THE KING AND HIS GOD
A PAPER PRESENTED BY REV. VICTOR B. AKPAN, JP, AKWA IBOM STATE OVERSEER, FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH IN NIGERIA – AT THE 13TH FIRST LOVE TRANSFORMATION CONFERENCE, 2016
Our God reigns! Let’s consider Him as Lord and King, as prince, Potentate, and Majesty on High. When God revealed Himself to the patriarch it was as God Almighty and Most High. To Moses, He was Yahweh, I AM. But when a Nation was brought out of Egypt, God revealed Himself as their King. The song of Moses concludes with the triumphant word:
“The Lord will reign for ever and ever” (Exodus 15:18).
This is the first time in the Old Testament that Melek occurs with God as its reference. It means, “to Reign”, existing to exercise functions of a Monarch, if male (King), if female (Queen). Melek is a word commonly used in the Old Testament for Chief Magistrate or Ruler, and usually translated “King, Lord, Captain, Ruler, prince, Chief Shepherd” and sometimes used figuratively for “King.”
The title of “king” for God doesn’t appear much in the Pentateuch, but the symbolism of exodus makes it inescapably clear that Israel was to see Yahweh as King. Two of those symbols are: (1) The structure of the old covenant as a suzerain-vassal treaty and (2) The Ark and Tabernacle in the wilderness as the throne and royal tent of the King in the midst of the people.
The first obvious symbol of kingship is the suzerain-vassal treaty. Scholars have observed that the covenant given at Mount Sinai bear a close resemblance to ancient near eastern suzerain-vassal treaties. In such a covenant, lesser Kings (vassals) made peace with the great King of the region (suzerain). The vassal swore allegiance to the suzerain and offered tribute, while the suzerain literally, the “King of Kings” swore protection if the vassal were attacked. As a great king, “a Suzerain”, “Yahweh” covenanted with Israel to be their King and protector. Yahweh is the High King, the great king, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
The second obvious symbols are the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle in the wilderness, designed to be seen as the dwelling place of Yahweh’s presence in the midst of the people. Eight times in the Old Testament, Yahweh is described as ‘enthroned” between the cherubim”, and such instance is found in; (2 Sam 6:2; 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalm 80:1; Ezekiel 10:1) etc. Twice God’s enthroned presence is in the context of reigning as King.
“The lord reigns, let the nations tremble; He sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the Lord in Zion; He is exalted over the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name... he is holy. The king is Mighty, He loves justice... you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy (Psalm 99:1-5) “O Lord of Host, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” (Isaiah 37:16).
Melek is the Hebrew word for king while in Greek a king is known as and called “basileus” denoting a ruler and leader of a people.
THE KING AND HIS GOD
A king is a male sovereign or a monarch, a man who holds by life tenure, and usually by hereditary right, the chief authority over a country and people. He leads and rules over his subjects. God on the other hand is a Being conceived as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
God is the sole Supreme Being, Eternal, Spiritual and Transcendent. He is the creator and ruler of all and is infinite in all attributes. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worship by a people.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A KING
- A king is never voted into power, his power is inherited from birth.
- A king is king by birthright; his kingship is not conferred by men. We do not make him king, all we can do is acknowledge that he is king.
- A king cannot be voted out of power, he was king before this world began, and he will still be king after it has passed away.
- A king’s authority is absolute, when the king speaks, he speak with absolute authority.
- A king’s world is law; no one can counter his orders, negate his pronouncements, set aside his decrees, or amend his statutes.
- A king personally owns everything in his domain; a kingdom is the only form of government where the ruler owns everything and everyone.
- A king’s decree is unchanging.
- A king chooses who will be a citizen, the people do not vote for the king, but in essence, he votes for them.
- A king embodies the government of his kingdom; the kingdom of heaven is here because the king of heaven is in the hearts and lives of His citizens.
- A king’s presence is the presence of his authority; when the king shows up, his full authority is present. Kingdom citizens may always exercise kingly authority because the king is always present with them.
- A king’s wealth is measured by his prosperity; the king of heaven owns everything, everywhere in both the natural and supernatural realms.
- A king’s property is measured by the status of his citizens; a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven automatically prospers because the king of heaven is the wealthiest of all.
- A king’s name is the essence of his authority, Jesus the king has delegated His authority to His citizens. He promised to do anything that they asked in His name.
