May 23, 2014

Ho Basileus Ton Ethnon: "King of the Nations"

Revelation 15:1-4

“Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.”
—Revelation 15:3


In a vision of heaven, John sees the victorious saints standing before a glassy sea. With harps in their hands, they sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. They offer highest praise to the “Lord God Almighty,” to Ho Basileus ton Ethnon, “King of the Nations.”

The name Ho Basileus ton Ethnon highlights God as basileus, meaning “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.” He isn’t the petty ruler of a minor state, but the King of all of the ethnos, “nations, tribes, and people groups” across time and space.

This scene by the sea of crystal is a climax moment in salvation history. Ho Basileus ton Ethnon, “King of the Nations,” triumphs over and destroys his enemies. Throughout history the people of the earth have obstinately rejected God’s claim as Ruler over heaven and earth. When God’s glory and righteousness are completely revealed, all nations and peo-ples of the earth will come and bow down before his throne and worship him.

Does history often seem out of control, lurching toward destruction? Don’t fear or lose hope. Ho Basileus ton Ethnon, “King of the Nations,” will prevail. We have this assurance in Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Live and serve today in that confidence and hope.

O King of the Nations, we bow before you and look to the time when all people will do the same. Until that day, help us to trust and joyfully serve you. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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