Leighton Ford stated, "True leadership means to receive power from God, and to use it under God's rule to serve people in God's way."
In Psalm 47:9, is the declaration, "The shields of the earth belong to God." The word "shields" means "magistrates." Webster defines "magistrates" in this way: "A civil officer empowered to administer and enforce the law: the President of the United States is sometimes called the first (or chief) magistrate." The Septuagint translates it, "The strong ones of the earth." The idea is that all the rulers of the earth belong to God, serving under His authority and are His.
They are set forth by a double relation:
1. Upward – "They belong to God." They derive their dignity only by being subject to Him. Deuteronomy 17:19 says that they are to have a reverent trust in God, and 2 Samuel 23:3 instructs that they are to rule in the fear of God. God said of Pharaoh, "I have raised you up" (Exodus 9:16). Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon, is defined by God as "My servant" (Jeremiah 25:9), and Christ warned Pilate, "You have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above" (John 19:11). Sir Robert Peel, twice the Prime Minister of England, was found one day praying over a bundle of letters. His friend apologized for disturbing him in his private devotions. "No," said Peel, "these are my public devotions. I was just giving the affairs of the state into the hands of God, for I cannot manage them myself."
2. Downward – "The shields of the earth." Their duty is to serve and protect the people with character and integrity. When little Wilhemina was crowned Queen of Holland, the happy little girl, too young to realize the gravity of the occasion, with thousands of people cheering her, was unable to take it all in and asked, "Mother, do all these people belong to me?" Her mother smiled and said, "No, my dear child, you belong to all these people!"
"He that would govern others must first be lord of himself, and he only is lord of himself who is consciously and habitually the servant of God" (Alexander Maclaren).
Dave Arnold, Pastor, Gulf Coast Worship Center, New Port Richey, Florida, 34654