The king is an earthly authority that should never be taken for granted at any rate. Such a person can be called the president, their Majesties or Highnesses and facing them is not a simple walk through. Often it is considered an honor to have an invitation or an appointment with them yet when the time comes you may wish it had never been arranged for you to meet them. Kings are put by God in authority and therefore they deserve unmatched respect by everyone.
However, when it comes to keeping to Christian values when facing the king, the believer should know that the King above every other king should take priority. Kings that have challenged God’s authority by suppressing God’s servants had a share of God’s when we search the scriptures.
I’m a Swazi national where a king reigns as the leader of the country and I have an idea of what it means to face the king even though I have never had this experience myself. A king has the power to do unimaginable things just by uttering a word. Kings can promote people to high positions, they can demote, and they can evict, demand, and do many more things that an ordinary man cannot do. Kings may be ordinary people but their authority is not general.
Being the salt of the world
I am writing this post having been inspired by a sermon that was based on Matthew 5:13 where the Bible informs Christians that they are the salt of the world and when their saltiness has been wasted, they are immediately rejected by God. Being the salt of the world means a lot more than just calling yourself a Christian. It may call for you to sacrifice some of your valued items and reject offers than are lucrative and by all means desirable. This is what Jesus defines as salt worth keeping for use as opposed to being spilled on the ground for people to trample on.
For the Christian, when it is wrong to do something it is true for anyone including the king. It is easy for me to write this post on what should a Christian do when facing the king that puts a Christ compromising instruction than to do what Jesus Christ expects. However, the Christian is expected to stand for the truth.
I always stand on the truth that God’s army should not be defeated and therefore I should not let down the team. This is true in both the physical world where your words and practice declares your position and even in the spiritual world where you pray against evil forces.
Examples of people that faced kings in the Bible
The Bible has recorded a number of instances where kings had to be reminded of God’s directive even when it meant death for the believer. I’m reminded of the three Hebrew boys; Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego in the book of Daniel 3. Their story seems like a made up fairy tale when you think about it yet it is a reality. These people were people like us and the LORD fought their battles just as it is written in the Bible.
These boys could do anything to defend the LORD’s message, even to the point of risking death. They were put into fire that could not burn them because the LORD stood up to defend His own.
The story of Moses facing king Pharaoh is very popular such that the hardship Moses faced can be easily overlooked. In Exodus 5, we learn of Moses telling Pharaoh the message of the LORD, ‘…let my people go’, which directly provoked the king to anger. In verse 2, Pharaoh responds with anger, not knowing the LORD that had sent Moses. Pharaoh said, ‘…I will not let Israel go’.
Carrying a message that you know will anger the king is not easy. Moses had tried all he could not to be the one delivering the message to Pharaoh. In Exodus 4:1, Moses tries to put his case before the LORD. This is where Moses says that the Israelites will not believe that he had an encounter with the LORD. In this very chapter, the LORD tells Moses beforehand that Pharaoh will not accept the message yet Moses still had to go and deliver the message.
Elijah faced King Ahab and stood for the truth in times when all God’s prophets were tormented and killed. Elijah was acting under God’s instruction, knowing very well that he was the only prophet of God remaining when all other prophets were hidden by Obadiah in caves (1 kings 1:4) just so they escape from the wrath of the king.
I find this story very interesting because Elijah had so much confident in his God that he didn’t doubt that he was completely protected. He told Ahab in the face, ‘…you and your father’s family have (made trouble for Israel). You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals’ (verse 18). The Bible does not state the immediate reaction to this but I believe such words stirred anger in Ahab’s heart. As if that was not enough, Elijah then gave Ahab an instruction to call all Israel to assemble on Mount Carmel. This is where Elijah was to demonstrate the power of the almighty God above every other god in the land.
Today as believers we are faced with organizations, applicable national and international laws, and societal practices that are directly opposing Christian principles. Examples include the wide adoption of homosexuality, public and confidence in worshiping Satan and many other things that are directly challenging the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let’s stay in our position at all times by the strength of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.