People are fascinated by the concept of royalty. The notion stirs up sentiments of love, admiration, and hatred. We see ourselves in them, and yet we criticize them at times with indignation. While most monarchies today have been put aside or at least limited in their power, the concept of royalty cannot be erased from human consciousness. In the words of Jesus, Christians pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The ultimate and most perfect monarchy is that of God himself, the sovereign of all creation.
Through David and the story of the kingship, God taught us about his governance of the world and of his people. David was only human and at times the worthy subject of both praise and severe criticism. But in his relationship with God, we find a model for the people both then and today: suppleness to God’s will; wholehearted pursuit of righteousness; sincere repentance from sin; mercy for others; and true worship of God, who alone is worthy.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford. His research on Beowulf is still considered a standard in the field. Tolkien, however, unlike most Oxford dons, stepped out of his role as professor to create popular literature.
Tolkien’s best-known writings were The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, in which he created a fully realized world known as Middle-earth, vaguely identifiable as Northern Europe in a pre-history that never was. To bring his world to life, he produced detailed geography and cartography as well as a legendary background. He peopled the world with diverse types of inhabitants and created spoken and written languages for them. By doing this, he essentially created modern fantasy literature and a standard for subsequent writers to chase and miss. A British poll at the end of the twentieth century named The Lord of the Rings the most important English-language work of that century.
During his lifetime, Tolkien did not appreciate people focusing on him rather than on his writings. He felt that his writings were more worthy of attention. With apologies to the late gentleman, he is now due some notice.