Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My King and My God

Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
(Psalm 5:2)

David was king over Israel, but He recognized a higher King — Yahweh, his God. David did not see himself as king instead of God, but as king under God, one anointed by God. He understood what it meant to be king because he knew Yahweh as his King.

What is a king? A king shepherds his people, leads them in the way they should go, protects them from their enemies, makes provision for them. David understood these responsibilities very well and knew how to fulfill them. God chose David to “shepherd” His people, Israel, and the biblical testimony is that “he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands” (Psalm 78:72).

Yahweh is the pattern for what a king should be. He hears the cry of His people, and answers them. He brings justice for His people through sound judgment, setting things right for them and dealing appropriately with the enemy and the oppressor. He defends His people and surrounds them with His favor as with a shield.

So, David called on Yahweh every morning, bringing his praise, his prayer, and the meditations of his heart. He laid them out before his King, then waited and watched and looked to Him in expectation (Psalm 5:1-3). It was a personal time, an intimate time with his God.

Indeed, this combination of names, My King and My God, though it is found only a couple of times in the Bible, portrays that intimate connection. David claims Him as his own. God is not just the King to him but my King. David loves to be in the tabernacle, the presence, of the LORD. “As for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy” (Psalm 5:7). In Psalm 84:3, the only other place in the Old Testament where we find this name, the psalm writer longs to be in the courts of the LORD, to find a place near the altars of “My King and My God.”

It is more than interesting, then, that when the risen Jesus invites Thomas to examine the wounds in His hands and His sides, even to touch them and see how real they are, all Thomas can do is exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-28). This was not merely a recognition that Jesus was master and teacher over him. Here was the sudden realization that Jesus is Messiah, the Anointed One, chosen and blessed by God as the King who would sit upon David’s throne forever. With David, he makes that personal and intimate declaration, “My King and My God.”