When Push Comes To Shove

“You watched while a stone was cut without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-35 NKJV

The producers of television survival shows have tapped into a ubiquitous and not very attractive component of human behavior: prejudice. Make no mistake; the term has much broader application than the usual racial context to which we fasten it. Prejudice is present in the plot by executives to create for themselves a golden parachute at the expense of the employees whose labor actually built the company. It’s obvious in the mass murders of entire groups of people in other nations – the ones we’ve always heard about and always will, ethnos epi ethnos (Matthew 24:7). Prejudice is curled around the drawn-back fist of a deacon coming to blows with his brother over a church split.

Prejudice simultaneously creates alliances and divisions, and it trumps all other values in play. It has been with us since Cain and Abel, and it will be in the earth until the Lord binds that old serpent Satan and throws him into the pit.

We saw a great deal of prejudice in this last election. If we’re honest, many of us felt prejudiced against our acquaintances, friends, and family whose political views were different from our own. Many times, this prejudice has its roots in our nationalism, our sense of identity as Americans. We’re worried about our country and its future.

I love America. I believe she is the best nation on the planet. I believe that since our birth as a nation, we Americans have given more to the world than we have received in return. I truly do. I further believe God has and will honor the goodness of our founders and their ideals. I believe He will honor the blood men and women have shed in defense of those ideals.

Nevertheless, the United States of America is not the Kingdom of Heaven. It will not endure eternally. It had a beginning and it has an end. As with all the governments of men represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, one day it will be carried away on the wind like chaff.

But we do have an enduring kingdom, and we’ve entered the season to celebrate the birth of our King. As Isaiah wrote,

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

There will be no end to the increase of His government and peace. World without end.

Beloved, when push comes to shove as it surely will, remember only one prejudice is worthy of us: The zeal of the Lord. It’s the only prejudice worth being hated for.

Those who hate me without a cause
Are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother’s children;
Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
                                     (Psalm 69:4,8,9)

Lord, let Your passion consume Your people! Especially here. Especially now.

© Melissa Kay Simonds

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