- A king Rules and reigns and demand obedience/compliance from His subject who through obedience rule over conquered kingdoms and thrones.
WHY DO THE KING NEED GOD?
The king needs God in order to succeed. No king will succeed without God. In Luke 12:16-20, it is recorded that “The land of a rich man brought forth plentiful, and he thought to himself, “what shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my good crops?” and he said, ‘I will do this: I will store all my grain and my goods in a large barn. And I will say to my soul, soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, “Fool! this night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared whose will they be?
In Exodus 5:1-3, it is recorded that afterward, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness”. But Pharaoh said, ‘who is the Lord that I should heed his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go”. In Exodus 6:1-2, the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will drive them out of his hand”. And God said to Moses, “I am the Lord’. You are all aware of what happened to Pharaoh and the host of Egypt.
In Daniel chapter 3, king Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold and commanded that every people, nations and languages should fall down and worship the golden image when the sound of the trumpet is made. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.
Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were accused of not falling down and worshiping the golden image. In Daniel 3:13-30, king Nebuchadnezzar became angry and commanded that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be brought to him. When they were brought to him, he said to them, ‘is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up? King Nebuchadnezzar asked them to fall down and worship the image which he has made, if not they shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver them out of his hands.
But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.
King Nebuchadnezzar was angry and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He ordered his mighty army to bind the three Hebrew boys and throw them into the fiery furnace. The furnace was so severe that the flame killed the mighty army men that threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fiery furnace.
Then the king was astonished and rose in haste. He said to his Counselors, ‘did we not cast three men bound into the fire? They answered the king, “True, O king”. He answered, “But I see four men loosed, walking in the midst of the fire and the fourth is like the Son of the God”.
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Servants of the Most High God, come forth and come here!” then they came out and the fire did not have any effect on them. And Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants, who trusted in him, and set at naught the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.
Nebuchadnezzar said “for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way”.
The king should depend on God for success, for long life, for protection of himself and his people. The life of King David is quite illustrative. In 1st Samuel 30:1-31, when the Amalekites raided Ziklag and burnt it with fire, and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, including David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Camel. David and the people wept until there was no more strength to weep. David inquired of the Lord, “shall I pursue after this band, shall I overtake them? He answered him “pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely recover all”. And when David pursued, God gave him success. More so, despite the entire attempt that King Saul made on the life of king David, God protected him, God even use Saul’s son, Jonathan and Saul’s daughter to protect King David because he put his trust in God.
The economic problems we are facing in Nigeria, it is not economic strategy that will take us out of it, it is not econometrics that will take us out of it, it is God that will take us out of it. The children of Israel had similar economic problems that Nigeria is having today in the wilderness. They did not have water to drink, Moses turn to God and God provided water. When they did not have food to eat, Moses turned to God and God provided manna. In exodus 16:4, the Lord said to Moses “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my way or not.” When the children of Israel needed meat, Moses turn to God and God provided quails.
The security challenge that Nigeria is facing in the North and in the South, that is the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east and the Militancy in the South-South, will not be resolved by how much we spend on ammunition and armament, nor by the bilateral and multilateral military pact we have with other Nations. It is not how much super powers support or supernatural power support we have that will solve the problem. It is our ability to lookup to God that will solve the problems. For how many years now? has armament, military intelligence, electronic intelligence gathering, armoured cars, tanks, warships, war jets, propaganda, guns, missiles and charms solve the security challenge in Nigeria? It is only God that can bring peace to Nigeria.
When the children of Israel were having security challenge with the Medians for seven years, it was God that helped them out. The Israelites did not buy any tank, warships or war plane to fight the Median. All the men that came for the war, God sent them away and took only three hundred (300) men.
In Judges 7:19-23, it is recorded that Gideon and the (three) hundred men who were with him came unto the outside of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch; and they blew their trumpet and smashed the jars that were in their hands. And the three companies blew their trumpets and broke the jars, holding in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpet to blow; and they cried “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” they stood every man in his place round about the camp, and all the army ran; three hundred trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow and against all the army, and the army fled as far as Bethshittah toward Zererath as far as the boarder of A’belmeholah, by Tabbath.
THE BIG QUESTION
The big question is who is this king? The King is you and I, because the word of God in Revelation 1:6 said that “..........unto Him who loved us and washed us from our sins by His blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God,His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”. You and I are the priest made by God to rule here on Earth.
