The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 21:22-31 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles. “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work; All day long he is craving, While the righteous gives and does not hold back. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent! A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever. A wicked man displays a bold face, But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.
In ancient times, a war horse was considered to be a symbol of strength and power in combat. Fearsome, brave, and noble creatures, even today horses are used by police officers to assist in crowd control maneuvers and they perform quite well. In modern warfare however, horses are generally overshadowed by tanks, helicopters, warships, and bombers. Machine guns, unmanned drones, and nuclear bombs make warfare in 2020 dreadful, and those who wield these weapons of war are very confident that their advanced technology and weapons will deliver them the victory. More primitive, but still deadly, we see angry mobs in the streets of America, using gasoline filled bottles, skateboards, clubs, and sheer numbers, with people, image bearers of God, roaming around in packs like unreasoning animals. Their weapons of choice are chaos, confusion, disinformation, and fear. They wield it quite well, and are very confident that their threats and promises of more destruction will ensure their victory.
Mankind has always put hope in their weapons of war.
Pharaoh had a vast army and many chariots at his disposal, yet was drowned in the sea.
Goliath trusted in his size and strength, yet wound up beheaded by a young shepherd named David.
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord.
The history of warfare should serve as a lesson for us, and that lesson is this: God removes kings and establishes kings; God ordains all things which come to pass, the end from the beginning; the battle is not to the warriors; and ultimately, as the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain, even angry mob peoples who seek to overthrow Christ and His Kingdom, God who is a Man of War, sits in the heavens and laughs.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16 NASB)
Brothers and sisters, this is our Commander. The One called faithful and true. While wicked men scheme and plot, aligning against those who value peace with their sticks and stones, remember that your commander has given you weapons as well. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, perishable weapons prone to break, malfunction, and fail us, however.
The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. Fortresses like indwelt sin. Temptations. Ungodly worldviews. Fortresses like the marxist philosophy of BLM, feminism, the LGBT movement, and liberalism.
The weapons of our warfare are prayer, the sword of the Spirit, and all the accompanying armor: helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, the feet shod with the gospel of peace. You can, you must stand firm therefore behind the shield of faith, and endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ. Look to the Saints of old dear brothers and sisters: Joseph, Josiah, Paul, Polycarp, and Luther. See their joy in suffering for the cause of Christ. Look to saints like Robert E. Lee, Richard Wurmbrand, Rusty Thomas, and Cal Zastrow, and see their warfare. Observe Cox, Govanus, and Johnson, as they persevere under the banner of their King Jesus as good soldiers.
Let us not grow weary in these troubling times.
Let us not grow faint.
Let us not look back.
Let us lay hold of promises like the promise that God gave to Joshua prior to entering the promised land:
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:3-9 NASB)
Let us repent of our fear in the face of man and his scheming.
Let us repent of retreating from the battle, rather than pressing into it.
Let us repent of our forgetfulness, failing to remember God's promises to us, His love for us, and how He has time and again delivered His people from enemies far worse than BLM, antifa, and commies, namely the enslavement to sin and death itself.
If you are able, please join me in kneeling as we cry out to our Heavenly Father.
Prayer from The Valley of Vision titled "The servant in battle".
I bless thee that the issue of the battle
between thyself and Satan
has never been uncertain,
and will end in victory.
Calvary broke the dragon’s head,
and I contend with a vanquished foe,
who with all his subtlety and strength
has already been overcome.
When I feel the serpent at my heel
may I remember him whose heel was bruised,
but who, when bruised, broke the devil’s head.
My soul with inward joy extols
the mighty conqueror.
Heal me of any wounds received
in the great conflict;
if I have gathered defilement,
if my faith has suffered damage,
if my hope is less than bright,
if my love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,
if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight.
O thou whose every promise is balm,
every touch life,
draw near to thy weary warrior,
refresh me, that I may rise again
to wage the strife,
and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.
Give me such fellowship with thee
that I may defy Satan,
unbelief, the flesh, the world,
with delight that comes not from a creature,
and which a creature cannot mar.
Give me a draught of the eternal fountain
that lieth in thy immutable, everlasting love
Then shall my hand never weaken,
my feet never stumble,
my sword never rest,
my shield never rust,
my helmet never shatter,
my breastplate never fall,
as my strength rests in
of thy might.
In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen
Please stand and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Hebrews 10: 14-25 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
Sunday 10:30 AM