Today’s Reading: Introit for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity
(Psalm 47:3, 6-8; antiphon: v.1-2)
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 15:10-35; Acts 24:24-25:12
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. (Psalm 47:1–2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Americans have a hard time with the idea of God as our king. We threw off the rule of King George III in the American Revolution and haven’t had a king since. We red-blooded, freedom-loving Americans wouldn’t want a king, either.
And there are some good reasons for that. Samuel warned the people of Israel about the negative consequences of having a king over them (2 Samuel 8:10–18). Jesus acknowledges that earthly kings often abuse their authority: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you” (Matthew 20:25). When sinful men are given that much power, there is always a temptation toward corruption and tyranny. The annals of history are filled with stories of wicked kings.
Is that the kind of king God is? Certainly not! Our God and king does not rule over us for His own gain or benefit. He does not abuse or take advantage of His subjects. He has no sinful nature to tempt Him to corruption or tyranny. Our God who is love (1 John 4:8) has committed Himself to us, and uses His almighty power for our benefit and for our good. To have such a king is a blessing, not a curse. So when you think of God as king, remember that He is king in the very best sense of the word, a king who provides for His people, who defends them from their enemies, and who fights for them, giving them victory over their foes.
In fact, the most helpful way to think of God as king is to look to Jesus Christ. Learn from Him what a good king is. See how Jesus, the compassionate king, provides for His people as you read tomorrow’ s account of the feeding of the 4,000. That was but a preview of the ultimate provision of salvation and eternal life that His reign will bestow on His people. For Jesus will come into His kingdom on the Cross, and there win the victory for us over sin, death, and the devil, providing for us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Here is truly a king worth praising! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; To His feet your tribute bring; Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Evermore His praises sing: Alleluia, Alleluia! Praise the everlasting King. (“Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” LSB 793, st.1)
-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.