Speaking to Kings

“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?

Justice

“Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity? No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth.
Then people will say, ‘Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.’”

Psalms‬ ‭58:1-2, 11‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

“Do you judge people with equity?” Surely a good question. A question just as relevant today as it was in David’s time, but with a difference. In 21st Century UK society I would like to think that the laws set out by our parliamentarians are judged upon by our various courts with total and complete honesty. Justice is administered with almost total transparency, and avenues are available for appealing decisions that might be perhaps a bit dubious. However, in David’s day judges had a reputation of being corrupt, accepting bribes, with no right of redress. It didn’t stop there – hundreds of years later Jesus spoke a parable about the “Unjust Judge” – you will find it in Luke 18:1-8. And throughout history, justice has been a rather hit and miss affair.

So to me the issue of justice is not about corruption within the UK legal systems, but about the way secular and godless principles are creeping into law through unjust parliamentarians. Historically, UK law has been established on Godly principles over many years and these have established a society that is strong and stable, a society that is, for the main, implicitly comfortable with the fairness of its laws. But sadly, in recent years, UK governments seem to have lost their moral compass, and have weakly given in to godless minority groups and passed laws at odds with God’s principles. And the consequences of such legislation has had an unsettling effect on society, with unintended consequences coming to the fore. Verse 2 of our Psalm today talks about “violence on the earth”, surely another description for a society without peace, at war with itself.

David ends his Psalm with the comforting thought that God is still on His throne and will judge righteously, rewarding His people, those who abide by His principles. Though we would like God to judge now, He patiently allows everyone the opportunity to respond to Him, and we too need to be patient, trusting Him to bring about righteousness in all the earth. So we pray. And keep praying. For our governments, for our parliamentarians, for our judges, for our communities, for our families. For those who seem set on anarchy with their lobbying and disruption. And with faith, wait for God to bring about His will and purposes. Will we have to wait long? It may be a lifetime. We may never see justice served in the way we would like or expect. But we can be assured of this one thing – God is still on His throne and will one day judge those who devise injustice in their hearts.