Tim Johnson, editor
February 27, 2011
Treated Like a King
The greatest battle of Alexander the Great was fought in India at Jhelum. The Indian infantry attacked with 20,000 men and 130 elephants. The trumpeting, ferocious elephants were defeated at great cost to Alexander.
Porus, the Indian rajah, led the final elephant charge in person. He lost more than 12,000 troops while trying to stop the Macedonian phalanx; both of his sons were also killed in battle. Porus was finally captured and brought to meet Alexander. Arrian, the Roman historian, described the meeting:
"Alexander, informed of his approach, rode out to meet him, accompanied by a small party of his Companions. When they met, he reined in his horse, and looked at his adversary with admiration: he was a magnificent figure of a man, over seven feet high and of great personal beauty; his bearing had lost none of its pride; his air was of one brave man meeting another, of a king in the presence of a king, with whom he had fought honourably for his kingdom.
"Alexander was the first to speak. 'What,' he said, 'do you wish that I should do with you?'
"'Treat me as a king ought,' Porus is said to have replied.
"'For my part,' said Alexander, pleased by his answer, 'your request shall be granted. But is there not something you would wish for yourself? Ask it.'
"'Everything,' said Porus, 'is contained in this one request.' The dignity of these words gave Alexander even more pleasure, and he restored to Porus his sovereignty over his subjects, adding to his realm other territory of even greater extent." (The Campaigns Of Alexander, p. 281).
One day, while serving wine to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah exhibited a sad face (Neh. 2:1). When the king inquired about his sadness, Nehemiah was "dreadfully afraid." It was considered highly improper to appear before a Persian king with any display of sorrow (cf. Esth. 4:2).
While it is true we are to go "boldly to the throne of grace" (Heb. 4:16), let us never forget our behavior in the presence of our King! When Christians assemble on the Lord's day, they are in the presence of royalty. Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20). Jesus Christ is not only a king, He is "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15).
Do you treat Jesus like a King? The words of the king are to be obeyed without hesitation. Our King has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). His terms of salvation are not to be trifled with. Our Lord has commanded that His word be preached to all creation. He said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
Those who reject the message of Christ will pay the penalty "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe" (2 Thes. 1:7-10).
A recent device that has really made a difference is the GPS. It has really changed the way many people do things in all areas of life, whether in work, travel or in play. Using the signals from multiple satellites, a GPS can determine your location anywhere in the world. This information can be used to help a lost hiker or hunter return to camp or enable a driver to locate a house, restaurant or attraction in a city they've never been to before. It has even helped others find their lost or stolen cell phones, with their built-in GPS capabilities. In a very literal sense, it is "guidance from above."
It will, however, only help the person who believes the information given and acts on it. What if a person viewed the GPS and said: "I can't possibly be where this thing says I am"! What good would it be if a person turned off the unit, stuffed it in a pocket, and headed out on his own? If one said "I know I'm going west, even though this says I'm going south," you would call such a person stubborn or hard-headed or set in his ways, for denying the plain truth staring at him from the GPS.
In a similar way, God's guidance system for us today is the Bible (His Word). It will benefit our travel through this life only if we study and obey it. We sing a song sometimes in our assembly: "Trust and Obey for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." Jesus said: "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46).
Consider these other passages of Scripture concerning God and His Word:
Remember that guidance from above is promised to all who will accept God's Word and follow it. "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." (Heb. 4:16).
-- The Lilbourn Light , Vol. 11, No. 9, Jan. 2011