Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,In prophecy, often you find that passages have two applications: an immediate application, and a Messianic application. I think this passage actually has at least three different applications, but one really caught my attention, and it's the one I want to focus on, but first I'll mention the other two.
and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the LORD,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
he plans wicked schemes
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble plans noble things,
and on noble things he stands.
(Isaiah 32:1-8 ESV)
The king, in all cases, is God. The identity of the princes, though, is sort of up for grabs. The immediate application to Isaiah's time was to rulers over Israel; Godly political leaders (in our time as well as theirs)Joh have a positive effect on the nation they rule. In New Testament times, this could be applied to pastors of churches; they provide the spiritual leadership that a Godly king might have provided in ancient times. A pastor who seeks God with all his heart will see amazing things happening in his congregation.
But the application that really jumped out at me tonight was that each one of us, every Christian, is one of those princes. Although we may not "rule" in a political sense in the spot where we live, each of us has a powerful influence over those around us. If we use that influence "in justice" (let God work through us), certain things will automatically begin to happen around us:
- We will be seen as a safe place to run, "shelter from the storm." People know they can trust a Godly man or woman. They know they can depend on us. Peace follows us, because we follow after peace.
- People will be thirsty for what we've got. In Exodus the people got water in the desert from a rock; 1 Corinthians tells us that the rock was a symbol of Christ.
- We will be like a shady spot to a tired person. The best place to rest is in the presence of God's people. In fact, being in a state of spiritual rest is one of the primary focuses of the Christian life.
- We will begin to bring clarity to the situations around us. God's wisdom will make things clear to even people who have a hard time grasping the obvious. Jesus Himself did this effortlessly at the age of twelve.
- People will begin to be seen for who and what they are: those with evil intentions will be exposed, and those with noble intentions will receive the honor due them. The perfect example of this is in the book of Esther.
Spiritually take charge of the world around you today. Do not allow it to influence you; begin to influence it. "Rule it in justice," God's justice, and see the incredible things that God will cause to happen!