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VICEROY OF THE EARTH

VICEROY OF THE EARTH

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars that you have established;
What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
Mortals that you care for them?
But you have made them a little lower than God,
And crowned them with glory and honour.
You have given them dominion over the work of your hands;
You have put all things under their feet.

Psalm 8:3-6

Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy dispatched by the British Crown to rule over India, a whole world away. Lord Mountbatten was the uncle of Prince Philip and second cousin to Queen Elizabeth. As Viceroy he was empowered to act “in the place of” (vice: Latin, “in the place of” + roy, French, “royalty”) the Queen. He literally stood in the place of the Queen in India. In that position he personally wielded all the power of the British Empire. While Viceroy in India he advised the Crown on policy and had full authority to request funds and troops wherever he deemed necessary. He was appointed to exercise dominion over India.          

But that was then, and this is now!  What do monarchs, viceroys and dominion have to do with you and me!  A lot!  Because this is the language of the Bible and the world of the ancient Near East!   And it is the language of today’s psalm in which an oriental king, David, celebrates humanity as God’s viceroys over the world.   David sings of humanity placed on the planet to exercise God-given dominion over the earth.   He rejoices in God creating them “a little lower than God” [Elohim], crowning them “with glory and honour”, and giving to them “dominion” over the works of God’s hands!position he personally wielded all the power of the British Empire. While Viceroy in India he advised the Crown on policy and had full authority to request funds and troops wherever he deemed necessary. He was appointed to exercise dominion over India.

All of this now brings me to the subject of prayer! As God’s viceroys serving Him in this world, God has duly authorized us to ask from Him what we need to serve His Kingdom here. He has actually empowered us to sign our prayers with His name (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-27). God has promised at our request to pour out blessing on us and on the world! But as James so pointedly reminds: “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2).

It is no surprise that when God placed Adam and Eve in this world and authorized them to exercise dominion over all the earth, the Serpent sought to deter them. Even today the Serpent seeks to deter us. He seeks to keep us from praying and from exercising God’s delegated authority as viceroys! It has been said: “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint on his knees.” No wonder; the Serpent knows our authority and power!

Andrew Murray has taught many about prayer and been an encourager for many to pray. Murray writes about humanity’s power as viceroys to pray:

“As God’s viceroy he was to fill God’s place: he himself subject to God, he was to keep all else in subjection to him. It was the will of God that all that was to be done on earth was to be done through him: the history of the earth was to be entirely in his hands…The destinies of the world were given into the power of the wishes, the will, the prayer of man…Prayer is not merely the cry of the suppliant for mercy; it is the highest putting-forth of his will by man.” (Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer)

This side of the Fall a fierce battle rages on against the world, the flesh and the devil. But we were created in God’s image, placed here as God’s viceroys and empowered to ask in Jesus’ name. The King waits for us to ask! The King waits for us to pray!

A fellow traveler,

Tim

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