|Vicars of God|
The Story: As the King James translators understood, the rulers of Israel were like God to their people (“like” God; not “God”). God had entrusted His Word to them. He had appointed them to lead and judge the people. They and all the children of God in Israel had a right to expect that these rulers would govern as though God Himself were ruling His people. So high and holy a calling was it to be a ruler in Israel that the people were forbidden to speak ill of them. To speak a harsh word against one of God’s rulers was like speaking a harsh word against God (Ex. 22:28). The rulers of Israel were vicars of God, serving “vicariously” in God’s place to nurture and judge His people. The Apostle Paul recognized the gravity of this mandate and honored the high office of leadership among God’s people, even though the one sitting in that office was abusing it for his own purposes (Acts 23:1-5). But the rulers in Asaph’s day had begun to follow the lead of their king, and they were conducting their leadership not “under the heavens” but “under the sun.”
The Structure: Leadership in the people of God is serious business. James wrote that those who would teach the people of God – as task typically associated with leadership (cf. Eph. 4:11, 12; 1 Tim. 3:2) – must be at all times aware of a more careful scrutiny of their actions by the Lord (Jms. 3:1). God is looking to see if His rulers are doing what He Himself would do in order to make disciples, build the Church, and seek the Kingdom. He’s watching to make sure that His Word is the final bar of appeal in all matters of faith and life among His leaders and His people. When church leaders follow this approach to their ministries, the people can have confidence that they are being led by God Himself, according to His Word.Do you pray for the leaders of your church? What can you learn from Asaph about how to pray for them?
For more insight on reading the Psalms, get the book, How to Read the Psalms, by Tremper Longman III.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.