Thursday, October 8, 2015

They Will Not Prevail

The enemies of God are planners and schemers. In Psalm 2:1-3 the nations and rulers plot and take counsel on how they can break God’s chains. What can we do to escape God? How can we run from Him? How can we evade his rules? What can we do to destroy his Word and make him disappear? Imagine a bunch of corporate lawyers sitting in a back room late at night plotting the overthrow of another company.

In our culture this plotting takes place through things like feminism, sexual freedom, the acceptance of evolution, the careful parsing of God’s word by weak-willed men (and women) so that it becomes impotent, college classes on gender studies, failure to call public leaders to repentance, and a denial of sin as the problem in our lives.

For Christians who love God’s Word and its Author, this scheming can be discouraging. Our resources are paltry. Leaders are dropping like zombies in The Walking Dead. Doctrinal compromise is normal. Every day more laws get passed that destroy the remnants of Christianity that were once in our culture. And what of the Church? She is harassed and persecuted around the world. Where she is not persecuted by the enemies of God she is threatened by wolves who have found their way into the sheepfold. All in all, there are times we wonder if Jesus missed something when He said, “The gates of hell will not prevail against his church” (Matthew 16:18).

There is a great encouragement for us in Exodus 15. Exodus 15:1-21 is the song that Israel sung after the Egyptians had been drowned in the Red Sea.  The song exalts in God’s marvelous power to deliver his people from the strongest of enemies. Verse 9 takes us behind the curtain to see what the Egyptians were planning:
The enemy said, 'I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.'
The Egyptian army had it all worked out. They were going to overtake that ragtag band of slaves, led by an 80 year old shepherd and destroy them. They were going slaughter them by the seashore spilling their blood all over the sand and then go back to feast. They were cocky and sure of themselves. After all, Israel's back was to the sea and Egypt had the greatest army in the world. What or who could possibly stop them? 

But just like Psalm 2:4 God laughed. Man can plot and scheme, but God is the one who directs history. God’s plans are the only sure plans.  Egypt does not prevail. Instead they are destroyed. Exodus 14:30 says that Israel saw the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore. Exodus 15:1-10 says God

Threw the horse and rider into the sea
Cast Pharaoh’s army into the sea
Drowned Pharaoh’s choicest of captains so they sank like stones
Dashed the enemy into pieces
Consumed them like stubble
Covered them with the sea

All those plans, all those schemes thwarted in a moment by a God who is not like other gods (Exodus 15:11), but is glorious, fearful, powerful, and a man of war. 

If you are Christian do not fear the plans of the great men of this world. Politicians, professors, movie stars, talking heads, Muslims, and false teachers of all stripes can plot and scheme to tear down God and his people, but in the end they will not prevail. They will come to nothing. They are but a drop in the bucket and dust on the scales (Isaiah 40:18).  Do not listen to the fear mongers in the press or on your Facebook page. Even your Christian friends can get sucked into the vortex that says that God will not deliver and it would have been better to stay in Egypt (Exodus 14:10-12). Tell them to not be afraid. God has already saved us to the uttermost in Christ. We have already seen the salvation of God (Exodus 14:13). Sin, Satan, death, and our enemies have all been put under his feet. Jesus has all authority (Matt. 28:18-20).  He rules over the kings of the earth (Rev. 1:5). Why the fear? Why the anxiety? Why the lack of trust? Christian believe him. He rescued Israel. He will rescue us. 

But if you are not a Christian or if you used to profess faith in Christ, but now you are drifting away, you should fear. You will not come through the sea. You can plot, scheme, push those thoughts about death away, hope it is all a myth, ignore God's word, but it will not change a thing. One day you will stand face to face with the God who drowned thousands. If Pharaoh was destroyed by Him, what chance do you have? If his chariots were dashed to pieces on the rocks, what hope have you of escaping by your own power? But He is not all wrath. He is also kind to those who trust in His Son Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:7, 12) and turn to Him. Join the glorious band who have been delivered by the blood of Jesus. Join those of us who because of God's kindness came through on the dry land (Exodus 15:19). You too can see the salvation of God (Exodus 14:13) if you will just trust in Jesus and follow Him.  
Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8