Today’s poem was inspired by the recent 13th general election in our country, Malaysia and Biblical principles were drawn from a sermon on Romans 13:1-7 which was preached by Kenneth Lo, the pastor of my congregation.
The Eternal King
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (10th May 2013)
In commemoration of Malaysia’s 13th General Election on 5th May 2013
We cry out for the reign of justice in our land
For upright authorities who'll strive to defend
The rights of citizens in need of helping hands
A righteous government on whom we can depend
Kingdoms have risen and fallen in history
The cycle repeats as far as the eye can see
For earthly rulers are mere men, not deities
They have limitations surrounded by boundaries
Are your hopes based on the promises of leaders?
'People First' - A campaign statement for commoners
'Change' - Hope for a better tomorrow is offered
'Promises Fulfilled' - Benefits for the people
No ruler can surpass Jesus, the King of kings
'People First' - For us he died with much suffering
'Change' - Once dead in sin but now we've new life in him
He is the fulfillment of Scriptures, of all things
Though it is right to fulfill our obligations
To support the longed-for rulers of our nation
Let us not forget Christ, our solid foundation
The perfect ruler of his eternal Kingdom
Points for Reflection:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)
· All authorities are from God. It might seem as if the fate of our country is in the hands of rulers and voting citizens who elect their government in a democratic nation.
· But we must always remember that the power that they wield is actually given by God who instituted them as leaders of our country.
· With that in mind, we might ask God in our hearts: ‘God, why have you allowed an unjust and corrupt government to rule our nation?’ No matter how ruthless our government is, God has instituted them to maintain a certain order and prevent anarchy in our country.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:3-4)
· Thus, we are called to submit to our ruling authorities and abide by the law. However, that does not mean that we are to submit to them blindly especially when the law requires us to contravene the statutes of our Almighty God. In the Bible, when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon commanded everyone to bow down before his golden statue, three godly men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego defied his order which went against the commandment of God.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this 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 that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
· Are you struggling to submit to the ruling government of your country? God commands us to submit to them no matter how difficult it is. In a democratic system, we are given the privilege to voice out against injustice and corruption but we are to do it in a peaceful manner and in accordance with the laws of our nation.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:36-37)
· Jesus Christ is the King of kings whose eternal kingdom is not of this world.
· All human leaders, even the noble ones, have their limitations and would often fall short of their promises.
· But Jesus is a leader like no other.
· People First - He placed the salvation of unworthy sinners like us above his own even when that meant his suffering and death on the cross.
[Jesus Christ] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)
· Change – Because of our sin, we were enemies of a holy God and destined for eternal judgment in hell. But Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, became our substitute and took upon himself the punishment that we deserved. Because of his triumph at the cross, those who believe in him have been reconciled to God as his friends and are able to look forward to eternal life in heaven.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)
· Promises Fulfilled – All the promises in the Old Testament regarding the coming of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world came to pass. He is the only leader who has perfectly kept all the promises in his Word when all other human leaders fail.
“Do not think that I [Jesus Christ] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)
· If you are trusting in Christ, isn’t it comforting to know that you are part of God’s kingdom and that Christ is your loving and perfect ruler? In light of the political situation in our country, have you been putting your faith in human leaders instead of God?
· If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I pray that God will open your heart to receive him as the King of your life. While all other politicians in the world may fail you, Jesus is the only loving and self sacrificial ruler who will never disappoint you.