After putting it off for awhile, I’ve just hauled a laundry basket up the basement steps to sort through and put away…eventually! While I was pulling the clothes out of the dryer I was sorting through my thoughts for this post.
Every week I pray through a stack of coffee-stained index cards with various prayer requests on them. I had just been praying through the one I have for governments and those in authority. As I petitioned God on their behalf I was also confessing my own failure of looking to these leaders for security rather than to God as the ultimate Authority. It brought this part of Israel’s history to mind:
“The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No! ” they said. “We must have a king over us. Then we’ll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.” -1 Samuel 8:19-20
As I acknowledged my skewed perspective I considered the scene that’s revealed in Revelation chapter five. John sees a mysterious scroll that no one can open in the right hand of the One seated on the throne. No one on heaven or on earth or under the earth is worthy to open it or even look in it. When John sees this, he begins to cry.
After all, he was a person with a nature like ours. At that time he was an older man who was in exile on desolate Patmos. It’s been many years since he beat Peter in a foot race to the empty tomb and ate breakfast with Jesus on the beach.
He had just glimpsed and fallen down at the feet of the glorious Jesus, then written down the seven letters from Him. Immediately after that he saw a vision of the throne room of the living God! Of course he’s overwhelmed. And this scroll is important. What’s going on? And then, one of the elders halts his tears. Look, John!
Who is it? He’s there! The Christ, the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. The Good Shepherd humbled Himself and laid His life willingly for His sheep. That just hit me as I was writing. I had never realized that He Who was the Shepherd offered Himself to the slaughter. He is the perfect Atonement Lamb, the only way to the Father. Oh yes! He’s worthy to take the scroll! He’s worthy of eternal worship!
The rest of chapter five shows the throne room erupting in adoration and praise, then the entire universe ascribing blessing and honor and glory to the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb.
God hasn’t answered our human longings for a king like we would have expected- and we can (and will) thank Him for that forever!
As believers, we do have a King Who judges us, but not as we deserve. He bore the wrath of God on the tree and we are pardoned and welcomed.
Yes, our King goes out before us. He enters the sheepfold by the gate and calls each sheep by name. He leads us faithfully, never asking us to do anything He has not already done perfectly on our behalf through His life, death, and resurrection.
Does He fight our battles? Every single one, all the way to Armageddon.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to fold…and some more marveling over Jesus’ worthiness to get to.