Ella Quayle
Advent - Part 3 | 'He Shall Reign Forevermore'

The song 'He Shall Reign Forevermore', is one of my favorite pieces of music and I am so excited to be looking at it in this blog. I think it includes such amazing Biblical theology that is easy to understand and profound.

Chris Tomlin - He Shall Reign Forevermore, Live:

More about this song:

Around the year 2018 Chris Tomlin and Matt Maher worked together to create a new modern style song that was inspired by Handel’s Messiah. 

The Handel's Messiah is an oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel. It includes the Book of Common Prayer, Psalms, and other scriptural texts from the King James Bible. Handel's Messiah was intended to be a statement of faith in Christ's divinity, a reaction to the increase of atheism that was taking place when he was writing.

Royal Choral Society: 'Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel's Messiah:

In the song 'He Shall Reign Forevermore', I want to focus on two themes, Jesus' humility, and eternal reign. 

In verse 1: "Lights breaking, in a stable for a throne", and verse 3: "Here within a manger lies, the One who made the stary skies, this baby born for sacrifice Christ, the Messiah!" How amazing is that? The King of all Creation in all his splendor and majesty would be born in Bethlehem, in a manger and be raised in Nazareth, to become a carpenter. 
The fact that God would trade a throne for a stable, such greatness to such poverty, to live in a fallen world and be mocked and ridiculed, shows humility is a primary character of who He is.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9. 
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:1-11

This article: explains how the town of Nazareth was not well-known and had a very poor reputation. 

In John 2:46 it says: "Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth". "Nazareth!" explained Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

Out of all the places in the world, God chose to be brought up in one of the lowest places in Israel. A small, forgotten town in Galilee named Nazareth. Even when he was crucified on the cross, he died as a Nazarene: "And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews". The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written out in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek so that many people could read it". 
His death would have been incredibly shameful, Golgotha is close to the city so many people would have walked past him on their way into Jerusalem.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit." Isaiah 14:12-15.

In our society, we are told to brag and show off things that we have. To be the best, look the best, have the best car, house, you name it. Humbleness is not a thing our world advocates for. Yet God is the complete opposite to that. Instead, the Bible says: "The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23:11-12. 

"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5. 

I find it so amazing that not only are we called to live in humility, but Jesus lived it himself. 

In life, God does not care if we have branded clothes, lots of money, lots of followers on social media, a good job, etc. Even though that is what the world says makes us successful, the Bible says the complete opposite to that. Which is such a relief, the pressure is off!

Here is a great video that talks about Christian humility:  

Another key theme in "He Shall Reign Forevermore" is God reigning for all eternity. 

In the chorus, it says: "The King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He shall reign forevermore " and the bridge: "The Saviour of the world appears, the promise of eternal years, Christ the Messiah".

Part of God's nature is that He's Infinite (Revelation 22:13), Everlasting (Psalm 90:2), and Omnipotent (Jerimiah 32:17-19). In life, all things come to an end. Situations, wars, circumstances, relationships, days, moments, trends, nothing will last. But God is eternal. His rule and reign will never end. And through Jesus Christ, we also have eternal life (John 10:28-30, John 3:16)! 
I find it so baffling to think that God has never begun and will never end, his nature is incomprehensible. God's neverending nature shows me what a powerful God he is, that I cannot contain the idea of who he is in a box, that who He is is limitless and sometimes extremely hard to comprehend.

Sometimes in life, we can not understand why certain things happen, or how they happen, and no one can ever truly understand God. 

"Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding." Isaiah 40:28. 
God is above and beyond our understanding, which I find terrifying and perplexing, yet also comforting and calming. He reigns over our troubles, over our lives, and will never be shaken or defeated. His victory will never end!  

The video below gives a bit of insight into Jesus’ rule:

I would encourage you this week to spend time with God and dwell on these themes of God's character we’ve briefly looked at in this blog. Perhaps ask Him to reveal more aspects of who He is through pictures, words, songs, phrases, people, ideas. 

Feel free to use your creativity (whatever that might look like) to express what you feel God, as He speaks to you on whatever aspect of the song He Shall Reign Forevermore