Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Lord Our Banner

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding … Daniel 2:21

I don't put much trust in governments, presidents, or monarchs. Daniel raises an interesting question as to whether God is “in control” of government. Governments are generally engines of corruption, and the bigger the government, the more corruption is produces. God, however, is not an author or sponsor of evil. He does not even tempt us to evil (James 1:13). The wickedness and decadence of a society come from the heart of man.

God is alive. He is acting. He responds as well as initiates. But He also has laws in place, both physical and spiritual. Bad choices have consequences, as do good choices. When a person, a people, a nation or an empire makes consistently wrong, stupid, unwise, or evil choices, they are going to reap the harvest.

Sometime, several years ago now, writing here, I talked about a remnant. God always has a remnant like the 7000 He spoke of to Elijah (1 Kings 19:18). I believe that the remnant has been praying and seeking God, and I believe that God has responded with an awakening. That doesn't mean I think any kind of utopia is coming, and it is certainly not a time to become comfortable or complacent spiritually. I still believe that hard times are ahead, possibly much chaos, division, violence, even bloodshed. 

 Being awake, watching and praying, doesn't mean we won't have to deal with danger, trouble, and strife; it just means we will be ready for it when it comes. Now is not the time to go back to sleep. No great victory has been won. The enemy is not going to surrender. It is, though, the time to connect, to reach out, to build up from the foundation of the remnant. The next battle is going to be harder, the enemy more conniving and subtle. 

 The devil has, for the last few years, overplayed his hand. Sin makes sin bold. Sin always emboldens itself when it faces no apparent rebuke, but sin, when it is underground and out of sight, may still grow and burst forth in unexpected places. Scandals in the church house, failures by those we trust, betrayals, cowardice -- these are great dangers in a time of awakening. We must guard against discouragement and being disheartened.

The standardbearers are neither perfect nor invulnerable. The banner is what must be upheld and looked to, not the ones who bear it. Our standard is Jehovah-Nissi (Exodus 17:15). Our God does reign.

1 comment:

julie said...

I believe that the remnant has been praying and seeking God, and I believe that God has responded with an awakening.

Yes, just so. I may be wrong, but one good thing to come of this election is how many people have been praying, earnestly, for God to step in. Notably, people on both sides of the aisle, and to my knowledge most of the folks I know prayed that it be God's will, not ours, that carries the day.

He answered, quite clearly - and now it is incumbent upon us to get to work, as it always is in such times. The real work is only just beginning.