God our King who Reigns
What do we do when we are shaken by the brokenness of this world? Pastor Oliver encourages us to do what the psalmists do.
I received an email this past week. In it, an older Christian sister whom I respect, wrote: "I have been shaken by the overwhelming forces of evil in this world. Children driven to suicides by the pressures of education. War and hunger are leading to human desperation. Diseases, both physical and otherwise that eat up the souls of men. Children are starving in a once wealthy nation. The constant lies and shameless brutalities from authorities..." She went on for half a paragraph more to describe the evil and injustice she had observed in the world in the past weeks.
Even in our sheltered and comfortable Singapore, the brokenness of this world breaks into our lives. If we open our eyes and look beyond our own personal cares, we see clearly the evidence of the Fall around us in our neighbourhoods and in the world – many things in life are just not right. Truly seeing will lead many of us to despair. What do we do when we are shaken by what we see?
We turn our eyes upward to God. This is what the Psalms invite us to do: to dwell in them and to reflect on life through the lenses of faith in God our King who reigns. I preached from Psalm 2 this past Sunday, and we will be hearing from the rest of the pastors as we each teach from a royal psalm as part of our Advent preparation for Christmas. The royal psalms contribute to the Psalms’ emphasis on the kingship of Yahweh God over Israel and all creation.
The reign of God is the ‘root metaphor’ for the Psalms. In all of life, our God is King and Lord. Some examples of the royal psalms are Psalm 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 101, 110, 144:1-11. The royal psalms are steeped in the idea of the kings in the line of David and are based off the promise God made to David in 2 Sam 7. God promised that He will establish a king in the lineage of David forever (c.f. Psalm 2:6: I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill), serving as God's ruler over His people. These psalms dwell on the promise of a king after God's own heart, ruling justly and righteously under God over His people. This promise is fulfilled in David's greater son Jesus the Messiah. The end of the Bible in the book of Revelation shows Jesus Christ as the coming King who reigns over all nations and creation forever.
Our God reigns. Jesus Christ, our King, rules over all. This truth will turn our despair to praise, and we take refuge in Christ (Psalm 2:12b: Blessed are all who take refuge in him). As Handel's Messiah emphatically proclaims "For the Lord God omnipotent reign... He shall reign... And he shall reign forever and ever."
The older Christian sister read and heard Psalm 2 preached. She exclaimed and praised God in her email: "God is enthroned from eternity into eternity." Her response was praise. God's sovereign, eternal reign will lead us to respond with shouts of "Hallelujah". In all of life – in the diversity and vagaries of life, we look up and see that God our King reigns in the midst of them all, and we can take comfort and rest under the shadow of His sovereign and loving arms, praising God that all that is happening is within His control!
Let's prepare our hearts to hear Psalm 22 preached this Sunday as we see our Messiah King forsaken on the cross for our sakes. Pray that God will give us eyes to see Jesus Christ our King in His Word.
Join us on Christmas day (25 Dec 2018) at 9.00 am (Sanctuary, Level 4, Grace Baptist Church) for our Christmas Service!