Do you remember the slang term, reality check? It’s a reminder from a friend when one’s thinking is distorted. As the current political drama beats down on all of us, this hymn can serve as a welcome balm and pull us back into a Biblical way of thinking. Kings and queens rise and fall, but God is on the throne. He establishes governments. In contrast to this fallen, sinful world, The Lord has decreed an eternity in which righteousness will reign in justice and without sin, tears or suffering. Glory to Him.
Thomas Haweis’s inspiration for this hymn is the last chapter of the book of Nehemiah. The people of God did not know they were forbidden to bring Ammonites and Moabites into the congregation. Their worship-leader Eliashib had even prepared a room in the court of God’s house to make it more comfortable for the Ammonite Tobiah, to whom he was related by marriage. The spiritual food intended for the Levites was not delivered.