Looking at monarchies

Published 10:31 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

After watching the royal wedding in England, did you wonder how many monarchies rule in our world right now? There are 26 kings, queens, sultans, emperors, and emirs ruling or reigning over 43 countries. The most visible would be the Windsors in England, who reign over 16 countries including Australia and our northern neighbor Canada. Two of those monarchies, Malaysia and the Vatican, are elected and a third, Saudi Arabia recently changed its succession, electing its next ruler by and from an Allegiance Council of senior princes. Some of those monarchs actually rule, while others, like the Windsors, are largely symbolic.

One of the most interesting monarchs, Sir Hassanal Bolkiah is the Sultan and Prime Minister of Brunei, who appoints the Legislature and the Courts. He lives in an 1,800 room palace, Istana Nurul Iman.

It’s the largest private residence in the world. Another interesting federation of monarchs rules the United Arab Emirates, actually a federation of seven districts, each ruled by a hereditary emir. The emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed, is traditionally the president of the federation.

Perhaps the most interesting monarchy in our history was the ruling family of Israel; it was actually a semi-hereditary monarchy. It could be deposed and replaced at any time because it was actually a representative monarchy. The kings of Israel ruled as representatives of almighty God! Dr. Leslie Weatherhead preached a series of sermons later published as The Will of God. He explains God’s intentional will (what he wants to happen), his circumstantial will (what he allows to happen) and his ultimate will (what will happen in the end).

“[1] In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole Temple. [2] Around him flaming creatures were standing, each of which had six wings. Each creature covered its face with two wings, and its body with two, and used the other two for flying. [3] They were calling out to each other: “Holy, holy, holy! The LORD Almighty is holy! His glory fills the world.” [4] The sound of their voices made the foundation of the Temple shake, and the Temple itself became filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6). The representative monarchy of Israel is a reminder to everyone in a position of power; they serve at the pleasure of almighty God. Whether they rule by hereditary linage or by conquest or by election, they can be deposed at any time by an almighty God who created the world and everything in it. Maybe this summer and into the fall our signs should read, on one side “Get out the votes!” and on the other side “Get out the prayers!”