Saturday, August 31, 2013
HISTORY, DESPAIR, HOPE---W.F.BELL
The historical monuments in America reveal our nation's past in a unique way. In our nation's capital, for example, we have the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol building itself. These all reflect America's Christian history, no matter how loudly unbelievers object to it, or try to deny it. Despite objections, these monuments and their inscriptions are testimonies to the gospel's influence on our country. While these may be totally removed someday, at present they testify loudly in this land to "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), through divine providence.
As a continual student of American history, I have recently read the lives of both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman, and am currently reading the life of Abraham Lincoln. To broaden our perspectives, we must read Scripture history (Psalm 78:1-8), as well as American and world history. If we fail to do so, we become too narrow in our thinking and outlook. Those who read objectively know that many of the politicians of our day are nothing but pseudo-educated revisionists.
Look briefly at Psalm 74, which depicts a very dark time in Israel's history, the fall of Jerusalem. This melancholy psalm records this prayer: "Arise, O God, plead your own cause" (verse 22). "Axes and hammers" had destroyed the "carved work" of the Temple, and "fire" had devastated the sanctuary, bringing general despair among the people. Thus their questions were legitimate: "O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever?" (verse 10). Though we today know not "how long" we must endure the blasphemy of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do know that it will not be "forever." "For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth" (verse 12). Note, God is not idle, but is definitely "working," and we rejoice that in reality "Jesus is Lord of all" (Acts 10:36).
Let us not despair or give up in this desolate hour in America. Our trust must be firm in the God who is absolutely sovereign. He shall never fail, neither shall any puny man defeat Him. Our hope is not in politicians, their schemes, or their awful unbelief, but in Christ alone. And we continue to pray, "Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies" (Psalm 108:12-13). Note, "It is He."