Saturday, May 28, 2022

In Context: Correlating Strength to its Source

The Word of God shows a correlation between the strength of a people and the blessing of God upon a people. “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

One of the manifestations of God's strength for a People is their ability to arm themselves. This can be seen throughout the Scriptures all the way back in Genesis 14:14 when Abraham armed 318 men so they could reclaim his captive brother.

God does not always send blessings. Just as God fulfills his promises to bring good things on His People, when they leave Him and serve other gods, God also fulfills his promises to bring harmful things upon His People, up to and including total displacement from the Promised Land (Joshua 23:14-16).

When people turn to other gods, and those gods fail to deliver them, they end up oppressed. One of the first steps to oppressing people is disarming them. That's how the Philistines were able to oppress Israel: “Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears’” (1 Samuel 13:19). Further, the Philistines heavily regulated anything the people of Israel could do by which they could circumvent the ban on anything that could be used as military-style assault weapons (1 Samuel 13:20-21).

This disarming of a free People is something to correctly be resisted. It should also not be considered only in isolation. That is, we do well to ask ourselves if this problem is also a symptom of a larger problem. Is it a harmful thing intended to be a sign to get the attention of a People that have left God?

The Left is becoming increasingly hostile to “thoughts and prayers,” and reducing their meaning to nothing, a platitude at best. Only people who have left God could consider appeals to Him to be so worthless. Do they also have a point? Are our thoughts and prayers to God indicative of God's People not just reacting to harmful incidents but also understanding the much larger need to seek Him for our entire Nation?

We do well to defend God-given rights, and we would do well to continually understand and teach the larger context of God's purposes in them. Those in Washington who seek to conserve God's blessings upon this Nation have gotten into a longstanding habit of speaking much about God's values without speaking much of God. We may know and act on the Scriptures, but if we don't cite the Source to teach the People and other leaders, then we leave the door wide open to accusations of just being another pressure group in Washington seeking power and special treatment for its own interests. As is often written on Wikipedia, “[Citation needed].”

Church and civic leaders can undergird and reinforce one another in their respective roles. Civic leaders need to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good (1 Peter 2:14; Romans 13:3-4) while explaining their reliance on God's Word to know that which is good and that which is evil. Church leaders need to guide civic leaders by understanding the times at least as much as they understand their congregational finances.

Father, we ask for a great returning to in our public words and actions. May we not dismiss as irrelevant anything you consider relevant to our personal relationship with You. We know it is not possible to remain strong or free or at peace without You. Work in our hearts and in the hearts of Leaders Schumer, McConnell, Pelosi, McCarthy, and others, Father, to understand the times, to know what America should do, and to direct this Nation to know, love, and serve you more than it ever has.

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:27-28)

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