17 All this came upon us,
though we had not forgotten you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
you covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
21 would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
Can you commiserate with the sons of Korah? The only difference between me and those priests is I understand why my nation lies in disgrace and the Holy Defender stopped marching with our armies.
The Psalmist begins this hymn remembering the stories of ancient Israel. He tells the stories his grandfather told him about God sending angel armies ahead of Israel to defeat their enemies. He remembers the tales of parted seas and bread from heaven, and he wonders where the blessings have gone. Korah’s sons have stayed faithful to God while much of the nation has traipsed after idols and followed false religions.
Many times, God said He would reserve a remnant for Himself. At one point Elijah believed he was the only Yahweh follower left, but God told the prophet He had saved four hundred prophets who had not bowed to Baal.
Nevertheless, these idol followers become a problem for those who chase after Yahweh.
The Old Testament paints a beautiful picture. Whenever the majority of the nation of Israel trusted Yahweh, the Almighty held His hand of protection close–nothing could harm His people. They won battles before the army arrived. Their enemies melted in fear.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for someone to admire one of those foreign statues. It seemed innocent enough at first. They’d just have it for an ornament in their home. But soon they began to worship, and it wasn’t long before they convinced their neighbor he should worship too. And with each Israelite who deserted their Maker, God raised His hand of protection just a bit until His umbrella didn’t even provide shade.
It’s a pattern we see repeated more than once. The Northern Kingdom of Israel demonstrated the folly first. They got so bad all the priests moved to Judah. Unfortunately, David’s descendants followed God only marginally better than their northern cousins, and finally even some of the priests added Baal and Ashtoreth to their pantheon of deities.
After seventy years in exile due to their lack of trust in Yahweh, King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their homeland. These people started strong worshipping God alone, but by the time Ezra got there one hundred fifty years later, he ripped out his beard in despair, and his partner, Nehemiah threw men out of the temple.
This pattern of following then falling away has been a problem since the Garden of Eden. And when those around us fall, it effects us. There’s no sense in thinking, like the sons of Korah, that just because our hearts have not turned, we won’t be effected by those who follow false gods. The answer to the state of our country today is helping more people develop a relationship with Jesus so that God’s protective hand can cover us like it did during the Revolutionary War.
If you study history, you’ll see that many times the underdog won, but each time that same underdog fought for Godly principles. The colonists wanted to worship God in a pure manner. Those who fought in the Civil War wanted freedom and equality for all God’s creation. In my lifetime, I remember the prayers that were lifted during Desert Storm, the first televised war, and the success our nation had because so many turned to Yahweh for help.
The Crusades confirmed we can’t force a person to follow Christ; however, history proves that when people see the radical change Jesus and His Spirit can make in an individual, others begin to want it. We must live out our faith if we want our country to enjoy the blessings of God’s protection. Complaining on Social Media won’t help. Being confrontational won’t bring anyone to Christ. On the other hand, a Christian living in the victory and praising God for even the smallest blessings can help even the most adamant atheist wonder.
So, live out your faith today and know that God sees your heart. He knows your pain and His protective covering is holding you tight even though the evil from the outside keeps leaking in.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Before you go, I hope you’ll check out
one of my Bible Studies.
May I suggest
Dive In To a Life of Freedom
Find Healing in the Story of Naaman
I think you’ll enjoy it!