“God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen.”
When I was a boy attending school in the Canadian province of Ontario during the 1950s, these stirring lyrics began each of my schooldays. All of the children would rise together from our seats to sing these majestic words that begin the first stanza of the Royal Anthem of Canada.
We were doing so to honor our nation’s royal head, Queen Elizabeth II. Crowned as Queen at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, she had first visited Canada in 1951 as Princess Elizabeth, accompanied by her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, then returned in 1957 for her first official visit as reigning monarch.
In 2010, she and her husband made their 22nd tour of Canada. During this tour, she stated, “It is a privilege to serve you as Queen of Canada” and said it was good “to be home.” What remarkably encouraging words from a monarch who has always shown deep respect for her heritage and the official position she holds as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is no wonder that the anthem’s words, “long live our noble Queen,” still resonate with many Canadians.
In ancient Israel, the words “God save the king” were also used. In 1 Samuel 10:24, referring to King Saul, Samuel said “…See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king” (KJV).
Also, in 2 Chronicles 23:11, the words “long live the king” are used in reference to King Josiah.
But should this attachment to the throne go beyond the emotional? Can this attachment be traced back to a location far beyond the shores of Britain—to the land of ancient Israel? Has God been involved with the preservation of this throne?
And, do Canadians know the source and the “why” of our blessings?
To answer these questions, one has to examine the promises given to a man named Abraham long before there was a nation of Israel. As a result of Abraham’s obedience, God made a covenant with him—a covenant that had far-reaching implications for future nations and peoples.
Who are those nations and who are those peoples?
God stated to Abraham, “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and multiply you exceedingly” (Genesis 17:1–2) and that he would be a “father of many nations” and that “kings shall come from you” (vv. 5–6).
These same promises to Abraham were reconfirmed to Isaac his son in Genesis 26:1–5 and verse 24, and then to Isaac’s son Jacob in Genesis 28:1–4.
Many focus only on the spiritual aspect to the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3—the promise of grace through the one seed, Jesus Christ, but there is also a clear physical component to these promises which have been realized today by the peoples and nations descending from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, had twelve sons, and he told his sons what would befall their descendants in the “last days” (Genesis 49:1).
One of those sons was Joseph, who would inherit the birthright blessing, and another son, Judah, who would receive the promise of a line of kings (1 Chronicles 5:1–2).
But the birthright blessings would be passed on to Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:13–16).
While Manasseh would become one great nation, Ephraim would eventually become a “multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:17–19) and a great colonizing power (Genesis 49:22). The military and political history of those two nations confirms that the American and British-descended peoples, including those of Canada, have indeed received those birthright blessings.
For a 200-year period, beginning in the early part of the 19th century, the English-speaking peoples of the world have dominated in so many ways. Much of the world has been dependant on Canada, Australia, New Zealand and vast parts of the United States for wheat, corn and other agricultural products. Our nations have truly been the “bread baskets” of the world. These countries have also been blessed with tremendous mineral wealth and large tracts of grazing land for cattle and sheep.
This dominance included Britain controlling the major commercial and military sea gates of the world and building an empire that at one time comprised one-fourth of the world’s land mass and peoples.
All of this came as a result of the obedience of one man, Abraham, and his loyalty to our Creator. However, God warns that these blessings will be taken away because of disobedience and disregard for Him and His commandments (Deuteronomy 8:7–20). Because of the nation’s heritage, it is vitally important that Canadians give earnest heed to these warnings and know the source and the “why” of our blessings.
God said to Abraham “kings shall come from you.” Genesis 49:10 states that kings would come from the tribe of Judah and Christ Himself would descend from that tribe.
Ancient King David was told in 1 Chronicles 17:10–15 that his “throne shall be established forever.” Jesus Christ was also born to inherit that very throne (Luke 1:32).
When Christ returns, He will sit on that throne as King of kings—and His throne will be established forever, fulfilling the promise to David.
Many think that this kingly line ended with Zedekiah of Judah at the time of the Babylonian captivity. But Zedekiah had daughters (Jeremiah 41:10). So, there is more to this continuing story than most realize. Biblical promises, prophecies and Irish history indicate that David’s line would be replanted with those descendants of Zedekiah (Ezekiel 17).
Irish history records Jeremiah the prophet travelling to ancient Ireland with Zedekiah’s daughter, Princess Tea Tephi, who would marry a king of Ireland. Their descendants would reign in Ireland, Scotland and down to the present day British queen, Elizabeth II.
Yes, a replanting did occur as God promised—a fascinating story, which shows God’s hand in the history of His people and His fulfillment of the promises He made originally to his “friend” Abraham and King David.
Canada has been immensely blessed because of Abraham’s faithfulness. As such, Canadians should certainly honour and respect his descendant Queen Elizabeth II, and with sincerity say “God save the Queen.” Yet, first and foremost, we should long for the time when Jesus Christ will return to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, when the whole world will prosper under His righteous rule.
Canada’s distant rich history and heritage is oftentimes forgotten, neglected and—for too many—not even realized. “Lest we forget,” let us become more aware of the source of that history and heritage from the pages of God’s word.