In the eleventh century King Canute had an empire stretching from England to Norway. Though born a pagan, he later became a devout Christian. He built many churches in England and Denmark, and he sent missionaries to evangelize the Scandinavian lands.Because of the king's success in battle, his people practically worshipped him. Their praise made him uncomfortable, and he wanted to demonstrate once and for all who the true King is. So one day he ordered his servants to take his throne to the seashore. His servants followed his orders and set his throne on the beach. Then Canute sat on the throne and waited for the tide to come in.
How might you point the people in your life to the King of kings?
All around King Canute, his attendants and courtiers watched and waited and wondered whether the king had lost his mind. The tide rose, and the waves lapped at the king's feet. Canute raised his hands and commanded the waters to depart. Still the tide rose, and the waters came up to the king's waist, then his chest, and finally his neck. At this point, the king's attendants, fearing he would drown, waded in and pulled the king and his throne back to the shore.
Then King Canute scanned the faces of those who had rescued him. "Let all men know," he said, "how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey."
Returning to his castle, Canute went to the crucifix on the wall and hung his own crown on the brow of the crucified Christ. The crown remained there until the king's death—a reminder of the glory that belongs to Christ alone.
This man from the Middle Ages understood true majesty, and he wouldn't allow anyone to miss out on this Truth. Do you think his subjects ever forgot this astonishing example of humility and surrender to Christ? How might you point the people in your life to the King of kings?
Prayer: Lord, You alone are worthy of all honor and praise. I pray that, as I submit my will to Yours, those around me would see Your glory and join me in worship of the only true King. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-10).