Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Nation Under God

Psalm 136:19-22(MSG)
Struck Sihon the Amorite king,  His love never quits.  Struck Og the Bashanite king, His love never quits.  Then distributed their land as booty, His love never quits.  Handed the land over to Israel.  His love never quits.
I knew from the start that I was approaching a dangerous situation.  I could see that it wasn't going to be an easy battle, but I had to at least attempt to win it.  It was worth the risk.  I proceeded with caution.  I looked at the territory, weighing my different strategies and carefully planning my retreat in case of an emergency.  Ready.  Set.  Attack!!

I went in with the broom handle leading the way and attempted to swat my way through.  I figured it would give me the distance from my enemies that I would need.    Unfortunately, this was an incorrect assumption.  The loud and fierce army lined up in quick succession and began their advance toward me.  I stood my ground....I refused to move, but they marched on, unwavering in their determination to defend their new post. 

I HAD to win this.  I owned this.  It was mine and not for them!!!!  I did really good until they were within striking range.  That was when fear gripped my heart!  I thought......"What on earth was I thinking?!  I can't win....I'm doomed!!"  I dropped the broom and ran like a scared rabbit...screaming all the way back to the garage.

Quite an entertaining scene to the neighbors, I'm sure.  (Heavy sigh...)  I slumped down into the yard chair and accepted defeat.  After a well deserved little break and refreshing glass of water, I decided to wave the white flag.  Quite literally, I picked up the roll of white paper towels and proceeded to the front porch to wash the glass door that was displaying every visitor's finger prints that had entered our house for the past week.  As I stood their spraying and scrubbing~all within ear shot of the army that seemed to be mocking me as they buzzed around happily eating the sweet liquid that oozed from the humming bird feeder~ a thought came flooding into my mind.  I wonder if glass cleaner is deadly to bees?

Well, certainly, the broom didn't work, so I decided to give it a shot....literally.  I snuck over to the feeder and squirted twice...maybe three times tops.  I stood there...really close..a little too close probably.  They turned and started toward me!!  Oh no...those bees just got even madder than when I swiped them with the broom handle.  I stepped back.  And then it happened.  They were in mid flight..heading straight for me...and all of a sudden they fell.  There were about five of them.  They just dropped to the ground like someone had thrown a rock at them.   Awe.... victory is mine!!!  "Ding dong the bee is dead....the wicked bee...the wicked bee...ding dong the wicked bee is deeeaaadddd"....oops...Wizard of Oz....sorry..

I love to feed the humming birds and the bees were taking over the feeder like uninvited guests at a banquet.  I had to get them out of the way, so the birds could eat.  Plus, every time I opened the door, a bee would come at me....or my visitor.  They had to go....plain and simple.

I wonder if that's how the Israelites felt when they came to the country just east of Jordan near Heshbon on their Exodus out of Egypt.  It was there that they ran into King Sihon.  He was the Amorite King of Heshbon (a Canaanite) and he refused to let the Israelites pass through his territory.  (Numbers 21:23)  It is a pretty cool story that I reread today.  (You can read it in Deuteronomy 2:26-38 if you want.)  Anyway, my summary of the events is that the Israelites needed permission to pass through King Sihon's land.  The king wouldn't let them travel through his land, because "God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate" (Deuteronomy 2:30).  So, what happens next? guessed it!!  God gives the Israelites the victory over this king and his army.  God goes on to do the same thing with the next king (Deuteronomy 3:1-22) that shows up and attempts to bully the Israelites and not let them pass!!

Why?  Why does God do this?  Why would He show up and give His kids victory over their enemies...even those "enemies" that loom within our mind as doubt and fear?  I think there are two huge answers to that question and they are right here in these verses.  First of all, He wants to defeat your enemies....because..."His love for you never quits!!".  He wants to defeat your enemies...(whatever or whoever) they are, because He loves you so much!! 

The second reason lies within Deuteronomy 3:21-22-"And I commanded Joshua at that time, 'Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings.  So will the LORD do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing.  You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you."  He defeats our enemies to build our faith and take away our fear! 

On this eve of September 11th, it is quite fitting that I would be on this passage.  It never ceases to amaze me how perfect His timing in the Word is.  For our country, we have seen a great deal of tragedy.  The attack within our land on September 11th, 2001 was so devastating and in our face that it is hard to comprehend.  It has left us with scars that will always be there.  Personally, I think the evidence should always be visible, so that we can remember, like the Israelites, what happened that day and how God has protected us since.  We need to remember the lives that were lost and the lives that are still being lost to provide that protection.  We must also cherish the lives that are being saved, because of a God who loves us and gives us victory over our enemies!


We all have enemies.  Some of them are big and tangible and others are within our mind, but they are all destructive forces that block us from living the abundant life that You have designed for us.  God, please go before us today and conquer our enemies to give us the victory over our land.  Please provide safety for the men and women in our military who are putting themselves in harms way even as I type this.  Continue to raise up faith within each one of us to eliminate the doubts and fears that paralyze our effective walk with You!

May we bring glory to Your name Lord,

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