If you’ve watched any news today you have most likely witnessed the love and respect of the world for a godly woman, Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned over Great Britain for an amazing 70 years. Eighty percent of the folks in GB have never known any other ruler! The code words to notify England’s newly elected prime minister of the queen’s death were: “London Bridge Is Down.” We have visited London and have seen the impressive “London Bridge,” which is really symbolic of the nation itself, just as Queen Elizabeth was symbolic of Great Britain and the Commonwealth over which she ruled for seven decades. As I read eulogies honoring her life and read quotes from her Christmas messages, I realize what a remarkable monarch she was, but even more so, what a remarkable and exemplary follower of Jesus Christ she was, one whose faith definitely shaped all she did and said. She was a definite gift from God, not only to a nation but to the global community. As one eulogist said, “She was a beacon of grace, humor, humility, generosity and deep faith.”
Queen Elizabeth often spoke of her trust in Christ and the difference it made in her life. There is no question as to the identity of the King she served–the One whom Scripture calls “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16). She may not have been outspoken about her politics, but Queen Elizabeth was never shy about her steadfast devotion to Jesus Christ, the King she served. There was no doubt about where she put her trust, as indicated by her Christmas speeches over the years, such as this one from 2014: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, He stretched out His hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people, of whatever faith or none.” Her Christmas message in 2002 included this statement: “I Know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God…I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian Gospel.”
Queen Elizabeth offered an extraordinary example of consistent godliness in one of the longest and most public global ministries in the history of the world. Those who had the privilege of meeting her and spending time with her (as Billy Graham did on numerous occasions) said that she had the unique ability to make people feel comfortable and valued.
Queen Elizabeth’s amazing 70-year rule came to an end but the throne of Jewish King David, through His descendent Jesus Christ, will endure forever and as believers we will reign with Him forever as well. In II Sam. 7:8-17 we read about the Covenant God made with David to “establish his kingdom forever” (vv. 13,14,16). David’s descendants ruled over Israel until Babylon conquered them in 586 B.C. Israel has not had a descendant on the throne since that time, but then “When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son (Who was born a descendant of David), born of a woman, born under the Law” (Gal. 4:4; Ro. 1:3). The Magi who came to worship Him, familiar with Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Mt. 2:2). Jesus was rejected by the Jewish people and He ended up being crucified (All part of God’s redemptive plan…Acts 2:23). But He rose from the dead and after 49 days ascended back to heaven. He will remove His Bride, the Church from the earth in what we call the “rapture” (I Thes. 4:13-18), and then through a period called “The Great Tribulation” or the “time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) distress” will bring Israel to a place of repentance (Ro. 11:25,26), and then will return to set up His Millennial (1,000-year) reign, sitting on the throne of David in fulfillment of the promise He made.
God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel saying: “Therefore I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey…Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:22,23). It is not a reference to King David but David’s greatest descendant, the Messiah (cf Isa.9:6,7; 55:3; Jer. 23:5).
Today, at the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, the world honors the reign of an amazing monarch and her 70-year reign, but we eagerly await the return of the King she served so faithfully, the Lord Jesus Christ, for, as believers, “Our citizenship is in heaven from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20,21).