Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trampling the Temple

I was reading in Isaiah last night, and came across this passage:

Thy holy people possessed thy sanctuary a little while; our
adversaries have trodden it down. We have become like those over whom
thou hast never ruled, like those who are not called by thy name. O that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make thy name known to thy adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at thy presence!

Isaiah 63:18 - 64:2

I was struck by the resemblance to what is happening in our culture today, especially in regard to the Ten Commandments in public places issue. In a sense, it can be said that God's people--Christians--possessed the "sanctuary"--public forum--for a while, since the founding of this country. Now, that is being reversed, and the "sanctuary" is being "trampled" by those who do not share our values, but rather are trying to destroy them. The unfortunate part is that many are reacting to this in the wrong way, becoming just like those "over whom [God] never ruled", like those "who are not called by [God's] name." They are, in effect, trying to call down the fire of God upon their adversaries [albeit through the roundabout way of political clout]. They seem to think that by forcing that "sanctuary" to remain in the public forum, it will ensure a godly society in the future. [I know they don't actually believe that, but that is what their actions imply.]

But what did Jesus say about this? Didn't He promise that such things would happen, that we would be rejected by the world, that God's message to man would be ridiculed and outlawed? We live in the last times, and things are going to get a whole lot worse in the long run, not better. And it certainly won't get better through politics. What is happening in our culture today is a reflection of a shift in foundations--from the Word of God to the word of man. Nothing short of another foundation shift will change it back to the way it was. And foundation shifts don't happen through the courts or the legislature--they happen in the hearts, minds, and lives of the people. This is, after all, government by the people. To change the government, you need to change people. To change the people, you need to touch their hearts--not bang their heads!

Finally, we each need to realize our own iniquity and uncleanness, as shown in verse 6 of chapter 64, and allow the cleansing fire of God to purge our lives, so we can be moldable and usable in the hands of the Master Potter. Only then can the sanctuary be restored, and we can truthfully say, "we are all Thy people."

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