Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe
Her Majesty the Queen is celebrating a Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne. Furthermore, our Queen is the longest reigning monarch surpassing the reign of her great-great grandmother Victoria. If this has historic significance on such a grand scale including street parties nationwide and undoubtedly celebrations across the globe, how much more should we honour the King of the Universe?
The Lion of Judah
Before he died, Jacob uttered his last words to his sons which included a vital prophetic element and spoke of the coming Messiah King. He spoke to Judah: “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Genesis 49:8-10)
Lions in the Bible in various contexts often denote kingship, royalty, majesty and strength. In many cases, lionlike characteristics are associated with kingship, hence Messiah is the Lion of Judah (Genesis 49:9-10; cf. Revelation 5:5). The Messiah is the king, but a King in a league of His own, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11-16).
Respecting Royalty whilst Honouring the King of Kings
If we respect royalty, how much more should we honour and reverence the King of Kings? In the Bible there were several occasions where there has been a conflict of interest and the book of Daniel gives us some excellent examples of how believers should conduct themselves.
In Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the idolatrous image of Nebuchadnezzar and addressed him respectfully. The penalty would mean being cast into a fiery furnace. However, they made it clear and in no uncertain terms, that they would neither serve their gods nor worship the gold image. Notice they did not go on a protest march or speak in a pejorative way towards the monarch even though his demands were outrageous, sinful, and ungodly. Selah.
Their lives were preserved since there was a fourth Man in the fiery furnace whose form was like the Son of God. He was the Son of God, Jesus, the King Messiah in His preincarnate form. Following this incident, Nebuchadnezzar praised God and although his pride got the better of him when he spoke of Babylon in terms of his own power and majesty, when he came to his senses following his humiliation, he blessed the Most High and praised and blessed Him who lives forever. Nebuchadnezzar recognised that the King of the Universe has an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is forever and ever.
King of the Universe
Daniel’s habit, even in Babylon, was to pray thrice daily with his windows open towards Jerusalem. Governors and satraps tried to find fault with him so they convinced King Darius into making a ludicrous decree that if anyone petitioned any god besides him over a period of thirty days then they would be thrown to the lions. This decree was made in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians which could not be altered.
King Darius was greatly distressed when accusations against Daniel were brought before him for worshipping the King of Kings though he could not find a means to avoid Daniel been thrown into the lion’s den. He had approved the decree which even the king himself could according to their law, not alter! Nonetheless, Darius stated, “Your God, whom you serve continually He will deliver you” (Daniel 6:16).
Jewish prayers often commence with “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe,” transliterated, “Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu Melech ha-olam.” Daniel was miraculously preserved, and his accusers were thrown into the lion’s den and were overpowered by the lions before they even reached the bottom of the den!
King Darius then made another decree that men should tremble and fear the God of Daniel, for He is the living God and steadfast forever. His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end.
Matthew’s Gospel presents the Lord Jesus as the King who came in accordance with many prophecies foretold in the Old Testament. Jesus the Messiah was the Son of King David and at His birth He was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh since He is King, Priest and Deity; and He would be buried and suffer to make atonement for the sins of the world to make peace with God. Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt on Palm Sunday, sat on the foal of a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy that the King would come riding a colt, the foal of a donkey bringing salvation (Matthew 21:1-11; cf. Zechariah 9:9). Even the name “Yeshua,” means “Saviour” since He brings salvation.
Even when Jesus was crucified, there was a sign written above His head which would usually include the accusation for which someone was condemned as a criminal. Basically, it was a charge sheet. What was the accusation written? “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Jesus died and rose from the grave and will return to the Mount of Olives which is where He departed. He will come back to reign as King Messiah in Jerusalem. Hence, we will end where we began. In Jewish reasoning a “Qal Wahomer” argument, meaning “light and heavy” is often appealed to, which Jesus Himself often used and originates from Rabbi Hillel. If something is true in a lesser case and given similar circumstances, how much more will it apply in a greater case? If we respect royalty, how much more should we honour the King of the Universe and the King of Kings? A few questions remain. Are you following the King of Kings, and will you serve Him? The King of the Universe took on human flesh and condescended into our world as the Servant King and gave Himself as a sin offering to reconcile a guilty world to God. Will you turn to Him, trust in Him and follow Him?
Jon Taylor 4th June 2022