Saturday, February 02, 2008

Thinking about Tyrants

I am still pondering ways to teach my children about governments - good and evil. This morning I read Psalm 2:

The Reign of the Lord's Anointed

1 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

I am sure that it's not a coincidence that after studying monarchy, democracy, anarchy, plurality, totalitarianism, communism, etc., the Lord guided me to this Psalm. It's a great reminder of Who is in Control!

I'm sure the most wicked dictators (we discussed Idi Amin, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin) thought they were in control, but He Who Sits in the Heavens laughs, and holds them in derision. I see Jesus in this Psalm, not as a gentle Saviour, but as the God of Glory, clothed in brilliant light, and terrifying. This is the God whose wrath is quickly kindled. This is the God before Whom we tremble.

But the last phrase of the Psalm reminds me of my position in Christ. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him! This God who is awesome and terrifying, all-knowing and all-powerful, is the same God Who is my Heavenly Father. I do take refuge in Him. And I am truly blessed.

I picture it like this: Imagine a monarchy back in the time when Kings were all-powerful. They assumed divine right, so if they disagreed with someone, it was a simple step to command, "Off with his head!" Now imaging that King finding out that a treacherous traitor was in the room. His wrath is kindled; his face aflame with fury. He bellows, and everyone in the court trembles.

At that moment, the prince comes running in to see his father. Unaware of what has just taken place, he scurries up to the throne, exclaiming, "Look, Father! See what I have found!"

His father's countenance softens, and he picks up his son, looks at the little treasure, and murmurs a few words before sending him on his way.

The King of Fury is the same Loving Father. If you know Him as your Abba, Daddy, you are truly blessed.

While pondering tyrants, I came across this post, discussing Gestapo Homeschooling Moms. It hit home, not that I am a Gestapo Mom with others' families. I am well aware of the grace of God in my life. But I fear that sometimes I am a Gestapo Mom with my own children. In my quest to have order and do everything right, I forget to simply love.

Lord, make me aware of tyrants, not only in history, but also in my own home. I am much-forgiven and much-loved. Help me to daily forgive much and love much in return. May I be the hands and feet of Jesus, simply loving my husband and my family, and letting the Holy Spirit be the One who convicts them of their own sin. I have enough of my own sin to worry about.

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