Majesty: a term normally reserved for addressing the sovereign ruler of a nation, historically titled the King or Queen. Representing royal power.
Happy Birthday, Queen Elizabeth II
At the time of writing this, it was the Queen’s actual birthday – 21 April. Fun fact/side note – Queen Elizabeth II has two birthdays!
There is her actual birthday in April, and then there is her ‘official’ birthday coming up on 11 June 2022. Almost 100 years ago, our Queen was born on April 21, 1926 – thus this April date is the real birthday.
Celebrations at this time of year are a private family affair for her. In June, the official celebration is more public – and the Trooping of the Colour military parade is held. The short answer to why there are two separate dates is tradition at work – previous monarchs have also had two birthdays, beginning with George II in 1748. He moved the public birthday celebrations to coincide with the annual Trooping of the Colour, which is always held during the warmer Summer time of May-June.
Majesty in the Godly sense
But this is all a sidestep to our main topic – majesty. The association of the term has always been shared. While we will typically think of Kings and Queens and rulers here on earth, we of course have the greater meaning of majesty as a term of reverence to God.
Rulers of nations do not have exclusive claim to loyalty, affection, respect and obedience. In fact, you can argue, in this early 21st century that modern society, particular taking the monarchy in Britain and the Commonwealth, has gradually been challenging that historical claim of loyalty, affection and more so, respect and obedience.
Monarchs have ruled nations over the period of their lifetime or for specific durations, unless forcibly removed by usurpers or revolution. In world history, we have seen many rulers come and go. Of course, our Queen Elizabeth II is about to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee/70 years, which has seen her reign witness the many comings and goings of Prime Ministers ruling in her name! However, in short, national/royal heads of state do not hold office on a permanent basis.
God, however, is ruler of the universe because He created it, established our world, and put in place the world order as we know it today. God is our permanent ruler – and this truth prevails whether or not we acknowledge or agree with it.
Even if we are non-believers who ignore, disbelieve, disrespect or even rebel against God, it doesn’t change the fact that He remains ruler and sovereign over all creation.
Splendour of God
As Isaiah chapter 2 verse 2 says
In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
The temple referred to here was built on the mountain of the Lord, Mt Moriah, which was highly visible to the citizens of Jerusalem. Isaiah prophesised that in the end times when God would judge the world, his temple would attract the world, not because of its fine architecture or prominence, but because of Him – God’s presence and influence.
Part of the prophet Isaiah’s goal was to warn the nations and help them to understand the majesty, splendour and power of God. Later in the book of Isaiah, the fear of God’s anger would reinforce the power, splendour and authority of God – his majestic presence.
Voice of God
There is majesty in the voice of God. God reveals his power tin nature and we can trust God to give us both the peace and strength to withstand the challenges of life – the storms. Throughout history, God has revealed his power through miracles over nature. That the voice of God could break cedar trees (Psalm chapter 29 verse 5) is super impressive.
Majesty of Christ
One of the titles of Jesus is King of Kings, and this reinforces the fact that ‘majesty’ is doubly applicable to Him. He commands perpetual respect, love and obedience from us all. And if we choose Him, He is always there when we need Him.
Jesus, as part of his ministry on earth, was never shy in explaining his divine nature. His claims to be one with God the Father, and that both Son and Father were the one being (John chapter 10 verse 30, ‘I and my Father are one’) were clearly understood and offensive to the Jewish audience at the time. And this too reinforces the fact – the majesty of Jesus is that He is God’s only begotten Son. Further, the majesty and glory of Christ is found in the fact that He is our Lord. Jesus’ utmost obedience to the Father further amplifies both his majesty and God’s majesty.
Responding to God’s Majesty
Reflecting on the majestic nature of God/Jesus demands a response from us – we cannot just read and forget.
As we ponder the eternal majesty of God as the glorious and victorious Lord of all, let us come before Him in worship, repentance and gratitude. For whenever we call him Saviour and Lord, we proclaim our relationship as a child of God. May every day be a day we can proclaim his majesty and glory over our lives.
Parts of this article were influenced by my own father’s writing on the topic of majesty some 25 years ago – the recent discovery of the script inspired this article.
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.