As I watch the evening news, night after night it appears to me that our nation is being ruled by men who are hellbent on destroying us before they leave office. Either we are dealing with malevolence of a high order or incompetence of a higher order, and quite possibly both. Now I say this knowing that if they are successful in their vision, there will be no injustice done. We deserve everything that is happening to us, good and hard.
But, that said, let me tell you why I am optimistic.
At the end of the book of Esther, the Jews were enabled by the grace of God to defend themselves, and they wound up killing 75,000 of their enemies (Est. 9:16). Just prior to that, their enemies had been hoping to use the decree of Haman to wipe out the Jews, but at the last minute the tables were turned (Est. 9:1).
There was a goodish bit of court politics going on, combined with a little of “no, wait, not that.”
“The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed” (Est. 3:15).
Perplexed, sort of like me, scrolling through the Drudge Report. I am regularly amazed that these people are still running what is left of our civilization. Shoot, I am amazed that they all still have drivers’ licenses.
I believe that we will be delivered. I believe that we will see a black swan revival. But whether we are delivered or not, it doesn’t matter. Faithfulness can be found in apparent defeat as easily as in victory. Deliverance is given to faithful men, and faithful men are those who care about certain things more than deliverance.
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Dan. 3:17–18).
I believe we need to pray and work for deliverance. I believe we need to expect deliverance, trusting God for it. But whether or not He grants us that victory, we can at least arrange for a flamboyant defeat.
In the meantime, always remember the blessing given by the elvenking at the end of The Hobbit. When he said farewell to Gandalf, his blessing was “may you ever appear where you are most needed and least expected” (The Hobbit, p. 247).
One of the reasons why Christians are so discouraged by the turn events have taken is that they have not been steeped in the right kind of stories. Smaug is great, but Bard has one arrow left.