Friday, January 21, 2005

Greater Than the $42 Million Inaugural Ball

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;
  The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
  He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
  Let the seas roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
  Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD.

For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
  He shall judge the world with righteousness
  And the peoples with His truth.
(Psalm 96:10-13)
Yesterday we witnessed the inauguration of a president, but this psalm speaks of a much greater rule and reign — a divine enthronement. George W. Bush is President of the United States, but Yahweh is the Lord Almighty, King Over All.

Unlike many earthly kings and rulers, the LORD judges rightly. The judgment of God may at times seem to be a terrible, fearful thing, especially to those who are on the wrong side of that judgment. But it is really a good thing, because the judgment of God comes to set things right, to shake out what is evil and to establish what is good.

When God judges, He judges with righteousness. That is, He does what is right, and in the rightness of His judgment, there is a revelation of truth. When we know the truth of God, it sets us free. This is not merely a theoretical or philosophical understanding of the truth, but a personal, experiential relationship with the one who is Himself the Truth — the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a difference the truth and righteousness of God’s reign makes:
  • "Let the heavens rejoice.” The Hebrew word here means to be joyful, blithe, gleeful, merry.
  • “Let the earth be glad.” The word here refers to spinning, whirling, twirling with wild exuberance.
  • “Let the seas roar and all its fullness.” The oceans and all that is in them joins in the celebration.
  • “Let the field be joyful and all that is in it.” The Hebrew here literally means to “jump for joy.”
  • “Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD.” The word for “rejoice” here literally means to “shout for joy.”
The kingdom of God is a party! Not a quiet observance or somber commemoration, but a wild, enthusiastic, joy-filled party. The President’s $42 million dollar inauguration extravaganza is small potatoes next to this blow-out celebration of God’s rule and reign.

The lanterns for His great party have been strung and the light shines brightly in the darkness, for all who will turn toward this kingdom and draw near. Moses saw these party lights burning in a bush. The voice of God called out for him to take off his sandals (his man-made works), step onto the dance floor and let the holiness of God completely transform his life.

Jesus calls us all to the party. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). “I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The kingdom of God is His rule and reign, and this righteousness is about His way of doing and being right. Jesus IS that way, the way of faith that, when we entrust ourselves to Him, brings forth the abundance of God upon the earth

This celebration is growing exponentially. For not only are we called to follow in the way of God’s kingdom celebration, we are also commissioned to call it forth. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). One day God’s kingdom reign will be made known in all its fullness, and there will be no place on earth where it is not celebrated.

Come with Jesus and join the celebration of God’s rule and reign. Call for His kingdom to come forth in greater measure, the will of God being done, and the earth will become much more like heaven.