It is God’s Kingdom

We are frequently very quick to get the order confused. Whose kingdom is this? We answer, of course, that it is God’s kingdom within which we are serving, but we are good at speaking and acting as if it is our own.

In Gideon’s case, he had ripped down his father’s altars and worship to Baal and had led a small band of men against tens of thousands of Midianites, ultimately to route them and then chase the kings to eventually subdue them and lead the Israelites to rule over them. Now Gideon was the clear leader of the people. He was the one that the Lord had raised up for that time and for those people to lead them.

Thankfully, Gideon had his priorities straight, even if the others around him did not. Thankfully, he knew where he had come from, the doubts that he had previously when he repeatedly asked the Lord for confirmation. He knew, and remembered what God had done for him, to bring him to the position that he was in now. And most importantly, he remembered why. He remembered that the Lord did these things because the Israelites were his (the Lord’s) people and it was his name, his reputation, and his glory that were at stake. Not Gideon, God.

And so, having remembered this, Gideon responds appropriately when the people come to him:

The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”
But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.”

Judges 8:22-23

Gideon knows that he is not to be king. There is one king who is to rule over the Israelite people – God himself. There is one who would give the law – God himself. Not Gideon. Not Gideon’s son. God, and him only.

I started by saying that we often forget this lesson, and I believe this is true. As Jesus came, he told us that he has all of the power, all of the authority in heaven and on earth. He is the one who gives the commands from now on. He is king in the kingdom of God. He is ruler over all.

Extending this, we also know that Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus is the one who, amongst his people, is the leader. Not a man. Not a pastor. Not a charismatic leader. Jesus, and him only.

So this remains important for us to remember, that it is not our reasoning that should give us instruction and direction. No, it is the reasoning of God, and him only, because he is king and he is the one to rule over all things and all people, the church and one day throughout the entire world.

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