In this blog series I want to focus on Colossians 1:15-20. We have already seen the awesome truth in verse fifteen: Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things.
We cannot see God, but Jesus made Him known during His life on earth in the things He did and said. There were thousands and thousands of eyewitnesses and many of them have passed on their experiences from generation to generation and later entrusted these stories to paper. Reading the Bible is one way to get to know God.
As we continue in that first chapter of the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colosse (which is now in Turkey), we read the following:
For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him.
My Dutch translation says 'everything was made for His glory'. Pooh, what went wrong, you may wonder. There have been quite some world rulers and governments who have made a mess of it, even up till now. As a matter of fact, it seems to get worse instead of better. Dictatorships, evil regimes and suppression ... that can never bring honor of God, right?
No, of course not. Personally, I read in those words that no one and nothing can ever exist without Jesus decision to create. And He has created everything and everyone (including leaders and people in authority) with a purpose, namely to honor Him as Creator of heaven and earth. So, it definitely goes wrong when people do not acknowledge this and put themselves above God by ignoring Him or denying His existence.
That arrogance has led and still leads to horrible situations in which personal gain and power are elevated above the welfare of a people. It should not be so. Psalm 2: 10-12 says: O kings and rulers of the earth, listen while there is time. Serve the Lord with reverent fear; rejoice with trembling. Fall down before his Son and kiss his feet before his anger is roused and you perish. I am warning you—his wrath will soon begin. But oh, the joys of those who put their trust in him!
Maybe those words sound a bit harsh, but apparently every leader and every government [and ultimately every person] has a choice to make!