I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.’” Psalm 89:1-4
A few friends have been so sweet to send me messages thanking me for posting every day for Advent. Thank you for the thank you. But I must apologize. Last night the post just didn’t happen. Sorry about that. I got my inspiration kind of late in the afternoon, and then decided I needed help from a scholar and so posed a ‘little’ Hebrew question to my husband. I figured he would just open a website or two to find what I was needed. It seems there is no such thing as a small Hebrew question.
I was a little disappointed in myself for missing a post, but today I hit on a little different inspiration than I had last night. The nice thing about teaching at a Christian school is that I get to read the Bible and pray with my students. I try to have a scripture for each week; usually we stand to show our respect for the authority of God’s Word, and we all read aloud together. Generally, on Mondays a small amount of preaching accompanies the reading of the Word–I like to explain why I chose that verse. This week, I’ve tried to have a different Advent passage each day and, time allowing, I slip in an explanation about how the scripture relates to the birth of Christ and, naturally, to our salvation.
This morning I figured that I would make an explanation about the word covenant, since that is what prompted the Hebrew quest last night. But in first period as I was reading, God took me a different direction. In my ninth grade classes, we start the year discussing the absolute power of 17th-18th century European monarchs, particularly in France. We begin with Louis XIII and trace how his power was increased, how that power reached its pinnacle in XIV, and then follow that line of Louis-es (yes, I invented that word) through the French Revolution. Once we get Napoleon exiled, we watch power struggles and uprisings all through Europe in the 19th century–rulers trying to click some default setting back to absolute power, fighting off these upstart lower classes who picked up dangerous ideas about liberty and equality from the French.
While I was reading this morning, the repetition of the word faithfulness popped off the page, followed by covenant, forever, and throne. You see, it’s impossible to discuss absolute power in class with out making the obvious connection that none of us want to be subject to that kind of rule. That is, we don’t want to be subject to that kind of rule by someone who is likely to abuse it. We don’t want to be subject to that kind of rule by someone who is inept or acts arbitrarily or who plays favorites. Basically, we don’t like to be under anyone’s authority very much, but absolute rule under someone who is morally flawed? Yikes.
In today’s scripture, God’s promise of a forever throne through the line of David is reaffirmed. We have this prophecy fulfilled in Christ our King. He rules absolutely, BUT HE IS GOOD. More than that, He rules with compassion and love and mercy and grace–fairly, justly, [working] all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
We balk at someone who has ultimate authority over us. In reality, He already has ultimate authority over you whether you choose to submit to Him or not. But His call to repentance should not be viewed as a threat, it’s an invitation (thank you for preaching that one, Jonathon Curtis!). You are invited to be a subject of perfect, loving absolute rule.
Friends, I pray that you will see the unimaginable worth of this King who loves you, who is faithful, and whose throne will last forever.