The Lord Is Our King, Isaiah 33:22

It is only God’s law, that can produce the peace, justice, happiness, indeed, the joy that our hearts truly desire.

“The Lord is our king” (Is. 33:22). This phrasing sounds antiquated to many, or oppressive to many others, but both of these reactions derive from a very earthly, this-worldly, point of view. On the other hand, human language is not capacious enough to contain the real sense of the kingship of God, so we use metaphors to try to understand that which is transcendent. Our negative views of kings are derived from human experiences, from the history of human kings who were subject to human frailty, sinfulness, and imperfection, like us, but with immense worldly powers. In their name, their kingdoms, or their dictatorships, much cruelty, destruction, and injustice have been done.

Image by Pali Rao from iStock

But our king is the Lord, the Creator of the universe, of all that is seen and unseen. This Lord, this King is love itself. Out of this magnanimous, self-giving love, He created everything, most especially, we human beings, whom he made in his own image and likeness. Ever since he breathed life into the lungs of Adam, He has always willed only the good for us. He continues to do so to this very day, indeed, this very moment. It is he who has forgiven our frailties, our sins, our foolishness over and over again. It is this King, this Lord of all, who let go of divinity and entered into our humanity in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the sign, the proof of the infinite, unconditional love this King has for us, coming amongst us, as he did, even though we were in the midst of our sins. It is this King who, “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2: 6-8).

Image by Liliboas from iStock

In this great love so far beyond our understanding, our King has conquered our greatest enemies, sin and death. In his willing suffering, his death on the cross, and in his Resurrection from the dead, he has conquered them once and for all. And He holds the door to his eternal kingdom open to us now asking of us only that we put our lives, all that we are, into his hands. And we can do so by willingly living in accord with His law of love above all else in this world.

Yes, he asks us for our humble submission to Him and to His law. But we are not asked to submit our all to a tyrant whose demands are rooted in unjust laws, or violence, or power, or anything related to earthly gain. He asks us to submit to the unconquerable power of His infinite, magnanimous, generous, self-giving love. His kingdom’s law is nothing less than the law of unconditional love. It is only this law, God’s law, that can produce the peace, the justice, the happiness, indeed, the joy that our hearts naturally and truly desire. And all of this is ours, if we simply turn our gaze away from worldly temptations toward the Way, the Truth, and the Life that he offers us.

Image by Cecilie_Arcurs from iStock

“I am now giving you the choice between life and death, choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embrace him. Oh, yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil of that God, your God, promised to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deut. 30: 19-20). And from the New Testament we see this invitation again in Jesus’ own words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you form the foundation of the world” (Mt. 25:34). Hear and believe.

Subscribe to Faith HUB