Echoes From the Campfire

You don’t think you’re better than other men; you just think the things you believe are better than what other men believe.”

                         –Luke Short  (Ride the Man Down)

       “So be truly glad!  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.”
                         –1 Peter 1:6 (NLT)
Where were you God?  How could you allow this to happen?  I remember the cries of September 11, 2001.  There was a national lament similar to what we see in Psalm 83.  God, we’re surrounded–God we’ve been attacked.  How could you allow this to happen to your chosen people–how could you allow this to happen to the United States, a nation built upon Your Word?  Ahh, but the background is a backslidden people.
       Psalm 83, is a cry for God’s intervention.  It was a desperate hour for Israel, just as it was that day twenty-one years ago was for the United States.  The purpose–repentance.  For one day, Congress stood together, united on the steps of the capitol and sang “God Bless America.”  One day and look at where we are now–twenty-one years later.  Hatred, division, terror, immorality–God gave the chance for repentance, but…

          9 — Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera, as with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,
         10 — Who perished at En Dor, who became as refuse on the earth.
         11 — Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, yest, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
         12 — Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.”
         13 — O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind!
         14 — As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
         15 — So pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm.
         16 — Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O LORD.
         17 — Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish.
         18 — That they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.  (NKJV)

Twenty-one years ago, “Maintain the Rage” was the cry.  Sounds like Asaph at the end of this Psalm.  He is saying, “Go get ’em Lord!”  The NIV and HCSB say, “Make them like tumbleweed,” sweep them away in divine judgment.  He wants them destroyed in the storm.  It is important to remember, even with the verses from Asaph, that this is the day of salvation.  There is always that “IF clause” of repentance.  However, the day is approaching when the hand of redemption will be removed and upon the earth will come the divine judgment that Asaph is calling for.  There will be the day of fire that will “set the mountains on fire.”  Those who are against the Lord, those who have refused His grace will be “confounded and dismayed forever.”  I like what George Wood says, “Minimize what threatens you and maximize instead God’s future for you.”
                    “Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
                    The trumpet call obey;
                    Forth to the mighty conflict,
                    In this His glorious day.
                    ‘Ye that are men now serve Him,’
                    Against unnumbered foes;
                    Let courage rise with danger,
                    And strength to strength oppose.”
                             –George Duffield