Back in 2004, I was a young Christian. I was zealous for the Lord and dreamt big things for the Lord. In that year, I was attending a conference and in that conference we were asked to get together in groups and come out with a vision for Christ particular to India. Four of us got together and we came up with an idea, largely at my initiative, which seemed absolutely outlandish. I led the group in drawing an outline of India with the Parliament building at its center, and with an open Bible at its center. All this was to say that one day Jesus Christ will be acknowledged even by the Indian government. One member of my group, although he had reluctantly agreed to go with my idea, after our presentation, smiled at me and said that I am dreaming an impossibility. Although I resented his comment at that time, in the course of years, after I was introduced to the radical Dispensational eschatology and a missional theology that interprets all occurrences of the word “nation” in the New Testament as “people groups”, I myself felt that I had entertained silly ideas and gave up my “childish ways.”
Now, however, after two years of singing the psalms, and studying covenant theology, I have come a full circle! I have gone back to my childish ways and I am dreaming big things for the Lord once again, albeit with much greater nuance in my theology!
My childishness was once again reinforced when my wife and I were meditating on Isaiah 37 during our family worship. In Isaiah 37:16 Hezekiah begins his prayer by saying: O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. What struck me was the clause thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. This clause comes sandwiched between two other clauses which mention truths that are believed by all Christians. O Lord of hosts captures the truth that Yahweh is the God of the angelic armies. This is true even today! God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims refers to God’s special relationship with Israel which was symbolized by the presence of the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies in those days. This also is true today, in a different and a greater sense, because God is not only near us but indwells in all of us, with our bodies being his temple. Thou hast made heaven and earth: This also is a timeless truth. Since Hezekiah is extolling God by mentioning unchangeable truths about him we should expect thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth also to be in the same category. So, is God the God of all the kingdoms of the earth even today? The answer is yes! The word kingdom is employed by Hezekiah simply because kingdom was the most common political structure in those times. If Hezekiah were to pray today, he could have said : thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the governments of the earth, be they Parliamentary, Presidential or Communist. That God is King over the nations/governments of the world is an unchangeable truth.
But here’s where the problem arises. How does God expect nations/governments to be subject to him today? Different churches give different answers and I will not get into that debate in this blog post. But the theological tradition that I am part of says that all nations/governments have to bow their knee to Christ. In other words, they have to corporately confess him as their King! This is one of the things that I have learned after coming in touch with the RP church. People like William Symington, the Covenanters, Dr. Blackwood have taught me about the Mediatorial kingship of Jesus Christ. It is a doctrine which asserts that not only is the church subject to Christ’s kingship but also the governments of the world, although in different ways. Every government is under obligation to acknowledge Christ’s kingly rule and submit to him. That’s why in most RP churches, you will find a blue banner which reads : for Christ’s Crown and Covenant.
So, I am praying that my country, India, will repent corporately, and acknowledge Jesus Christ as her Lord. I am praying that China will repent of her corporate atheism and acknowledge Jesus Christ as her Lord. And I am also praying that America, which has been so influenced by Christianity, would also acknowledge Jesus Christ as her Lord. And may all the nations of the earth acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.
Lord, may all nations tremble and kiss the Son (Psalm 2:10-12). Amen.