Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Battle of the gods

The Lord God and the gods

The claim of the atheists that all the wars have been religious ones has a ring of truth about it. They could have used the term political wars as well. They may not agree with the assessment that even Atheism is a religious belief yet as it requires faith it qualifies.

Perplexed people ponder why is it that nations and individuals find it hard, indeed impossible to get along. Is there an answer? The Bible says ‘yes’ in words plain and clear. Why then do men and women find it hard to accept? I think it is due to the fact the Bible makes us realise that all of us are part of the problem.

What does the Bible reveal as the basic cause of strife, wars and various other aggressive facets of our human nature? Genesis chapter three paints the picture. Satan leads Eve and Adam into an act of rebellion against the Creator God. This fallen angel tempts them with the notion that by taking of the fruit forbidden by Yahweh they will become gods. I think Satan believed their treason would make them slaves in his realm. The unexpected happened and it has infected all their descendents ever since. Humans came to believe they are gods.

The most striking examples of this are the Pharaohs, Caesars and current North Korean leaders. What we fail to appreciate is that each of us possesses this spiritual and moral disease. Within individuals this legacy of Adam’s disobedience will express itself in various ways. From the dominating bullying ego centric despot to the servile, cringing and manipulating weakling. What is the outcome in real life of people? Quarrels and arguments as we seek to assert our rights, our will, our wisdom, even our dislikes and revenge! The human heart wants to rule. It craves sovereignty and the obedience of others. Consider that in the light of James 4:1-3. It is a battle of a ‘god’ seeking lordship over others who think they are ‘god’.

When Adam and Eve took the fruit Satan must have been dismayed, frustrated and angered. Why? Because they didn’t succumb to being his slaves in his kingdom of darkness. Ever since this angel of evil has sought to seduce Humankind to accept his sovereignty. He has done this through the occult, magical arts and the promise of power.

Where has the Lord God almighty, the Creator been in this conflict? He too has been endeavouring to bring the descendents of the first couple back into His Kingdom of Light. He continues to do this before the declaration that time is up. There can only be one Sovereign. Only One who is to worshipped. Only One whose will is to be obeyed.

Therefore as you read the Bible it becomes clear the Lord embarked on a reconquest of His creation and the children of Adam and Eve. His call to them to bow to His sovereignty embraced a number of issues. Love motivated Him for He knows that Judgement awaits those who refuse His offer. Forgiveness has been made possible as the basis for re-entry into His presence. How, for treason is a capital offence? Here is the wonder and the power behind the events we call Christmas, the Cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has dealt with the moral and spiritual expressions of the conflict and consequences of the battle of the gods with the one and only God.

What now is the issue? Individuals can hang onto their ‘god-ness’ or join with the powers of darkness. Or they can realise the unwiseness of fighting against Yahweh and rejecting His right to their allegiance Such recognition by you, by me, means we reject our claims to personal sovereignty, we acknowledge our rebellion and delusion, we accept His amnesty offered to us in Christ Jesus. It means we bow the knee in surrender and worship.

When we yield up the rights to ourselves to the Lord God Almighty we discover many wonderful truths. We know peace, we have hope and there is no fear in meeting the God before whom all must stand. Sure each of us will face many conflicts and issues which challenge our allegiance to Christ Jesus but we know He stands with us in the fight. We know we have the victory for all eternity. It isn’t ours but Christ Jesus’ and He has given it to us. Our faith commitment to Him is a declaration that for us the battle of the gods against the Lord God has been won by Him. That is a most wonderful defeat and glorious surrender.

Ray (who surrendered and won) Hawkins

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