RULES THAT KINGS MUST OBEY
There are seven rules which all kings (all of us) without exception must obey. The Rules are encapsulated in Deu.17:16-20 (NKJ):
- Rule 1: His Power (v.16)
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you. You shall not return that way again.” This law addresses the handling of power and its pitfalls with two keys:
Firstly, the king must have horses, symbolizing power, influence and authority for the sake of the kingdom of God and not for himself. A king must possess power and not be possessed by power that he becomes overwhelmed by it. He is to be possessed by God whom he must continually look to and rely upon. Secondly, the king must not cause people to turn to Egypt (the world) to increase strength; that is to use worldly methods. Egypt represents the world of bondage to sins where we were enslaved and have to come out from.
- Rule 2: His Marriage (v.17)
“Neither shall he multiply wives for himself lest his heart turn away.” This law has the same principle as the first, but applies to a different aspect of life of the king, marriage. This law draws attention of kings to the need to consecrate his marital life to God so that it could benefit the kingdom of God in a greater way.
- Rule 3: His Wealth (v.17)
“nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.”It is God’s desire to prosper His servants. Wealth is a blessing from God given to His children to manage. Therefore, kings should be carried away by its glitter and bow down to its power.
- Rule 4: His Devotion (v.18, 19)
“and it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from one before the priests, the Levites; and he shall read it all the days of his life.”The king must be thoroughly acquainted with the word of God. A serious form of study and a consistent daily devotion to God by the king cannot be overemphasized.
- Rule 5: His Hallmark (v.19)
“that he may learn to fear the LORD his God.” A King must not only know the kindness of God, but also the fear of the Lord as well. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps.111:10) to hate evil, pride and arrogance (Pr.8:13). The fear of the Lord will keep the king in humility to know that he can err and that there is need always to learn.
- Rule 6: His Law (v.19)
“and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statues;” Kings must walk in the fullness of the truth of the word of God revealed to them. The Truth is the person of Christ Himself (Jn.14:6) and the full truth is the fullness of Christ. Kings are to be careful (i.e. put in conscious effort) to live by every word of God known to them (Mt.4:4) without compromising.
- Rule 7: His Brothers (v.20)
“that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right, or to the left.” How we deal with our brethren determine where we stand with them and with God. A king is first, a servant of all. A king leads because of his service and not otherwise. Thus, a king must know that he is there for the people and not the people there for him. He must know that he is exalted positionally and ministerially for the common good of the people. When it comes to obeying God’s law, he is not higher than any of his humblest follower.
It is unfortunate that many Christians today do not know who they are in Christ Jesus. They are unaware that they have been made kings unto our God. This ignorance manifests in their confessions and prayers when they are confronted by challenging situations and circumstances. Their prayers seem to be like begging the devil to please leave them alone. A child of God who knows that he is king will just decree and resist the devil and surely he will flee from him (Dan.11:32; Ja.4:7). The Bible says that “where the word of a king is, there is power …” (Eccl.8:4). As king of the Most High God, your word carries tremendous power. Henceforth, stop crying over challenges of life, adverse situations and circumstances, or begging the devil to leave you alone. Begin to exercise your God-given authority as a king on the earth from today by decreeing, dominating, ruling and reigning over all situations and circumstances in your life.
Summarily, for the king to succeed, for the king to live long, for the king to be protected, for the king to have peace, for the king to turn the economy around, to experience change in our economy, the king need God and God’s economic strategy. For the king to experience peace, the king needs God’s peace strategy and not man made economic and peace strategy. Thus, as kings we need to depend on God for our success, long life, protection, provision and not our intelligence or man made strategy for our success. For a king’s citizenry represent his glory. Kingdom citizens are to reflect the character of their king, who is righteous, just, benevolent, compassionate and full of glory. You are a king, be the king. God bless you.
Akpuru-Aja, A. (2006) War Studies, Enugu: Keny and Brothers Enterprises.
Akpuru-Aja, A. (2007) Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja; Centre for International and Strategic Studies.
Cryer, T. H (1988) In search of God: The meaning and message of the Everlasting names, Philadelphia: Fortress press.
Mandenhall, G. E, (1955) Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient North East, Pennsylvania: Presbyterian press.
The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version