Do you have the tragedy gene like I do? Let me explain.
Last Friday, down here on earth where shoes and soil meet, I had the privilege to care for three of my granddaughters for several hours. From kindergarten to fifth grade…Easy, right? Whew! The truth is, though I raised 2 kids and have 7 grands, I don’t always know what to do with them. I stay married to Cheryl because she says I do fine. I am very loved by my grands so, obviously, this is my problem. But my tragedy gene kicked in Friday and I wondered to myself, “What will I do if I have to make their dinner? And worse yet: “What if their parents don’t ever come home?”
Tough spots and tragedies reveal I have practical tensions about the rule of God over the universe, earth, and my personal life. Of course, rebellion from God is what got us—me—in trouble from the beginning. You know…it started with our predecessors, Adam and Eve, who wanted their way and rejected God’s way. Like them, even when God tells us mind-blowing truths about Himself and His ways, I—we—respond with, “But God…why...how could it be…what about me?” Let us hear God without argument: “For the LORD, the Most High, is awe-inspiring, a great King over the whole earth.” The word is “fear,” but it is only dreadful for those that reject God’s rule (Psalm 47:2). You don’t rebel against God anymore, do you?
The inspired writers of Psalm 47 unflinchingly promise God’s rule and kingship: He rescues His people, v.3; He rejoices with and receives worship over His victories for us (Note: God rejoicing…), vss. 1, 5-6 (Cf. Zephaniah 3:17); He returns to heaven to rule from His holy throne, v.8; and He resolves history on earth, v. 9. At earth’s end, God the Son, Jesus Christ, consummates and judges earth and evil in glorious victory (Revelation 4:9-10; etc.). Okay, breathe now.
One writer notes, “Any king assuming this title could not tolerate competition.” Ouch. Someone said it again to me this week: They are struggling with their idols. What are your substitutes for God?
The everyday value of God’s rule is explicit in Psalm 47 and implicit elsewhere, e.g., “God is our refuge and strength…though the mountains be moved…” (46:1-2). When life feels like our car is sliding out of control on an icy road, we have God. Repeat after me follower of Christ: We have God.
The tragedy gene is like someone occupying your home when you go on vacation when they don’t belong there. Pour another cup of coffee and think about that.
Resolved in light of Psalm 47: Worry or panic or having to control everything and everyone don’t get a seat at the table when triumphant, sovereign, ruling, promising, preserving, planning King Jesus Christ owns every molecule in the table and universe—and waits patiently for His seat.