An Eternal Ruler

This week we saw the 2024 General Elections here in the UK. It is a time when the national conversation around government and those aspiring to power, influence and position is at its highest and most forceful. We can all too easily be overwhelmed by it all. I want to share with you 2 quotes that cast a historical perspective on people and governments in positions of power.

In 1980, famed English Journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge wrote the following:

“We look back upon history and what do we see?

Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counterrevolutions, wealth accumulating and then disbursed, one nation dominant and then another. Shakespeare speaks of the “rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.”

In one lifetime I have seen my own countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, the great majority of them convinced, in the words of what is still a favorite song, that “God who’s made them mighty would make them mightier yet.”

I’ve seen America wealthier and in terms of military weaponry more powerful than all the rest of the world put together, so that Americans, had they so wished, could have outdone an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of their conquests.

I’ve heard a crazed, cracked Austrian (Hitler) proclaim to the world the establishment of a German Reich that would last for a thousand years; an Italian (Mussolini) clown announce he would restart the calendar to begin with his own assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand (Stalin) in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the western world as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Asoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius.

All in one little lifetime. All gone with the wind.

England now part of an island off the coast of Europe and threatened with dismemberment and even bankruptcy. Hitler and Mussolini dead and remembered only in infamy. Stalin a forbidden name in the regime he helped to found and dominate for some three decades.

America haunted by fears of running out of the precious fluid that keeps the motorways roaring and the smog settling, with troubled memories of a disastrous campaign in Vietnam and of the great victories of the Don Quixotes of the media when they charged the windmills of Watergate. All in one lifetime, all in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind.

Ravi Zacharias, quoting Muggeridge, often added an appropriate postscript: “Behind the debris of these solemn supermen, and self-styled imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one, because of whom, by whom, in whom and through whom alone, mankind may still have peace: The person of Jesus Christ. I present him as the way, the truth, and the life.”

May we take comfort in the fact that Jesus is the only true eternal ruler – he is a just and righteous ruler. Every other ruler, position of power, or government will come and go with time, no matter how lasting they may seem at the moment.