OUR KING AND HIS KINGDOM
Carrie Judd Montgomery
Triumphs of Faith 8:12 (Dec. 1888)
“And he sware unto to her, whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.” These words of royal power and condescension were spoken by an earthly king, unto a young damsel who pleased him with her dancing at his birthday supper. Large power was thus granted her to take from his bounty, but even then it was a limited power, for if she chose to take the half of his kingdom she could not take the other half. But our blessed King does not limit us. He says unto them who please Him by their faith and loyalty, “All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing ye shall receive.” He does not add, “Unto the half of My kingdom,” for since He has given Himself, His life, His all, He can withhold nothing. The power which King Herod held forth to the dancing girl was accepted, but abused, for she asked for that which made even this wicked king “exceeding sorry,” and “yet for his oath’s sake and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.”
Our King has also confirmed His promises to us with an oath, for we read, “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew, unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath.” But, unlike this earthly king, it is impossible for our King to be “sorry” for any promise that He has made, for he knew when He gave us the promises, every advantage we might be able to take of them, and yet He has in no wise limited us, but says, even when we think we have asked so largely, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
For the sake of his oath, and for the sake of his guests, Herod would not reject his niece even in her dreadful petition for the death of a just man, and our King surely will not reject us, in petitions inspired by His spirit, not only for His oath’s sake, but also for the sake of His dear Son, with whom we are joint heirs of His kingdom, and for the sake of His own blessed and holy character, which He cannot help but maintain, for with Him “is no variableness neither shadow of turning.”
We read of another king in olden time who might be approached without fear if it pleased him to hold forth his royal sceptre, and as queen Esther “obtained favor in his sight” he held out to her his golden sceptre, and said, “What wilt thou, Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be given thee to the half of the kingdom.” Very rare were the times when it pleased this king to hold forth the token of his royal favor, but, praise God! the golden sceptre of our King Jesus is never withdrawn from us. We sometimes turn away from it, and sadden His loving heart, but still His love and mercy are extended, and His sweet voice says, “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?” “A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom,” O beloved Lord, and Thy righteousness is held forth even unto us, and to all who will draw near and rest upon it.
Again we read that “King Solomon gave unto the Queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked beside that which King Solomon gave her of his royal bounty.” This is a true picture of our King Solomon, our Prince of Peace, for not only does He give us all that we ask of Him in faith, but because of the smallness of our asking, and because of the greatness of His generous love, He must needs pour upon us much of “His royal bounty” which we never would have had the heart to ask for. How much, then, do we need a receptive heart, in order that we may not grieve Him by turning away from His bountiful gifts.
And how much do we need to meditate upon His gracious character as revealed in His word, that we may know His will and come boldly to the throne of grace. “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” “Fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Not a part of it, not half of it, even, but “the Kingdom,” in all the fullness of its grandeur and glory.