Monday, April 30, 2007

When All the Kings of the Earth Shall Hear

All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.
(Psalm 138:4-5)
Here is an amazing prophecy about the kings of the earth: They shall all praise Yahweh when they hear the words of His mouth. Notice that it is not a matter of if, but when! Though nations raged and plotted in vain against God and His Anointed One (Psalm 2:1-2), still God invites them to come and serve Him in awe and rejoice with exuberant joy, to kiss the Son and thus avoid divine wrath (Psalm 2:11-12). This they will do when they hear the words of His mouth.

How shall they hear? Look to the beginning of Psalm 138, where David says,
I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
(vv. 1-2)
The “gods” are the leaders among men. They are the rulers and judges God has placed in the earth. See Psalm 82, where God commands them to defend the poor, do justice to the afflicted and needy, deliver the poor and needy and free them from the hand of the wicked. But there God takes them to task because they were judging unjustly and showing partiality to the wicked: “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High, but you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes’” (Psalm 82:6-7).

David is not silent before them. No, he pours out all the praises of his heart to God, in front of all the “gods,” the kings of the earth. By his praise he gives bold witness of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

It is like Daniel, when Darius, king of Babylon, foolishly following the advice of those who conspired against Daniel, issued a decree that no one could petition any god or man except him for thirty days (Daniel 6:6-8). Daniel did not wait a month for the decree to expire, nor did he withhold his devotion to God in any way, but boldly prayed to Yahweh three times a day, before an open window facing Jerusalem, just as he had always done (Daniel 6:10). He was bold in the face of this conspiracy. His boldness was furthered tested when he was thrown into the lion’s den, but he was unharmed. The result was that Darius gave praise to the God of Daniel.

Where does such boldness come from? David again answers:
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
(Psalm 138:3)
David cried out to God, and God answered by giving him strength of soul—boldness. It is a divine and holy boldness, and far greater than any intimidating tactic of the enemy. Perhaps Peter and John and the early Church had this psalm in mind when, threatened with persecution for preaching the name of Jesus, they cried out to God:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak your Word, by stretching out Your to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and the spoke the Word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31)
This boldness is the power of the Holy Spirit, and it is comes with signs and wonders and the hand of God stretched forth to heal. David, too, spoke of the hand of God stretched out:
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
(Psalm 138:7)
Here the divinely hand was stretched out to deliver. But in Acts, the early Church, filled with the revelation of Jesus, realized that the hand of God stretched out in signs and wonders would bring healing and turn many to the Messiah. Thus the Word of God would be boldly proclaimed, as we see in the rest of the book of Acts.

It is as Jesus promised: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8).

God has given us His Spirit so that we may have boldness, signs and wonders to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ. When we are full of faith to do so, even the kings of the earth shall give Him praise when they hear His words. There are many instances in history where this has happened in various places, but there is coming a great awakening and revival when all the kings of the earth shall hear the Word of God and exalt the name of Jesus.