Monday, December 30, 2013

Some battles are better to lose .............. Parables 060

One of our boys, when about 3 years old, became angry at a family friend. He tackled him - only to be picked up and held out at arm’s length, feet dangling and fists flying. His efforts to make an impact were absolutely useless, even comical. It took him quite a few minutes to realize that he was up against something bigger than he could handle. He gave in, deciding “to be friends.”

Sometimes, when reading the morning paper or watching news reports on television, that battle comes to mind. There are so many senseless, God-defying activities in the headlines, but those who live in defiance of the Lord, or who have turned their back on His principles have tackled something bigger than they can handle.

The first verses of Psalm 2 say: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’” Their desire is to get out from under the supposed binding authority of God by open rebellion against what He says. And it often looks as if that has been achieved. But is the battle over? Are their efforts even touching God?

Psalm 2 says “No!” The rest of the verses boldly declare that God will eventually have them as stammering fools. Their efforts are laughable to Him. He has already set His King upon His holy hill... and He WILL proclaim His decrees, and make the nations the inheritance and possession of His King. What chance do the rebellious leaders have? Surely the King that Almighty God sets in place will eventually reign. The circumstances around us may look otherwise, but God is God or He is nothing. He does as He pleases. And His wrath, even slightly exercised, is enough to destroy all of creation. Therefore, His King WILL rule -- and even break the power of those who oppose Him.

Before God, the nations are less than as a 3-year-old against a husky six-footer, less than as a few ants trying to defeat an elephant. What chance do the ants have? None. Unless the mightier one takes pity, the little enemy will not survive. One drop of a foot and the battle is over.

It is the same for those who set themselves against God. There is no contest. It makes little sense to resist Him or take counsel with others to figure out ways to get out from under His Lordship and control. He is far too powerful to be overcome.

Instead, God can be trusted. He can be seen as an ally, a friend, not an enemy. He blesses those who trust Him, those who run to Him as their refuge, dropping their fists and yielding to His mercy, trusting Him to be a friend.

But there is another side to it. God has no reason to want to be friends with us. We are not doing Him a great favor by dropping our animosity against Him. He is the one that has the right to be angry with us. We are the violators, the rebels. He is perfect, holy, and just. He should be filled with wrath and step on every one of us.

Yet He has not. In His sovereignty He has chosen to pour out His wrath for our sin and rebellion, on His Son. For those who obediently accept His provision for salvation, He accepts as friends. Instead of rage and plotting (verse 1), they will “serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.”

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