“I will speak to kings about Your laws,
and I will not be ashamed.”
Psalm 119:46 NLT
When was the last time any of us had the chance to speak to a king? You know, the head of state in a monarchist nation. The guy who sits on a throne pontificating about national matters, and perhaps dispensing justice when appropriate. Here in the West, monarchies are rare, though we have democratically elected leaders who behave as though they are kings or queens in all but name. Sometimes I see the mess our leaders make or the shenanigans they get up to, and wish that a good old fashioned benign but Godly monarchy was re-established in our lands. But before I get slated by social media republican trolls, let me ask the question – if we had the chance to speak to a king, what would we say to them? The Psalmist was clear. No pleasantries here. No wasting time discussing what repeat was shown on television last night. No, the Psalmist went straight to the point, speaking to the king about God’s laws. But why would he be ashamed? I think he would have been ashamed if he hadn’t put God at the front of any royal conversation. Or wasted an opportunity to remind the king of God’s laws. In some times in history, putting God above the monarch was a capital offence. We read about such an event in Daniel 3, when the three Jewish lads refused to bow down to a gold idol erected by King Nebuchadnezzar. Reminding the king about the greater King and His laws might be something to be careful about. But perhaps the Psalmist had access to a local king, and had the desire to remind him about the importance of setting laws in line with God’s Law.
So what relevance does this verse have to our modern day pilgrim in his or her life-journey? One response would be to ignore it, on the grounds that getting in front of royalty was never going to happen. Not in our lives. But we should remember that on occasion we call our leaders “law makers”. So let me substitute “leader” for “king”. Now that is more achievable, because our law-making leaders are much more accessible. We can at any opportunity write to them, ring their office, or even meet them face to face in one of their democratic surgeries. And we therefore have the opportunity to speak to them about God’s laws. Here in the UK there is an increasing tendency for our secular law makers to bring in legislation that is distinctly at odds with God’s laws. What do we do – put our heads in the sand, hoping that the problem won’t affect us? Or do we use our democratic right and “speak to kings about [God’s] laws“? A challenge to think about as we lurch from the Covid-ridden 2021 into a New Year?