YHVH is a fearsome and commanding King. He is a Colossal One seated upon the throne. And we are children of this Ancient One. Thinking about God in such terms can be mildly uncomfortable, or a bit confronting when you really think about how powerful and terrible He is. We refer to YHVH as ‘Father’ – and rightfully so, because He is. It’s comforting and easy to think of ourselves as children of God, a loving Father – again, rightfully so, because we are.
But being a child of the Ancient One who made the universe is not something we can take lightly or for granted; just because you announce you’re a child of God doesn’t mean you’re a good one! John 8:40-47
It can be easy for many to cruise along without feeling any spiritual responsibilities (because ‘God breaks the yoke and bears all our burdens’) and simply wallow in the blessings of life, going with the flow. This relationship can be likened to a very young toddler wandering around after its father; content, but oblivious to most important things and unfit for any sort of work. The toddler is loved, but who would entrust tasks, knowledge, or responsibilities to a toddler? Who would confer and confide in a three year old? And who would send this young one who can barely speak to be a messenger to many others?
So thinking of our relationship with YHVH as child and Father and nothing more can lead to being painfully naïve, and can prevent you from any spiritual growth – as you’re still a toddler. Hebrews 5:11-14, 6:1-12
It’s true of course that YHVH is loving and kind without comparison; but He is equally thunderous and terrible. People who have seen just a glimpse of His power and how colossal He is have fallen on their faces as if dead. Revelation 1:12-18
If we could grasp the sheer enormity of YHVH, the King of all Kings, we would continually fear and tremble. Revelation 4:1-6
When we come before Him in worship, in supplication or in prayer, we are coming into His throne room, and before this Ancient One seated on the throne. Like Esther before King Ahasuerus, and yet YHVH is infinitely more powerful and omniscient than any king on earth. The magnitude of our King and the vastness of His throne room is not something to be underestimated. Esther 4:15-5:2
If Esther prayed and fasted for three days just to see the king (her husband!), how much more should we revere and be in awe of YHVH, Creator of everything? Yet luckily for us YHVH is not fickle like Ahasuerus, and He is merciful and kind, and desires us to be in His presence. What a privilege and honour! It's not always as simple as children coming for a chat to their Father. There is an element of reverence, honour and humility that cannot be overlooked when seeking His face, or we can become flippant and irreverent regarding spending time with Him.
In the days of the Tabernacle and the Temple, many times people coming before YHVH in the wrong way were struck dead. We are dust, sinning mortal servants, coming into the throne room of the God, Ruler of Hosts who fills the entire universe.
So if YHVH is the King of kings, then shouldn’t we serve Him above everything and everyone else? We are His children, but we are not meant to be clueless little kids or freeloaders – we have jobs, responsibilities and duties spiritually just as much, or even more so, than we do physically. YHVH gives us tools to serve Him, and He expects us to use them. The same as giving a soldier a sword and armour, YHVH gives us gifts and purposes. YHVH trains us personally, if we are humble and receptive. Psalm 18:33-37
We are His slaves, soldiers, priests, messengers and workers. We are meant to follow orders and obey commands.
If our role and duty is to serve Him as subjects serve their King, when He speaks to us, we have to acknowledge His word as a command. An order, not a request. He loves us and cares for us and wants what is best for each of us, but this doesn’t mean His words and instructions are just suggestions from a kind Father.
More often than not, it is an order direct from a King to one of His soldiers, instructions to a messenger, a warning to a wayward servant, a command to a slave, a requirement of sacrifice from a priest. All orders, not requests. If we think we can ignore this King, YHVH Tzva’ot and do what we like, our blood and sometimes even the blood of others will be on our own heads. Ezekiel 33:7-9
Not obeying the commands of the King will always turn for the worse. God may have grace, but He also has the wrath of a King. And this King is not one we, His chosen servants and subjects, can ignore. We always have a choice – to obey or not – but so does any servant under a king; and choosing to disobey or ignore a king’s command would be extremely stupid, dangerous or even a death wish for that servant.
However, even if we are not struck down or punished for disobeying, the fact remains we are ignoring the direct orders from One who is infinitely wiser than us. One who knows everything that has happened and that will happen. Just because something He requires is hard, or painful, or not exactly what we want to do, doesn't mean pretending we never heard, making excuses and doing our own thing will all turn out well. It will never turn out perfectly well, whether it's two weeks later or twenty years. And there will be consequences to face at the end of time.
This being said, we are fortunate enough to be loved by our King, YHVH, more than we can imagine or fathom with our earthly minds. His love is a powerful love, one that gives us confidence and strength as those who belong to Him. He doesn't simply throw us heartlessly into the deep end and watch from afar - He gives us strength to do what He asks if we simply do it. He supports us the entire way, if we stay close to Him. He overwhelms us with His shalom, comfort and blessings if we follow His way.
He loves us enough to appoint us as His children, over the millions of heavenly hosts, angels and cosmic beings who will never share the same privilege. So if even His magnificent and powerful angels who serve Him are not called His children in the way we are, how much more should we, weak humanity formed from dust, strive and work to serve and obey Him to the fullest? A ruler’s children have a far bigger obligation to mirror their father and His house, and to serve and work above all of the other slaves and servants. So despite our weak flesh in this life, so we should strive with determination to serve Him just as the angels do. If He can give His angels this power, He can give His children power through the Ruach. His love can not be taken for granted. His love gives us power. We have the love of a King.
Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 5:1-2