It is interesting to look at the history of the Anglo-Saxon peoples and their parliamentary system through the lives and significance of some of the English monarchs. For example, with Edward I, we witnessed the third overturn of the Throne of David as prophesied by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 21: 26,27). We also saw the introduction of parliament and how Edward ceded it more power than he would have liked because of his great need of money to fight his war with Scotland. With Henry VIII, we saw how parliamentary power weakened with the Tudors and how Henry was extremely autocratic. Yet, Henry’s reign was indeed a significant time in God’s Great Plan, as the Reformation came to pass, and Britain became a European power for the first time. With Elizabeth I, we watched as this great English monarch led British Ephraim into the final period of punishment and out of theshadow of the other great European powers. And we witnessed the firm entrenchment of the Reformation after a short setback under Bloody Mary’s reign. Yet, as powerful, and autocratic as Elizabeth I was, she did try to work in concert with parliament on many issues. On the other hand, her successor, King James I, although he was also autocratic, struggled with a stronger parliament, particularly for his money needs. Still, it was his reign that saw the partial fulfillment of the two sticks as Scotland and England became one nation (Ezekiel 37: 19-22). Of course, his reign also saw the introduction of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. By the time of King George III, we find that he didn’t have the same freedom from parliamentary sanctions. He tried to pursue an autocratic style but couldn’t and was burdened with a parliament that made some dramatic errors of judgment, errors that cast a dark shadow on his long reign. He reigned from 1760 to 1820.
It almost seems a travesty of justice that King George III is primarily remembered for two unfavourable events in his life, that is, (1) losing the American colonies and (2) going mad. For, in reality, his reign was placed at a highly significant time in God’s Great Plan for Israel. To view its importance, we have to go back to Genesis 35: 10-12 when God spoke to Jacob at Bethel and said to him, “……Israel shall be thy name……..a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” Many scholars mistake the land as being just the lands of Canaan promised Abraham in Genesis 13: 14,15 but overlook the vision God granted to Isaac (Genesis 26: 3-5) wherein Isaac was shown all the countries in which his seed would occupy. It was these countries to which the prophet Nathan referred when he carried God’s Word to King David, “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel….” (2 Samuel 7: 10). Genesis 35: 11 sets the stage for the nation and company (commonwealth) of nations. The leaders of those nations were identified when Jacob Israel adopted, so to speak, the two sons of his beloved son Joseph and set the stage for their destiny. Speaking of Manasseh, the eldest, God said, “…he shall also become a people, and he also shall be great….” Of the younger Ephraim, He said, “but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations……….and he set Ephraim before Manasseh….” (Genesis 48: 19,20). Then, in his blessing of all the tribes, it is clear that the tribe of Joseph was to be the leading tribe of all Israel, with great possessions and wealth and special protection from the Lord God Almighty (Genesis 22-26). It matters not that the descendants of the Tribe of Joseph have lost their way, their wealth and possessions because that simply reflects another plank in God’s plan, that is, the Esau dominion, as given him in Genesis 27:40-41.
We know the tribes of Israel later went into Egyptian captivity, were led to Sinai by Moses, brought into a (marriage) relationship with God as the Kingdom of God was formally established (Exodus 19) and the Constitution (Laws) were codified. The national punishment for disobedience was clearly identified when God told His New Bride, “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins” (Leviticus 26: 18). Those who read past articles in this magazine know that the conversion process brings the seven times to 2,520 years. Then too, most readers are knowledgeable about the subsequent conquest of Canaan, the division of the lands, the beginning of the Throne of God with David as its first occupant, the split in the Kingdom after Solomon, the wickedness of the people and the beginning of the seven periods of punishment, as God permitted the Assyrians to conquer the House of Israel and most of the House of Judah (the separated nations) and banish them from Canaan. Ultimately, we know that they made their way across Europe. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the inheritors of the Covenant God made with Abraham (1 Chronicles 5: 1) and importantly, the inheritors of the very name “Israel” (Genesis 48: 16), arrived in the “isles of the sea” over the ensuing centuries, along with great numbers of the other tribes.
History has shown us that the tribe of Manasseh was first attacked and brought under submission by the Assyrians in 745 BC and the tribe of Ephraim was conquered in 721 BC. In the ensuing years, the Israelites in these nations were sent to Northern Assyria and the punishment promised them in Leviticus 26: 18 began. By the time of George III, those periods of punishment for the sons of Joseph were set to expire.
I suppose, depending on one’s viewpoint, that George was regarded in quite opposite ways. To the Americans, he was and probably still is, looked upon as a greedy and overbearing monarch and is still hated by many to this very day. Yet, to his subjects of the day, he was popular and conscientious. He became heir to the throne on the death of his father, was the third monarch of the House of Hanover and the first to have been born in Britain and to use English as his first language. George devoted the required time to read all government papers and he took a strong interest in policy. His political influence proved most decisive on many occasions, and he could be most determined when he felt the cause was just. For example, it was primarily his opposition to ending the war with the colonies that kept it going until 1783. Another example took place in 1801, when Prime Minister William Pitt (the younger), wanted to grant Catholics full civil rights. George III felt his coronation oath to uphold the rights of the Church of England was such that he forced Pitt’s resignation. [Ed. A lesson for today’s monarch perhaps] Still, on the other hand, this was a monarch who fostered a progressive and cultured environment in England. Literature enjoyed a heyday as the writings of men like Scott, Burns, Shelley, Byron and Wordsworth flourished; great artists like Gainsborough and Reynolds created their masterpieces and the British Museum was established (65,000 of his books were later given to the Museum). George personally founded the Royal Academy of Arts. In science and invention, progress was remarkable during George’s reign, as things like the steam engine; the first machinery, canal construction and spinning frames became realities. Yet, George was a staunch family man as well, devoted to his wife and fifteen children. Disappointed in his sons’ (and some of his brothers’) selection of wives, he pushed the Marriages Act of 1772 through parliament, which calls for the consent of the reigning sovereign for the marriage on any lineal descendant, with few exceptions.
So many other momentous events took place in the reign of George III. But perhaps this is an appropriate time to return to our opening Bible passage from Isaiah 49: 1, 20. God begins by saying, “Listen O Isles, the children which thou shalt have, after thou has lost the other….” God said, “after thou have lost the other.” Of course, this part of the passage refers to America Manasseh, the great nation of whom Jacob Israel spoke of in Genesis 48: 19, 20 thirty-five centuries earlier. So, significantly, it would not have mattered who sat on the Throne of David (England) at the time, Isaiah’s prophecy was going to happen, for God had measured the times. The Bible tells us in 1 Chronicles 5: 26, “And the God of Israel stirred up…..Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.” History has shown this attack to have taken place in 745 BC, thus Manesseh’s seven times punishment began.