King of Kings – Psalm 2:4-9

God Has Installed His King On Zion

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Rebels Rebuked

The nations conspire today as they have done millennia ago to be free from the perceived shackles that they feel under the watchful eyes of Almighty God. They seek to be free from His gaze and His word, to do as they want to do apart from His will and His word. They spurn the rightful ruler that has placed them in places of power and autonomy, and seek to do their own will. Little do they realize that this is the same pattern that their father, the devil, followed when he rebelled against Almighty God.

But take heart! Just as the devil and a third of the host of heaven were properly trounced and rebuked, so shall the evil rulers that seek to shake off the yoke placed upon them by Almighty God to do His bidding for His glory. For they have failed to realize that Almighty God has already installed His King upon Zion.

King of Kings

God has foretold of the coming of Messiah, and here is another prophecy concerning His rule. God has placed The Lord Jesus Christ upon the throne to be King of kings and Lord of lords. His rule will extend to all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. They shall do this now, willingly bowing to Him, or later, compelled at His throne, for all will be under His rule. He offers peace to those who would willingly yield themselves to Him now under His benevolent rule. But He will soon become a Just Judge for those who spurn His righteous authority.

Sovereign Son

Through the psalmist, God declares that the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh will be His Son, and God will be His Father. There is no ambiguity in this claim. The nations have become His inheritance, and the Earth his possession. And this is rightly so, for the Word that became flesh, at the behest of the Father, spoke all creation into existence. What was rightfully His and wrongfully sold to the enemy through the sin of Adam was reclaimed by the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He holds the keys to death and Hades, and awaits the command from His Father to rightfully reclaim all that is His.

Coming Calamity

And when the Son of God appears in the clouds in glory, with the final trump of God, with the voice of the Archangel, He will mete out justice as the lion of Judah. No longer will the wicked overpower the weak. No longer will there be pain and suffering for His children. No longer will He suffer the pain caused to His loved ones by His enemy. He will rightly judge the nations. He will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them to pieces like poverty.

The nations celebrate Christmas as a time of giving gifts and cherishing family. Let us not forget that the Son has come, and will soon come again. Let us prepare our hearts to receive the King, for His return is imminent and without delay.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question: Is my heart prepared for the return of the King of kings and Lord of lords?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have made clear to us that Your Son, Jesus Christ, is the rightful ruler of all creation. Thank You for giving us this opportunity to worship Him in truth and in spirit. Thank You for sending the most precious of gifts to us for our redemption. Thank You for sending our Savior. Help us now prepare our hearts for the coming return of our King, and set aside our personal desires and goals that we may submit ourselves without reservation to You. Throughout history You have declared Your righteousness and our need for it. Give us strength and courage to do what is needed to prepare for the coming return of Jesus. Help us to look up to see the sign of the Son of man in heaven, for He is coming and quickly. Let us not be distracted by our Earthly pursuits, but rather let us be engaged in learning Your word and filling up with the oil of the Spirit of God. Prepare us as Your bride, and help us to be clothed as You have commanded so that we will be prepared on the great and awesome day of the return of Your Son. Amen.

Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

The Star of Jacob – Numbers 24:17-19

And A Prophesied Star Arose In The Sky

17 “I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
the skulls of all the people of Sheth.
18 Edom will be conquered;
Seir, his enemy, will be conquered,
but Israel will grow strong.
19 A ruler will come out of Jacob
and destroy the survivors of the city.”

Royal Ruler

It is ironic that Balaam, a man of divination sought out by Balak, would be used by God to bless, rather than curse, the people he was told to curse.  Not only did he bless Israel (much to the consternation of Balak, who was paying him good money to pronounce a curse), he prophesied about the coming King of kings and Lord of lords.  His reference to The Lord Jesus Christ was to name Him as a star, and as a scepter.  The wise men took star as a literal star, indicating that a sign in heaven would precede his birth.

In Genesis 1:14-15, God declared that the lights in the sky (sun, moon, and stars) would serve as signs to mark sacred times as well as days and years:

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

How fitting then that a star would rise in the night to point to the most blessed of events – the arrival of the Son of God, beautiful and perfect, in the most humble and ignoble of circumstances.  And not only did the star stay in the sky for his birth, but it led the wise men to Jesus:

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

(Just an interesting aside – note that the Magi (wise men) arrived at a HOUSE to find Jesus, not a stable/barn/cave.  They were led to the home of Joseph and Mary, where they worshiped the King of kings and Lord of lords, and gave their gifts.  These gifts were of special significance, not only for their symbolic value, but possibly necessary to enable Joseph to take his family and flee to Egypt to escape the murderous hatred of Herod after Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream.)

Lamb and Lion

The prophecy shows that the coming ruler would destroy His enemies.  And Christ did exactly that – for the last two thousand years, The Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, has been destroying His enemies by turning them into His friends.  Every time that a person gives their life to Christ, they have been destroyed as an enemy, and received as a child of God, a brother or sister, princes and princesses.

