“So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people.”
2 Samuel 8:15 NLT
We must interrupt our journey through Revelation to pause and reflect upon the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She served this country, the UK, the British Isles, and the countries that form the Commonwealth, for most of her adult life, and was even performing an official duty two days before she died. The right of a monarch to govern in the UK was removed long ago – it was replaced with a democratic parliamentary system that is very much to the fore in our Western society. But even the most fanatical of wannabe republicans in our lands have to agree that Elizabeth was a remarkable woman.
Although the monarch in the UK does not have a direct say in the day to day running and administration of the country, our Queen performed a much more subtle task – she led this country by example. She had a stable marriage, lasting 73 years before Philip died. Although her four children had some very public problems, and still do, her motherhood and leadership were there to the fore. She set very high standards and lived up to them herself.
But for me, two of Elizabeth’s most remarkable achievements are worthy of note. In matters politic, she managed to remain neutral, and politicians of all colours held a very great respect for her. They even consulted her on occasion, soliciting her opinion on matters of state and valuing her common sense and wisdom. Secondly, her faith in God was strong and immovable. It was a quiet but steady personal relationship with God that sustained her through many a difficult time. Our verse today refers to Israel’s greatest king, David. He did what was “just and right for all his people”. And Elizabeth did the same for hers.
What legacy has Elizabeth left us? We each will have our own thoughts I’m sure. For me it is the inspiration of her strong faith and how it shaped and sustained her life. And how that example shaped the lives of people, young and old, in this country.
We must ask too, what legacy we will leave our own circle of friends and family, not only when we have moved on to a new life, but in the here and now. Throughout her life, Elizabeth shaped and inspired, encouraged and advised, all those she had contact with. A combination of her own inner resources and the spiritual support from her faith in God became a beacon of strength and an example for others to follow. So in our day to day lives are we too being people others look up to? And when we pass from this life, will the epitaph on our tombstones include the words “just and right”? Hmmm…