|“Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent |
reigneth. The kingdom of this world is
become the Kingdom of our Lord and of
His Christ, and He shall reign forever
and ever. King of kings and Lord of lords,
and He shall reign forever and ever.”
|—Revelation 19:6; 11:15|
Most people will recognize those words as the text of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. It has become a custom to stand during the singing of this chorus. King George II, attending the first performance of this work in 1741 was so moved by the glorious music that he stood. The audience followed his example and since that time, kings and commoners have stood in honor of the Lord God Omnipotent.
Whether we stand in honor of the King of Kings, or kneel before Him, God spoke these words through the Apostle Paul, echoing words of the Prophet Isaiah, found in Philippians 2:9-11:
Therefore God exalted him [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above very name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Humans find bowing to anyone difficult. But, kings and world leaders seems especially troubling because of their exalted place among men and, more often than not, their lack the kind of humility God will some day require from all of His creation. For an amazing story of a king whom God turned around, study the story of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2 - 4.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the very large kingdom of Babylon, thought so much of his own power that he had a 90-foot-tall statue of himself erected for all to worship. He boasted of his greatness and flew into a murderous rage at anyone refusing to bow before him. But, God took Nebuchadnezzar through some phenomenal experiences and brought him to a place of genuine humility. Read the testimony of this king from Daniel 4:37:
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
We should pray for world leaders that they, too, may recognize the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And, like King George II, honor Him by standing, or kneeling before Him.
hen you listen carefully to the famous “Hallelujah Chorus” this Christmas, get a sense of the greatness of Christ’s power, the awesomeness of His loving reign, and the honor truly due Him from us all!
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