Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HEBREWS 11:32-34

"And what more shall I say? 
For time will fail me if I tell of
Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah,  
of David and Samuel and the prophets,
who by faith conquered kingdoms,
performed acts of righteousness,
obtained promise, shut the mouths of lions,
quenched the power of fire,
escaped the edge of the sword,
from weakness were made strong,
became mighty in war,
put foreign armies to flight..."

We last looked at Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel.  Now I want to ponder the prophets who by faith conquered kingdoms...put foreign armies to flight.  Sadly, this has involved us to this day.  When an enemy pledges a "holy war" against us, we as a nation are confused and don't know what to do with that in our separation of church and state mentality.  It is not politically correct to frame this war in the reality of Muslim Jihad vs Christianity. 

Here's Wikipedia's definition of Jihadist: "21st-century neologism found in Western language to describe Islamist militant movements perceived as a military movement 'rooted in Islam' and 'existentially threatening to the West'...In classical Islamic law, Jihad means to war against non-Muslims...Jihadists share the basic aims of advancing Islam."

Leaders act as if they've been hit with a stun gun and are rendered helpless at times.  War is horrible!  We'd rather not get involved, and just be lookie-loos driving by the bloody scenes of accidents of insurgencies at home and abroad.  However, even lookie-loos get involved in fender benders. 

So, are we today still supposed to by faith conquer kingdoms?  When it boils down to kill or be killed, that is war.  Whether we want to fight or not, there are those out there who are committed to obliterate Jews and Christians from the face of the earth.  They're doing a pretty good job of that in the Middle East. This makes us a little uncomfortable.  Yes, we have sent soldiers.  Yes, we have the treasure of their shed blood on foreign soil.  But our war against an enemy is not framed in the mentality of conquering kingdoms, more like swatting here and there at bad guys and assisting the local armies to do a better job of fighting them. 

Since we have been assaulted here at home, we've become as a nation more defensive.  We have also purposed to take the fight to foreign soil.  But our enemy now has morphed into those who hate us across borders, not just one country, one kingdom.  It has gotten extremely complicated with numerous hot spots.

Before we go on to Daniel in the lions den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and the rest, I want to pause here and quote Adam Clarke who wrote in the 1700's about this issue of subduing kingdoms and the example of one tortured.

"On the 15th of November 1779, Mr. Antes, returning from a short country excursion to Grand Cairo, was seized by some of the attendants of ...a Mamaluke chief; and after stripping him of his clothes, they demanded money, which he not having any about him, they dragged him before the bey (rulers), telling him that he  was a European, from whom he might get something...the bey ordered him to be bastinadoes." The tortures are described in detail which I will not relate in total, but it got to the point he said, "the pain was excruciating; but after sometime my feeling grew numb, and it was like beating a bag of wool.' ...the blood gushes from their mouth and nose, and they die either under or soon after...he thus piously describes: 'I at once gave up myself for lost, well knowing my life depended on the caprice of a brute inhuman shape; and having heard and seen such examples of unrelenting cruelty, I could not expect to fare better than others had done before me; I had therefore nothing left but to cast myself on the mercy of God, commending my soul to that all fear of death was taken from me; and if I could have bought my life for one halfpenny, I should, I believe, have hesitated to accept the offer.'"  

"The case above is a specimen of Mohammedan justice, and Mamaluke cruelty; and to rescue such wretches from the government of the French we spent torrents of British blood!  It would have been a mercy to man to have left them in the hands of any power that might abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices...the Mohammedans in general, and the Turks and Mamalukes of Egypt in particular, are too bad for the devil himself to corrupt.  Pity that political considerations rendered it necessary to restore that corrupt and abominable government."

"READER, there is an infinite difference between the Bible the Koran; the one is from heaven, the other from earth and hell.  'Thanks to be God for His holy Gospel!'"

Have we forgotten 9//11?  We cannot look the other way at the genocide against Christians in the Middle East.  We cannot ignore the barbaric torture and killings ISIS and what the other branches of radical Islamists are using, not to mention what they do to their own child brides and forced submission at the risk of beheading or stoning of their multiple wives.  But far be it from us, in our one nation under God, to subdue such an evil kingdom. 

I know this would be so much easier not to think about.  I would rather be an ostrich with my head in the sand, but that makes my big feathered behind to be a huge target with a long neck susceptible to chopping.  How do we follow this challenge of these biblical heroes of faith, of those who subdued kingdoms?  Reader, what do you think?  If you do not likewise want to think about it, I can offer you a bucket of sand to put your head down in, next to mine. 

But in the meanwhile...

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