Kings have authority and potency. That is why they are called ‘potentates‘. They wield authority over their domain and go to war with other kings to gain or preserve territory and authority.
Kings possess inherent qualities of authority. That authority has been expressed to the degree of the ‘divine right of kings’, which suggests that their superiority is divinely endowed.
King Solomon attested to the potency of kings when he declared…
“Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say to him, What are you doing?” Ecclesiastes 8:4
Where am I going with this? I am not here to tell you that kings have authority. What I want you to see is that people who are doing the will of God have authority that is equal to that of kings. So I’m pointing out that kings have quite some authority. Kings can virtually do as they please, and no-one can challenge them. Yet the same is true of the truly godly who are fulfilling the will of God in their lives.
Now, before you head off to defy authority, let me say again that what makes men equal to kings is that they are about their heavenly father’s business. You will not get to a place where you can defy authority just for the sake of doing your own thing. But if you are God’s man (so to speak), doing what God has called you to do, His way, then you can do business with kings, as an equal.
Let me show you several evidences of this in the Bible.
Abraham rescued the whole city of Sodom when it was captured by invading armies. Following the rescue the King of Sodom came to Abraham to offer him a handsome reward. Abraham flatly refused to take it, saying he did not want it said that Sodom had contributed to his wealth (see Genesis 14:1-24).
Abraham dealt with the King of Sodom, not as a lesser man who relied on the King’s graces, but as a man at least equal to the King, who would act as he so chose. Later Abraham proved to be of a higher authority than the King of Sodom when God allowed Abraham to negotiate for the city, but God did not even consider giving such a privilege to the King of Sodom.
Later we see Abraham doing business with a king of the Philistines. We know of this king as Abimelech, which is a dynastic title, like the title Pharaoh in Egypt. God told Abimelech that Abraham was God’s man and he was not to do him any harm. Abraham had no qualms in rebuking this king when his men stole wells from Abraham.
Rather than being in awe of kings, Abraham knew his own place as God’s servant and that he could go about his own business independently of the rulers of the land.
We later see Moses challenging Egypt’s Pharaoh with the same disregard for that king’s earthly authority. Moses had been sent by God and so he acted as an equal, or even a better than Pharaoh, going boldly into his presence to do business with him.
Yet again, even in the trial of Jesus Christ by Pilate, the delegated Roman ruler of Palestine at that time, Jesus declared that the only authority Pilate had over him was what God allowed.
“Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above: therefore he that delivered me to you has the greater sin.” John 19:11
As you grow in your godly authority be aware that the time may come when you will stand before kings, not as a menial whom they wish to deal with as they will, but as an equal, or indeed even as one who has power over them. This is as it has always been.
Do not despise the authority of kings, for it represents the authority you may one day have as you pursue God’s purposes in your generation.