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Reflecting on the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Reflecting on the Death of Queen Elizabeth II

Yesterday, September 8, 2022, the world learned of the death of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. While many knew her death was imminent, the news struck the whole world—especially those in England and those nations around the world that have their “roots” and continuing alliances and ties with that nation.

Queen Elizabeth was a unique world figure. The world will not see such a leader again in terms of longevity of reign or perhaps even character, in this age. Only when Jesus Christ returns to take His throne will there be a more steadying, enduring “monarch.” His reign will last forever, and He will rule with perfect righteousness and justice.

Praise from around the world has been pouring in for the Queen. A fellow elder sent an online article titled, “A Devastating Loss,” written and posted yesterday by British columnist Melanie Phillips. In it she perhaps summed up the magnitude of the Queen’s reign and her passing poignantly and eloquently:

“She held the country together because of the way she effaced herself to become the quintessence of duty and selfless service to her people, a symbol of unity and true inclusion. We watched the way she conducted her great office—her calmness, her strength, her fortitude, her kindliness and humility—and we felt soothed and reassured that, in looking at her example, we were gazing at ourselves as a nation in the mirror she held up to us. She loved us with a deep devotion; and in return we loved her.

 “It’s impossible not to feel that her passing marks not just the loss of a unique public servant and a great soul, but also the loss of a Britain that belonged to a different era—a Britain of strength and resilience, a Britain of self-restraint and grounded pragmatism, a Britain of true tolerance and gentleness, a Britain whose passing we also most deeply mourn.” 

Queen Elizabeth was that type of servant leader that commanded the respect, for the most part, of everyone around the world. She was indeed a steadying force.

But what happens now? What does the future hold for Britain and the rest of the world as this monumental event in history—the death of the longest-ruling monarch in British history, who has held that office for most of our lives—sinks in.

Before we look at that question, let’s take a look back at British history, because it is unique and unparalleled in human history. England is a relatively small nation, in terms of square miles, comparing to the U.S. states of Oregon or Alabama in size. Yet it is big in history.

From this small nation emerged what historians call the greatest empire in human history. At one time in the early 1900s, Britain controlled about 25 percent of the earth’s surface, with around 450 million subjects. (The global population at that time was only about 1.6 billion).

No human empire has ever been perfect or done things exactly right. Human nature and war bring with it unspeakable atrocities. Every single civilization and government of man has in its history events which they should reject. War and the human way are not of God, but of Satan (James 4:1) so they will always be mixed with bloodshed, pain and suffering.

But the British Empire was different than other empires. It is called the “benign” or “benevolent” empire by some historians because there was a marked difference between Britain’s rule and that of other governments that would go about conquering other nations. British colonies tended to improve and make more prosperous their subjects. They didn’t take people out of the land and move them elsewhere. They didn’t plunder resources and seek to impoverish people to keep them subject to them. They weren’t autocratic in the sense of world empires that went before them.

That’s the way of the Gentiles.

By contrast, Britain was, in a physical sense, a blessing to the nations. They built, they directed, they improved the people’s lot. When Britain “freed” her colonies and turned them back over to local rule, in almost all cases the nations fared far worse. Just look at what the thriving economies of Africa, called “the jewels” of the continent—such as Rhodesia and South Africa—have deteriorated into today, after the blessing of British rule was removed.

How did that happen, and why was Britain so different than other world-ruling empires?

The Bible gives the answer in a remarkable prophecy in Genesis 48:15-20. As Jacob was blessing his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, he said: “He [speaking of Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

Because of Abraham’s faith in and complete submission to Him, God blessed Abraham, saying: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3, emphasis added).

History shows, and it is undeniable, that no Empire was a bigger blessing to the earth than the British Empire, and there has been no single nation in the history of the earth that has been more benevolent and giving than the United States of America.

Perhaps in the wake of the death of the Queen it would be good to re-read our booklet titled, “The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy,” so we more deeply appreciate the blessings God has given us all. This booklet will also bring to mind the significance of the British throne, a topic which I don’t have time to discuss right now. We have an online-only exposition about the throne of Britain titled, “The Throne of Britain: It’s Biblical Origin and Future,” that you may wish to study.

While Queen Elizabeth II did not reign over the British Empire, she indeed was a steadying force in world affairs. Her death is likely to spur a change in the order of things, as the dynamics of world influence, politics and rhetoric continue to heat up and take us in a dark direction.

As we head into the Sabbath day and the fall Holy Days—which picture a “stormy,” dark time of trouble and anguish for the British and American peoples and the whole world ahead of the triumphant return of Jesus Christ—let’s take the time to reflect on what is happening, let’s take the time to be grateful to God for His calling and His Holy Spirit, and let’s continue to grow closer to Him and each other, as His will is.