I recognize God as the ultimate ruler over my nation and view myself as sub-governor to Him? How would He govern if He were doing it instead of me? What steps would the ultimate King over my nation have me to take? For the sake of myself and my nation and my people, do I dare pretend that the God of the Universe has no requirements for me in my administration on His behalf? Does the realization that there is another governor ultimately responsible for my nation lift the pressure off me if I should endeavour to be His instrument?
How can I get to know God better, including His plans for me? King Solomon admonished:
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).
The motivation for taking this step in increasing our reverence for Him is:
The [reverent] fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9).
The benefit of obedience to God and seeking to obey His instructions:
The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning (Psalm 25:14).
The wonderful thing is that God’s counsel is openly revealed to those committed to obedience to Him.