The Mountain-King\'s Return

Guest post by Ryan Goldsmith

“The King beneath the mountains,

The King of carven stone,

The lord of silver fountains

Shall come into his own!

His crown shall be upholden,

His harp shall be restrung,

His halls shall echo golden

To songs of yore re-sung.

The woods shall wave on mountains

And grass beneath the sun;

His wealth shall flow in fountains

And the rivers golden run.

The streams shall run in gladness,

The lakes shall shine and burn,

All sorrow fail and sadness

At the Mountain-king's return!”

- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

So sang the people of Lake-town at the arrival of Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thror, son of Thrain, who was to slay the dragon Smaug and take his rightful throne as King under the Mountain. For you normal brothers and sisters who aren’t middle earth fanatics, the song comes from The Hobbit, a novel I read for the first time two weeks ago.

When I first came across the song, I couldn’t help but think of the infinitely mightier return and redemptive work of the One True King, whom we serve. He is not a king of fiction, but he is The King of reality. He is The Cosmic King, and how much greater is His redemption than the mythical beauties foretold by Tolkien. For our King is Truth, and He reigns at the right hand of the throne of God this very second.

We pilgrim through uncharted waters as people of The King, and we know we’re not quite home yet. We long to be in glory with Him, to be restored in eternity just as He’s promised. I’ve always found that looking ahead to heaven is one of the greatest sources of joy during tribulations. So in the midst of our current context, let’s look ahead to the treasure Christ bought for us. John gives us a foretaste of this restored Eden in his vision of heaven.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’. And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”
Revelation 21:1-5 ESV

There will come a day when all this is over. We’ll dine with our Maker, and God will dwell with man once again. There’ll be no more sadness, pain, anxiety, or fear; everything will be restored. Every single tear will be wiped away by the gentle touch of our Heavenly Father. So let us look past present dilemmas, growing virus counts, and the staggering economy, and look to the Lord - trusting in His sovereign plans. Knowing the former things will pass away, let our whole lives rest in the gospel and be fueled by the inheritance we mercifully receive from our identification with Christ.

Let us remember that the God of the universe stepped down from glory and became a poor carpenter from Galilee. And out of His great love for us, He bore a criminal’s cross that we deserved, and took the bitter cup of wrath, that we might taste from the sweet chalice of grace. Such a lopsided exchange has never taken place. We merely trusted in Him, while He was crushed by our sin. Thus, I exhort myself and the Church today to hoist the colors of the gospel high in our hearts; to rest in the finished work of Christ; and to press on for His glory in the days to come, knowing we’re still on this earth for a reason. Let’s continue to stay low, stick together, and make disciples. I assure you brothers and sisters, these trials are worth it. For Zion awaits.

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