VACANT THRONES (Part 3 of 4)

  1. Case Three: Occupied Vacancies

A few months back this year, an Old Testament scripture hit me with a newness that I had never known. I find that scripture an applicable next file to open.  Again, the scripture is a Heavenly announcement about an incumbent earthly king; a Heavenly verdict of which the majority on earth was tragically ignorant, or chose to be vehemently, brutally so, even the man at the centre of the matter (1 Kings 22: 24, 27).   That notice from Heaven came in the discriminated minority voice of a very disliked prophet of God.

And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a SHEPHERD: and the LORD said, These have NO MASTER: let them return every man to his house in peace (1 Kings 22:17).

That was a great paradoxical indictment.  How could Heaven say of a great nation that still had a powerful king ‘in office,’ that its people were without a shepherd (in Hebrew, ra`ah – a carer, a friend, a pastor), and without a master (in Hebrew, ‘adown – a sovereign, a ruler, a leader)?  In other words, according to the news from Heaven, the throne of that kingdom had become vacant despite the very powerful Ahab still ‘in office,’ with Queen Jezebel his very newsy wife.  God no more recognized that man’s many achievements that the press daily reported. As far as God was concerned, therefore, all the glamorous photos that filled the front pages of newspapers and announced him as king of Israel; all the TV clips and radio broadcasts, were a lie; a decorated branded lie that only the coming days would disclose.

As God saw no king over the many citizens of that country on whose throne Ahab still sat as king, they were described as “scattered” (in Hebrews, puwts, meaning dispersed, broken or dashed into pieces, cast abroad, scattered, etc.).  The press certainly did not share that ‘minority’ view about that ‘powerful government’ or its prosperous people, and never promoted the view.  They might even have been sanctioned if they dared.

Alas, Heaven lamented a people without a shepherd or friend or care-giver; a very religious nation without a master or leader or pastor; a people broken and dashed into pieces and scattered and cast abroad – as forced immigrants and exiles!  Does that describe a land you know?  Does God really recognize the occupant of every throne?  Does Heaven respect their splendorous voice on such thrones?  Does Heaven celebrate them as Earth often does?

Ahab simply expired on the throne.  He did not continue to hold the place in wait for another specific prophetic comer, as in the case of Saul and David.  To that extent, I shall describe the present case as an occupied vacancy.  All the same, it is another case of a vacant throne – even if mortal eyes did not see it so.

  1. Case Four: Protected Vacancies

Whereas a throne may have an occupant whom Heaven does not see in that capacity, the reverse is also possible, that a throne could appear vacant while it is not actually empty.  That was the case with the throne of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  Heaven pronounced on that pompous king a sentence of seven years of isolation in the wild; a stipulated Peace Corps mission (in Nigeria they would call it NYSC) with wild beasts; a term of practical orientation at the Department of Humility in the University of the Wild, with the beasts as instructors and classmates – and the angels of God as supervisors.

While the king was thus dispatched from the throne on that ‘study leave’ abroad, God ensured that the throne was protected from usurpers; that it was kept preserved specifically for him until he should return a changed person after his years of compulsory service outside.  The throne was apparently vacant, but it was not free – at least as much as the supervising spiritual powers ensured (Daniel 4:26, 36).

Does Satan also ensure protected vacancies, where a seat is vacated yet none can sit upon it, until the Wicked should return, more wicked than before?  Do celestial spirits so rigorously supervise terrestrial thrones?  Is God in Heaven interested in human politics?  Does Satan also care much about who becomes a king among mortals?  Should earthly politics really matter to spiritual folks? Next slide …

From The Preacher’s diary,
August 7, 2017.
Continued in Part 4 of 4.

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