Our Lord, you are King!
Majesty and power
are your royal robes.
You put the world in place,
and it will never be moved.
You have always ruled,
and you are eternal.
The ocean is roaring, Lord!
The sea is pounding hard.
Its mighty waves are majestic,
but you are even more majestic,
and you rule over all.
Your decisions are firm,
and your temple will always
be beautiful and holy. (Contemporary English Version)
God is bigger than any threat of chaos or destruction. That’s because the Lord is sovereign over all things. The Lord is King. From a Christian perspective, today’s psalm finds its ultimate fulfillment in the ascension of Jesus Christ.
When we talk about kings, there are a few things a ruler needs: a realm (a kingdom); and the ruled (the subjects) of the realm. In reflecting on Christ’s ascension, the three elements which make up a rule are: King Jesus as Ruler; God’s people as the ruled; and the entire world as the realm of Christ’s lordship.
Rule, glory, and kingship were given to him;
all peoples, nations, and languages will serve him.
His rule is an everlasting one—
it will never pass away!—
his kingship is indestructible. (Daniel 7:14, CEB)
Now, as soon as I state that all the world is Christ’s realm, it is quite understandable to at least be curious about this, as well as perhaps be outright doubtful of it.
After all, this old fallen world is filled with all kinds of catastrophes like pandemics and natural disasters; myriad human vices; and potent spiritual foes. Sometimes, it appears that if Jesus were King, he is either sleeping on the job or just indifferent to our plight.
I’ll reframe this by putting it in military terms. The battle and the war has been won – there are, however, some clean-up or mop-up operations still taking place. Pockets of resistance to God’s rule and reign still very much exist. And they unfortunately lead to casualties.
Every Memorial Day weekend in the USA, Americans remember and pay homage to our fallen men and women in uniform. Many of those soldiers were lost from mopping up resistance after a battle achieved and a war won.
For example, the Battle for Okinawa in the Pacific theatre toward the end of World War II resulted in an American victory. However, in securing the island after the Japanese defeat, small groups of Japanese soldiers still mounted resistance resulting in hundreds of American deaths.
In a 1944 article from the Stars and Stripes, an interview of one patrol leader from the battle said, “It’s a tough, methodical grind, this mop-up operation. Here, the Japanese have gotten together, organized, and are carrying out a planned guerilla warfare, even though the battle is won…. I wish a mop-up was as easy as people think it is.”
We live between the two advents of Christ, his ascension to heaven and his coming again. That means we live in the already/not yet kingdom and realm of God. Deliverance from sin, death, and hell has been achieved through the cross of Christ – yet that achieved salvation will not be here in its complete fulfillment until Jesus comes again to judge the living and the dead.
Meanwhile, Christians everywhere continue to pray that God’s kingdom spreads and is realized in the hearts of humanity – the true place where war begins and ends.
There is no power in heaven or on earth which can circumvent or overcome the plans and purposes of an almighty God.
Ocean waves are a powerful force. The United States Energy Information Administration Ocean states that ocean waves contain one-thousand times more kinetic energy than wind. They estimate that the annual energy potential of waves off the east and west coasts of the United States to be as much as 2.64 trillion kilowatt hours. That’s about two-thirds of all American needs for electricity in a year.
And yet, the incredible strength of ocean waves are no match for the might of God.
Even though we might worry about the power and influence of human governments, systems, and institutions, the actual weight they carry is infinitesimal compared to the glory of God. Since God has fixed the earth in place, there is no conglomeration of people who can move this planet off its axis, even a millionth of a degree.
The Most High God is firmly in control, even when it seems otherwise. The Christian tradition is consistent in proclaiming that the throne of Jesus Christ has been established forever. It shall not be moved. Love has won the day and will have the eternal day forevermore.
“Entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.” (2 Peter 1:11, NRSV)
Sovereign God, you reign over all things! Robed in majesty and armed with strength, you hold our world and our lives securely. Your throne has been established. From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
Even when waves of grief, disease, and hardship rise-up—when surging seas threaten to overwhelm me, and a pounding storm crashes around me—I know that you are mightier and more powerful than any threat. Wash over me with your own cleansing flood. Grace me with your mighty presence. Refresh me with the water of life, for I know, Holy God, that your decrees are firm and unshakeable and will last forever. Amen.