before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let Not Thy Zeal "Be as When a Standard-Bearer Fainteth"

Last year, around the 4th of July, my wife, daughter, and I were in our van, in Kansas City, stopped at an traffic light.  For those of you who know KCK (and care to know), it was the intersection of State Ave and 78th Street.  Some road work was being done in the area, so there were cones about, and temporary lines drawn for lanes, and asphalt dust scattered across the road.  As I waiting for the green arrow to appear, I noticed something in the middle of the intersection.  There was a small, somewhat dingy cloth, lying crumpled on the road, as cars and trucks went whizzing past.  I squinted, and said, "Deana, do you see that?  What is it?"  Deana wasn't sure.  

Could it be a rag from construction worker?  Or an article of clothing that fell out of a passing vehicle?

An afternoon breeze moved the rather worn cloth, and I saw some faded color in a striped pattern.  "I think it is an American flag."  "It couldn't be."  She was incredulous.  But another automobile went by, nearly running it over, and the fabric was moved again, revealing a dirty blue field, with faint stars.  "It IS a flag!"  

I began to unbuckle.  My wife said, "What are you doing?"  I said, "I need to get it out of the street."  Just then the green arrow lit up, and I had to go.  I went by, careful not to go over the flag, and pulled into the nearest parking lot.  Parking, I leaped from the driver's seat and sprinted down to the corner.  I hesitated only a few seconds, then left the curb.  Into the flow of traffic, I ventured, and made it to the end of the median.  There were some exasperated honks from drivers, whom I'm sure were wondering what the crazy pedestrian was doing.  

A big semi truck and trailer made its wide turn, which I avoided, and dashed out into the intersection and plucked up the old flag.  For yes, it was a flag, which must have been torn from its basing on a motorcycle or other motorist, and left behind unnoticed.  Holding it with both hands, I returned to the curb.  I caught surprised looks from a few drivers, when they realized what I had gone to get, and at least one grandmotherly driver nodded in approval and waved her thanks.  I headed back to the van and my family, which had watched the scene. 

Back in the driver's seat, I considered my prize.  From the flag's condition, it was immediately evident that it had lain in the road, at least all day, unbeknownst to the drivers who passed it by, or overran it with the tread of their tires.  

How sad, to think that this flag of our nation was lying in the dust for hours, while American citizens drove by, oblivious of it!

Yet, how much more tragic is it to realize that our nation itself has sunk into the gutter, becoming corrupted by greed, pride, perversion, and the innocent blood of 55+ million babies, just like those in Israel, who "...shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters...and the land was polluted with blood" (Psalm 106:38).  We have, as a people, turned away from the true God "which hath made and preserved us a nation" (from the Star Spangled Banner, verse 4), and have cast His Law behind our back.

All this, and so many Christians, in so many local churches, are just driving by, busy about their own agendas, not heeding the cries of the lost in this country who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the righteousness of the God of the Bible.  Are we not called to be "SALT"?  Are we not to let our "LIGHT so shine"?  Has not the Captain of our Salvation given orders to His people to stand for righteousness and truth in society?  As the hymn declares, are we not to "Work, For the Night is Coming"?  Do we hold God in so light esteem, that we think He will not judge wickedness?  Who are we to think that the United States is exempt from being brought fully to account before His seat?

"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever."  Thomas Jefferson

"Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? 
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?
He that formed the eye, shall he not see?
He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct?
He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?" (Psalm 94:8-10).

Judah fell into sin, and God did not let her get away with it.  Even Jerusalem, the apple of His eye, was not spared.  When the weeping prophet, Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, wrote Lamentations, he cried, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" (Lamentations 1:12).

Christians in America must consider this cry: 

Get your Bible out and study what it says about God's dealings with countries.  

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). 

Read the 80th Psalm, and consider the truths it holds concerning God's blessing and judgment on a nation.  Let us cry unto our God to "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved" (Psalm 80:3 see also 80:7 and 80:19).  

Remember and heed God's voice: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will hear their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).

So I urge you, brethren, let NOT the bowstring of your prayer go slack!  Let not your zeal be as when a standard-bearer fainteth!  "Be not weary in well doing" (II Thessalonians 3:13)!  

Weep for your people.  Repent from your sin.  Pray for God to, "in wrath, remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2).  Stand and speak for the truth and life.  Be attentive to the Spirit's leading.  Stop to stoop down and plead the cause of the poor and needy.  Love your preborn neighbor with a zeal that refuses to be silent and absent in in the day of battle!  As the watchman in Ezekiel, warn the wicked to turn from His way to Jesus Christ. Preach the Gospel to a dying people.

I kept that flag, and have it still today, as a reminder to pray for my country, and of the need for righteous action for the kingdom of God.  I must not allow my zeal to start flagging.  

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people (in my case, America), and for the cities of our God (the kingdom of Heaven): and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.


  1. Always encouraged Kevan! I am praying for you! I want to be one who sighs and cries for the abominations done in the midst of this land (Ez. 9:4)