What if the United States had kings instead of presidents? Did you know that we almost did?
Kings were all the early founders of the country knew. So during the Revolutionary War, George Washington was asked to be king of America. Washington, both as a man influenced by Christianity and as a praying man, refused the offer. He believed there was only one King.
It’s part of our history that has been lost. A motto that was shouted often during the Revolutionary War was, “No king but King Jesus.” Here’s an actual quote:
In 1774 a report to King George of England, the governor of Boston noted: ‘If you ask an American who is his master he will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.’ The prewar colonial committees of correspondence soon made this American motto: ‘No king but King Jesus,’ and this sentiment was carried over into [a] 1783 peace treaty with Great Britain ending that war which begins ‘in the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.’ 1
When I ran across this little tidbit of information, while researching my last book it struck me that the people of God need a motto like that today.
“NO KING BUT KING JESUS”
The human kings after Solomon got the nation of Israel into a heap of trouble. The nation split into two smaller, weaker nations and during the time of the divided kingdom there were 38 kings, a queen, and a puppet governor in all. Only five were good rulers. The other 33, the queen and the puppet were all evil in the sight of God.
For some people in the body of Christ today, their boss is their king.
For some, their children are kings and queens.
For some, the spouse is the king or queen.
For some, the enthusiasms of pop-culture are king
For some, the king of the life is their mood, or the weather.
Farmers might be particularly vulnerable to that last one.
Every day, multiple times in the day, the people of God need to make a decision as to who (or what) they will bow to as King.
But for we who know Christ, there must only be one King.
His name is Jesus and all of life is about bowing to his Lordship while enjoying his grace.
No king but King Jesus!
Make it your motto. Better, make it the way you live.
1 The quote is from a Catholic Education website. Though I am not Catholic, I appreciate the quote.