Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Clean Victory

There are issues that we face and the only true offense we can take against them is to praise God. On one level this sounds crazy. Shouldn't we be like action heroes and grab what is on hand and face the enemy with all we have in us. So what if the odds are against us. That is what we have been taught but is there a better way?

"Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 'If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you - for your name is in this house - and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.' And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy - behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.'" - 2 Chronicles 20:7-12 ESV

In this case God had held them back from dealing with these people groups and there are things and people we can't deal with head on also. Something prevents us from doing it.

If you have a family you have faced these kinds of things haven't you? If you have had a job?

"And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.' And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, 'Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.' And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much." - 2 Chronicles 20:20-25 ESV

We worship and our enemies destroy each other. We are left with a treasure and no blood on our hands. Perhaps there is a mess to clean up but we have not been the ones to cause the mess.

"They came to Jerusalem with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the LORD. And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel." - 2 Chronicles 20:28-29 ESV

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." - Matthew 10:16 KJV

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" - Philippians 2:15 KJV

Instead of putting our weapons out on the table and loading them with ammunition to assess our strength we have the great privilege of taking out our musical instruments and tuning them for a day of worship.

There is a balance. Israel used the sword to take the land in the first place and there are times we must fight and we would be fools not to but that should be the exception and not the rule.

Worship may be the last thing we feel like doing in some situations but when our hands are tied it is the only way we can get a true clean victory.


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