Posted at Reformation Scotland:

While we wait for the dust to settle after the General Election, we are both comforted and challenged by the truth that the Lord is still in power and looking after the whole of human history for His own glory. This is not merely a platitude for Christians to use to soothe themselves after unwelcome election results. It is an understanding that should shape everything, including when things are going the way we would like. Those who are now in power in the nation must take account of this too. The gospel requirement remains in force, that whoever we are and whatever position we hold, we must all trustingly and penitently acknowledge the Lord in His glory sitting king for ever. As David Dickson shows in the following extract from his comments on Psalm 29, the gospel confronts those in positions of authority, the “mighty” and the “potentates” in our nation.

In Psalm 29, David directs his exhortation to the potentates of the earth, “O ye mighty,” in order that they may humble themselves before God, and give Him the glory of all power, and authority, and excellency, above themselves, and above all other creatures.

Although princes should be most careful of all people to glorify God, yet it is most rare to see them humble themselves before Him. Natural corruption is as strong in them as in others, and their education breeds them to high and stately thoughts of themselves, while their riches and power puff them up, and the flatterers who ordinarily attend them make them forget themselves and God also. Therefore they are thrice exhorted here to give glory to God (v1–2).

It is most necessary that potentates humble themselves before God, and be singled out to be challenged to do so, because their example and authority prompt many outwardly to submit to God. That is why David speaks to them in their grandeur, “Give glory to God, O ye mighty” (v.1).

To the extent that men are great in the world, they are ready to think much of their own strength, of what their power is able to reach to, and what honour is due to them. But if they reckon right, strength and glory belong to God. And according as He is above them in power and excellency, so should He proportionably be magnified. “Give unto the Lord glory and strength, and give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name” (v.2).

The glory which God wants is what He has prescribed in His own ordinances, given forth in His Word to His church. “Worship him in the beauty of holiness,” that is, in the glorious sanctuary, the place of public meeting, beautiful indeed, not so much for timber or stones, but because there are the holy and beautiful means of grace to us, and God’s worship showing forth His glory.


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