A.W. Tozer points out that “the history of Israel and Judah points up a truth taught clearly enough by all history — that the masses are or soon will be what their leaders are. The kings set the moral pace for the people.
Whatever sort of man the king turned out to be the people were soon following his leadership. They followed David in the worship of Jehovah, Solomon in the building of the Temple, Jeroboam in the making of a calf and Hezekiah in the restoration of the temple worship.
It is not complimentary to the masses that they are so easily led, but we are not interested in praising or blaming; we are concerned for truth, and the truth is that for better or worse, religious people follow leaders. A good man may change the moral complexion of a whole nation; or a corrupt one may lead a nation into bondage and depravity.”
So, who is the king in America? Who sets the moral pace for us today? Is it the man sitting as President in the White House, or the leaders of Congress, the “kings” of the media, the celebrities and sports heroes, the financial gurus, or those behind the pulpits of American Churches virtually preaching to mega-crowds, streaming live?
America was founded upon the understanding that people do indeed need a leader and they will either be led internally by the Word of God within their hearts, or by the bayonet — military might and force. . . . the Bible or the Bayonet!
Self governing individuals with the Word of God guiding them produced a form of government which gave man the greatest amount of both freedom and security. And it was based upon the grand experiment of whether man was capable of governing himself in personal and civil affairs.
This experiment first tried in England, then worked out in Holland, then refined in Plymouth Plantation and other New England colonies proved without a doubt that man guided by the Bible could govern himself.
It seems questionable now and many look around at the chaos and cry out for a leader to “save” us from ourselves, to “do” something with this mess in our nation.
However, the answer is the same as it was in 1620, a little over 400 years ago. Every man must have a leader. The question is, “Who?”
During the American Revolution, the battle cry was: “NO KING, BUT KING JESUS”
The resounding cry reverberated through the homes and churches, the taverns, forests, and hillsides, “NO KING BUT KING JESUS.” They had decided the issue and gave their lives as proof.
Only He is able to lead us in the battle for ourselves against ourselves. Only He is able to win the battle for each soul and then set His kingdom up in that soul to rule and reign within that individual, working its way outward into his personal life, his home and family, business, and into civil government. The Bible or the Bayonet!
We are not puppets unless we choose to be! God created us with a free will and individual choice. Will we yield willingly to the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit as our forefathers did with such great courage? Will we forsake it all — all the seeming comforts and security of following blindly the so-called leaders before us, or will we have the courage to think for ourselves, to follow in the Lord’s footsteps, to pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to others who are also engaged in setting the moral pace for our society? Who is our King?
After Joshua had led the people of Israel into the Promised Land, and they were settled in the land given to them by God, he gathered all the people together and recounted one last time all the things God had done for them in delivering them from all their enemies, so that the fear of them and the dread of them was upon every nation around them.
He entreated them to serve the Lord their Deliverer by saying, “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
He challenged them to choose whom they would serve and he made his choice.
American Christians are at the same crossroad today, choosing whom they will serve, the gods of the world, the progressive liberal god of confusion, the gods of tolerance, the gods of despair, murder and mutilation, of compromise and chaos, or the God of our Fathers. Choose wisely and well because there are consequences with every choice. There is a cost as there was in the day of the American Revolution.
But I stand with those courageous, faithful ones who declared, “NO KING, BUT KING JESUS.”
It is King Jesus who sets the moral pace for us today . . . Lest we forget.
(c) Patricia H. Smith
July 26, 2022