By Tito Pel
In studying world history, I learned that some ancient emperors actually ordered certain people to commit suicide. The subjects submitted and took their own lives for fear their lives would be taken anyway by the emperor’s executioner. Such power, to order someone to take his own life, is mind-boggling.
Many ancient emperors considered themselves gods and believed they had authority to take human life at their discretion. I can’t imagine having to live in a place ruled by such a tyrant.
Even today there are places in the world where citizens of certain countries do not have the kind of freedom we enjoy here in America. We are thankful that we do not have tyrannical leaders. This is because we believe all human beings are equal and no one has the right to take another’s life.
Let’s think about the God who created the universe. As creator God, he has authority over everything in the universe because not only did he create all of it, he sustains all of it. We live at the mercy of our Creator. The Bible says he has the right to give and to take away. We can complain about it all we want, but that will not change anything. He is God and he has authority over every created thing.
When Isaiah beheld the holiness of God in the sixth chapter of his book, his heart was filled with fear and he trembled before the Holy God. He declared himself doomed because the holiness of God revealed his sinfulness. He was waiting to be destroyed but instead was cleansed. He was saved from condemnation and God even used him to bring his message to the people of Israel. In chapter 12, we see Isaiah worshipping God with thanksgiving because the very God who has every right to destroy him chose to be his Savior and brought salvation to him.
As we stand in awe of the power and greatness of God, we must never lose sight of his grace and mercy. In this way, our worship will be filled with thanksgiving and joy because the most powerful God of the universe has become our loving Redeemer and King.
Tito Pel is the minister of the Moores Hill (Indiana) Church of Christ. He and his wife, Sandy, served as missionaries to the Philippines for 22 years. They live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have three children and one grandson.