Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion.
I. CHRIST AS KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16). In these words we have an important part of Christ's mediatorial character brought before us. When this name is applied to Christ we are to understand that power which Christ, as King and Head of Zion, has acquired over the nations and kingdoms of this world, The Church and the State being distinct institutions — the one being positive, expressly revealed, and exhibited in the Word of God; the other being founded on natural principles, and not on scriptural revelation — it is evident that as the rulers in the one hold their appointment directly from Christ as Mediator, so the kings and rulers in the other hold their appointment primarily from God as the Moral Governor of the world. But, whilst recognising this distinction, it does not follow that the powers which be and are ordained of God have no relation whatever to Christ as Mediator. Christ not merely the King and Head of Zion, but Christ the King of nations, by virtue of that power with which He is invested by the Father. Thus it is written, "The Father hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church." Christ has power over all things. He has power and authority over societies and communities, and also over nations, which occupy so important a position in the social scale. Thus kings and rulers are spoken of as holding their appointment from the Father, but in subordination to Christ the Mediator, and subject to His control — "By Me kings reign and princes decree justice" (Ephesians 1:20, 21). It is true that Christ, in a very special sense, is the King and Head of Zion, but it is no less true that, in a very important sense, He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Standing in so important a relation to the Church, it is on her behalf that He takes to Himself this universal power and reigns. Holding this appointment from the Father, Christ is now exalted to the right hand of glorious power and majesty in the heavens. There He is seated on the throne, and wears the crown and sways the sceptre of universal dominion, and we are assured that all kings shall yet fall down before Him, and all nations shall serve Him. But where, it is asked, is the practical importance or application of this truth? We look abroad upon the world, and we see many nations and peoples who have never been brought to the knowledge of the truth, and who are therefore ignorant of the homage which they owe to Christ. We still say the truth is here, and must remain forever. It remains not only an unchanging truth in the Word, but shall yet become an accomplished fact in the history of every nation. What a blessed theme is here set before us for our contemplation! The kings of earth no more combining and conspiring against the Lord and His anointed, but coming with Christian loyalty to pay their tribute at the feet of King Jesus (Philippians 2:10, 11). The fulfilment of these words may be in the far distant future, but of their certainty we are assured by prophecy already fulfilled in the history of those nations that had to make way for the coming of Christ.
II. DUTIES DEVOLVING ON NATIONS UNDER THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST.
1. Christian nations are bound to frame their laws in accordance with the Word of God. Every nation ought to act according to that degree of religious knowledge which it may possess. The very claims of morality and justice, the best interests of society, the welfare of kings and rulers and of all classes of their subjects, and the claims of God, the Moral Governor, demand that the laws of nations should be regulated by the Word. Was the law to be honoured under the Old Testament dispensation by one solitary nation under a theocratic government, much more shall it be honoured under the New, by many nations under many forms of civil government, but all subordinate to Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. By obedience to the laws of the King eternal shall righteousness be promoted, and righteousness exalteth a nation.
2. Christian nations are to be interested in the advancement of Christ's spiritual kingdom.
III. BY WAY OF IMPROVEMENT OF THE SUBJECT, LET US SEE ITS GREAT IMPORTANCE.
1. It is of the highest importance, because it is frequently and clearly revealed in the Word. Its certainty does not rest on a few solitary passages of Scripture, but large and consecutive portions are employed to describe the power and. glory of Christ, the King of nations.
2. It has been important in the past history and contendings of the Church.
3. Nor is the truth of less importance in the present day. The Kingship of Christ over the nations has become a present truth. There is undoubtedly a spirit abroad in the land in opposition to it. Men in Church and State have condemned the very principle.
4. But in a word, it is of growing importance. It will become still more important when its certainty has been established and its application fully and gloriously carried out. As we have already seen, it is frequently the theme of prophecy. And so, fathers and brethren, believing as we do in the faithfulness of God and in the fulfilment of His Word, we must believe His own prediction — "In His times He shall show who is blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords." The works of nature, the discoveries of science, the achievements of art, the efforts of earth's mightiest nations and of the Church universal, shall yet combine to promote the interests of King Jesus. And in prospect of this happy period, shall we say the subject is of no importance? If we are to be indifferent to it, what is to become of the Church's prayer, "Thy kingdom come,"?
(C. S. Findlay.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.