--By Ben Gilmore
Change of plans –
Before church today, I wrote the first half of a column about the biblical boundaries of the “promised land”. I planned to finish it this afternoon. While fellowshipping after church, a dear saint who loves the Lord and also reads these columns, approached me —
“Ben, I like it that you are optimistic about America. I love it as much as you do – but – It is too late! God has to let us fall. There is just too much evil and corruption. We are the most blessed nation in history save perhaps Israel, but things keep getting worse!”
I replied, “Everything you say is true – BUT – Which reality are you focusing on?”
Goliath was real. Goliath was a trained soldier who happened also to be a giant of a man. David knew that. David was also real. He was around 14and not a trained soldier. All that was reality.
David saw another reality. His God was real. His God wants to demonstrate His glory. Not because God is on an ego trip, but because people need to know God and make Him known. David saw both realities. Goliath was real. God was real. Focusing on Goliath was producing fear and defeat. Focusing on the reality that glorified God, produced victory, faith, and honor for God and man (David).
The Jews that God used Moses to lead out of slavery in Egypt were dumb and dumber! They saw the plagues on the Egyptians. They saw the “1st Passover”, when the angel of God killed all of Egypt’s first-born males. They saw their slave-masters load them down with gold, silver, all sorts of goods, and beg them to hurry and leave! They saw the waters parted. They saw the Egyptian army drown in the same waters. They saw the pillar of light leading them 24/7.
Then the first chance they got, they built a golden calf and worshipped it in God’s face – DUMB!!!
Egyptian slave-masters were real. Moses knew that. God was real. Moses saw both realities. Moses chose the reality that honored God.
God saw all that and gave up on His “chosen people”. Once before, God gave up on the human race and told Noah to build an ark. Then he flushed the race and started over. He told Moses He had decided to wipe out his people and start over with Moses.
Moses buried his nose in the sand and begged, “Don’t do it God. The world will see it and think you are a vengeful God. One to be feared and avoided. Wiping us out will give You a bad image.” The dumb people were real. God was real. Moses saw both realities. He chose the reality that honored God.
Washington lost the eight year war for American independence – until he won it! Washington saw defeat and discouragement after defeat and discouragement. The defeats were real. Washington also saw the hand of God, time after time, miraculously saving the day for another battle. God was real. Washington saw both realities. He chose the one that honored God.
Recently, I wrote, “Our chief executive appears hell bent on finding new ways to commit treason, almost daily. Our legislature is grid-locked in a socio-political conflict. Our Supreme Court justices are perverting the principles of our Constitution. What could possibly go wrong?” That is reality. God is also real.
My nose is buried in the rug (along with thousands of fellow Americans) begging God to release yet another miracle. We are reminding Him that though Americans have been as dumb as the slaves He chose to lead out of Egypt! He accepted Moses’ prayers and Moses’ concern for God’s reputation, and granted mercy rather than justice. We see both realities.
One reality demonstrates that God is just. The world will see human failure and the failure of the principles of Christian self-government. A dark cloud of hopelessness, anarchy, and confusion will cover the earth. In the other reality, God guides in the repair, rebuilding, and the restoration of America’s ship-of-state. The world sees restored faith, hope and a merciful God.
I choose to humbly join Moses and Washington in focusing upon the reality that God is bigger than the problem. When he checks in on me, I want to be found focusing upon things that bring honor to God and peace, good will to men.
What are your thoughts?Ben Gilmore