(devotional thought for 1/3 from Christa Prill)

The fog leveled heavy in the sky. Spits of rain slowly turned the page of my journal soggy. I had left the comfort of my cozy, seat-warmed SUV driver’s position to feel the weather on my face, and the weather was up for the challenge.

All around me, I noticed the signs of winter: brown grasses, leaf-less trees, fruit-less bushes. But even in the lifeless, cool, damp blanket that seemed to wrap around everything, I sensed a gentle reminder:

“God is King.”

I had been reading through the book of Jeremiah over the Christmas holiday—real encouraging and uplifting stuff, ya know [eye roll]. The book, among other things, tells of the terrible fall of the Judean kingdom to the world power of Babylon. According to my 10-year-old, it sounds a bit like viking savagery. He’s on point. But even in the midst of intense sorrow and pain, heartache and turmoil, fear and grief, God’s message to his people is clear: God is still the King.

The people of Judah had been putting their hope in their own kings, and even in the kings of other nations, for several hundred years. Throughout their history, God continued to remind them that HE was really where their hope should lie. Toward the end of Judah’s kingdom, it got really bad—the people were putting their hope in just about everything EXCEPT God.

And yet, God was still the King.

His kingship is not determined by the rise and fall of rulers on Earth. His kingship is not affected by seasons of drought, or death, or savagery. His kingdom lasts forever. That means that TODAY—whatever day it is, be it 2020 or 2021, be it ancient past or just yesterday, whether we realize it or not, whether we give him credit or not—TODAY, God is the King.

And just like the teeny tiny blades of bright, green grass that poke through the wet January dirt, God’s kingdom brings hope. Even when all is brown and seems lifeless, even when the world around us seems to be decaying at the seams, God’s kingdom is still alive and active. God is still the king. God’s kingdom promises new life, restoration, and peace, and we know from his track record that this King keeps his promises every single time. He is worthy of our adoration and our honor… no matter what the weather is like.

——

But the Lord is the only true God.
    He is the living God and the everlasting King!
The whole earth trembles at his anger.
    The nations cannot stand up to his wrath.

Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

But the Lord made the earth by his power,
    and he preserves it by his wisdom.
With his own understanding
    he stretched out the heavens.
 
When he speaks in the thunder,
    the heavens roar with rain.
He causes the clouds to rise over the earth.
    He sends the lightning with the rain
    and releases the wind from his storehouses.

Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies!
    On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed.

But the God of Israel is no idol!
    He is the Creator of everything that exists,
including Israel, his own special possession.
    The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name! – Jeremiah 10:10-13,15-16