The Good; and the Incredibly Evil….
With all the talk about the political situation in the country, it only seems fitting as we approach the primaries in several weeks, that we remember on this date, April 30th, in 1789, the newly elected President George Washington took office. Not in Washington, mind you, but in New York. Now there have been volumes written about his presidency, and every president since then, so tonight’s post is not so much about the office as it is about God’s mandate about governments.
Because today marks another event having to do with a false government – this one was not God centered – in fact, it was evil. That was the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler. In fact, it was on this day, in 1945, that Hitler, along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun, committed suicide in a Berlin bunker as Russian troops approached. And the atrocities that were committed by the Nazis were committed again God’s chosen people, the Jewish nation.
Rarely does it happen that events that are so diametrically opposed to each other both occurred on the same day of the year. Of course, the events were years apart, but the illustration is unmistakable. On one hand, the formation of the United States; from the Declaration of Independence, to the Constitution, to the election of the first President and the start of our nation as we know it today. While we have various political parties, and strong differences of opinion as to what party should rule, our government still reflects the best of the what the governments of man have to offer in the world. At the heart of it, we are still Americans and will go to war to defend what we believe to be God given rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence. And while we may have passionate beliefs about what is right, in times of trouble, or attack, we band together in ways that instill national pride and a strong sense of allegiance to the U.S.
The attack on Pearl Harbor and the attacks on 9/11 are both illustrations of a strong sense of national unity that has now survived more than 230 years. Most of us still believe that the U.S. is the greatest nation on earth and we are blessed to live here.
Conversely, Satan is called the prince of the power of the air, and it is in his domain that our earth is situated. So it should come as no surprise that we are constantly in the crosshairs of Satan and his legions of fallen angels; trying to undermine the desires of God for His people to be drawn closer to Him. Sometimes, for those who are not believers, the attacks of Satan are difficult, if not impossible, to fend off. And if you think about it, especially since Jesus was Jewish, it is only natural that Satan would attempt to annihilate the Jewish nation in an effort to supplant Christ and rule the world.
Of course, that was not God’s plan. In fact, we are told in the early chapters of Genesis that there will be warfare between good and evil. And while we are also told that governments will be instituted among men, it is clearly God’s desire that Christ reign supreme – not Satan. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to thwart the evil desires of Satan, and in the case of Germany in the middle of the last century, an entire nation of people was tricked into believing that the end of the Jewish nation was a good thing. The Jewish people paid a horrendous price.
Of course, God’s way ultimately always prevails and there have been numerous illustrations throughout history where the people of Israel have been in jeopardy of extinction. As further evidence of their chosen position with God, a remnant has always survived to re-populate the nation. So while we celebrate the beginning of the presidency, we would be remiss to not also acknowledge the suffering of the Jewish nation under a “pretender” government that was not in the will of God.
So, it’s a bittersweet day. The celebration of a successful government, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal – in opposition to a false government that preyed on the assumption of a superior “race” dominating a supposedly inferior “race.” Ultimately, one has survived while the leader of the evil regime committed suicide in a bunker.
It’s tough to make sense of the things that man has done to man under the pretense of a God given mandate. But one thing we know for sure – and that is that the first reference to the fight between Christ and Satan occurs in Genesis 3:15, the verse for tonight. We are told, as God addresses the serpent after the Fall of man, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In other words, while Satan will bruise the “heel” of Christ, ultimately, God will prevail as Christ crushes the head of Satan.” We can rest in that promise of God.
Unfortunately, we still don’t know why suffering exists and why the people of Israel had to suffer such atrocities. But some day, we will be able to ask God face to face. In the meantime, my encouragement this evening is to let you know that God has a plan and that we know from the Scriptures that evil is crushed and does not prevail in the kingdom of God. My prayer is that you will do your part to advance God’s agenda in the world and that you will continue to revel in the fact that we are blessed to live in a nation founded on the principles that all men, and women, are created equal. Grace and peace…