The reference to crushing their foreheads is interesting.  While grisly in detail, the forehead has been used elsewhere in scripture to indicate thought:

“This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

“And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

The use is these cases are that our thoughts (foreheads) and actions (hands) are to be governed by the law.  And when we give our lives to Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us, and through sanctification He aligns our thoughts and our actions with the express will of God through His word.We are thus now governed by a greater power than the law (which only points our our sin) – The Lord God Almighty Himself.  What better way to destroy your enemies than to lead them in such a way that they become your willing subjects (let alone adopted family members!)?

But that was when Jesus came as a lamb.  He came as the sacrifice to end all sacrifices, and to win the hearts of men from Satan to God.  He will next be coming as the Lion of Judah, ready to destroy all who refuse to bend the knee after His gracious invitation to join Him as his friend and brother/sister.

Approaching Apantesis

The up and coming battle prophesied by Balaam will be a bit different.  In the Greek, apantesis is a term used to describe a very unique event.  When the conquering hero returns from war, the people of his city would rush out of the city gates and meet him far away.  Then, with the conquering hero, they would join him on his return to the city, with great fanfare and rejoicing:

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

It is imperative that we be like the wise men, ready for the journey, prepared for the sign, eagerly awaiting the time that is to come, rather than Herod, mass-murderer of children, ignorant of his Savior’s birth and hating His very existence.  Be prepared!

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I taking the time and effort to make the necessary preparations for the imminent return of my Savior?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Your mercy, compassion, grace, and love abound in all that You say and do.  You are a jealous God, insofar as You show Your loving desire to protect me from evil.  Help me to be prepared for the return of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  He will come like a thief in the night.  And You, Father God, have warned us that He is coming.  Help me to be prepared so that I will be like the virgins who brought oil with them, waiting for the bridegroom to return.  Sanctify me in Your word.  Help me to do all that You want me to do here on Earth.  Let my life be the beacon of light on a hill, and fill my mouth and thoughts with the desire to tell everyone I meet about You.  Remove the barriers in my heart that would prevent me from being the person that You desire me to be.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

The Justice of God – Isaiah 33:22

God Is a Righteous Judge

For the Lord is our judge,
the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
it is he who will save us.

A Just Judge

God is a just judge.  He judges from the perspective of righteousness, for He is perfect in every aspect of character.  The Bible tells us:

Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

We should rejoice that God is just.  We can be assured that in His justice, there is no fear – for there is no fear in love.  We don’t need to fear a just judge if we are doing right; it is only when doing evil that we need to fear.  And how much more should we fear God as our judge than mere human judges if we are doing evil?

The Law of Love

As a just judge, God gives us laws to establish His authority over us, and to act as a mirror with which we can properly see ourselves and who we really are, not just how we think we see ourselves, or how we portray ourselves to others.  God established just one law when it was just Adam and Eve on the Earth.  He established the Ten Commandments with Moses.  He provided the Israelites the expanded version of law in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  And he shows us that in Christ, love fulfills the law:

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.

Kind King

God is a king, and He is our king.  God is also love personified.  Since God is love, and love is kind, we know that we have a kind king.  God shows this to us insofar as He does not immediately destroy us when we sin.  A harsh king – the idea of God from the world’s perspective – shows Him as an angry old ogre with His finger just above the “smite” button, just waiting for us to fail so that He has the opportunity to press it.

God shows us His love and kindness through the willingness to allow His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be reconciled to Him.  He patiently waits for us and woos us to come and reason with Him – to see His perspective on all things.

His kindness is shown through His mercy and grace.  Only the kindness in love would allow such a holy God – set apart from all sin and unrighteousness – to tolerate us as we come to our senses and accept the free gift of His Son Jesus Christ’s perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection as payment for our sin.  When we view the cross of Calvary from His perspective, we can come to no other conclusion.

Sovereign Salvation

Only a life of perfect obedience could be the acceptable payment for sin.  And God provided that Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.  Salvation comes from the Lord, for He is able to save, and desires that all be saved.  Rejoice in your salvation!  It came at a very great price.

When taking communion with the Saints of God, remember who it is that is your King, that we may properly discern the body of Christ.  Prepare your heart before you go to worship.  Seek your King with all your heart.  Read His Holy Word.  Be sanctified and adorned as the beautiful bride that He seeks.  Do not be asleep:

for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask ourselves a question:  As we reap the benefits of grace and mercy, are we really seeing God as a Just Judge?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You reveal Yourself to us through Your Word and through our lives.  Help me to remember Your Holiness.  Give me a better appreciation for Your hatred of sin.  Help me to keep in mind that no one can see Your face, for we would surely die if we did.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy.  Help me to see my sin as You see it.  Guard me and guide me in all my ways.  Help me to prepare my heart that it would be in a proper state to take communion every day and at all times.  Help me to be consecrated to You and Your purposes, that I would be useful as a holy vessel.  You have already declared that I am a naos – the holy of holies.  Help me to live up to that.  Give me a better understand of You as my King.  This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?