We elect leaders who may embarrass and disappoint us. When Toronto’s mayor makes Time magazine’s list of “Top 10 Apologies of 2013,” voter cynicism can’t be far behind. We aren’t unlike the early Israelites in this regard.
The people of ancient Israel lived in a time much like ours, rife with great fear and conflict. We understand their desire for safety and security and secretly sympathize with the demands they made of God for a king. They got their kings – many like Saul who started off well, only to fail on a scale far larger than Canada’s mayors of the moment.
Our stories share something else with ancient Israel’s: the ease with which the daily things God asks of us – justice, mercy and humility – are forgotten once our need for kings is satisfied. In the books of Samuel, Chronicles and Kings we read how Israel forgot what God had asked of them and had to learn the hard way that trusting solely in political power instead of God brings embarrassment, disappointment and heartbreak.
Psalm 93 offers us a bracing antidote when we equate our ability to make money, stay healthy, elect officials and pay our bills on time with security. “Our LORD, you are King,” verse one begins. In its five verses, the author makes it clear: God has always ruled and he is eternal. Even though oceans roar, seas pound and waves overwhelm in their majesty, he rules over all.
God remains. Let’s take comfort in that fact. God rules over all that roars and pounds at us – the deadlines, the dis-eases, the disappointments in self and others, the injustices that overwhelm. He’s got this.
O God, you are King over all. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Give us therefore the faith to believe that your watch over our lives is enough. When we believe that, we worship you in spirit and in truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen
By Renee James