Day 43: El Maelekhi

Your procession has come into view, O God—
    the procession of [El Maelekhi] as he goes into the sanctuary.
Singers are in front, musicians behind;
    between them are young women playing tambourines.
Praise God, all you people of Israel;
    praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life.

Psalm 68:24-26 (NLT)

El Maelekhi (or Melech): God My King

Here in the heart of David we find the secret to his remarkable life; this man who was a king of men had a King of his own. He rarely considered himself the ruler of Israel (and those rare moments ended in disaster!), but rather considered God the ultimate Ruler, the Decision Maker, Defender, Justice-serving King of Israel.

It is the usual view of a king to see him as a taker; a man who takes men for soldiers, takes work from servants, takes food from harvesters, takes money by taxes, takes, takes, takes. There are enough selfish kings in history to support this view! But God is not this kind of king, and neither should any king be.

What is a king, as he is meant to be? In ancient England, they called him a “gold-friend,” the one who was tasked with providing his companions with the resources they needed to live. It was his job to find new resources, organize the men who followed him in such a way that these resources could be obtained, and distribute them evenly and fairly amongst those who had worked for them. His hall was a place for his people to find refuge and hospitality when they were far from home, his table was open to many more than himself, and his strength was theirs to use when their own was not enough. He was a man who belonged to everyone but himself.

Of course few men made this kind of king. It is far from an easy thing to be, and even the strongest and wisest and most noble among us can’t be enough for everyone. But God is a King unlike any on this earth; His resources are endless, His doors are open to the empty-handed, and His strength is never spent. None who come to Him are ever refused; in His great hall, there is room for us all.

David knew like few other men the limitations of an earthly king; he knew he was not enough for his people. So he told them, over and over again, where to go when he failed them. He led them to their real King; he led the processions to the house of God, where all needs are met, the source of Israel’s life! El Maelekhi: God Our King.

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