Online Articles

Online Articles

These Things Were Written

Psalms 2 speaks of the Lord’s Anointed One who will crush the foes of God with a “rod of iron… like a potter’s vessel” vs 9.  This sentiment is echoed in Revelation to the church in Thyatira where it says, “he will rule them with a rod of iron” Rev 2:27.

We are also told the Lord’s chosen servant, Isaiah 42, is one who “will not cry aloud or lift up his voice… a bruised reed will he not break” vs 3.  Indeed, it seemed as Jesus lifted the faint hearted by healing them, the Pharisees created more and more conflict, as they demand from him a sign.  Matthew 12:19-20 recalls the prophecy of Isaiah, as Jesus was casting out demons and identifying good and fruitful servants of God.

How is it that the one who “rules with a rod of iron…smashing in pieces” can be the same one who will “not cry aloud or break a bruised reed”?  It seems impossible, right?  The two things are diametrically opposed to each other.  One cannot be true in the presence of the other in the same person, at least not in the way we would typically think. 

In Luke 24 as the disciples encounter again, and for the first time the living breathing incarnation of God, they had to rethink all that they ever knew.  Every one of their deepest foundational beliefs had to be shaken, stirred up, and reordered to be able to deal with the reality that now confronted them. 

Their warrior, in the likeness of David, was indeed seated before them and telling them to remember all that he told them, while he was with them before the crucifixion.  He patiently reminded them of all that they had been taught during their time with him and all they knew from the rich heritage of their most sacred scriptures.

The end of Job puts it this way.  As God continues to ply Job with questions, Job finally says, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” Job 42:5-6. Something had to change in Job, before he could “see” God.  Something had to change in the disciples, before they could stop disbelieving.   Something must change within us, before we can realize the ruler of creation, who at the same time “rules with a rod of iron,” also “will not break a bruised reed.”

Jesus does, can, and will pursue sinners with a ferocity that is unparalleled by any example that we can imagine.  It is His pursuit of them that puts us in a quandary.  He will tear and render powerless all forces that stand against Him, but to a sinner He will say “repent and live.”  He will utterly destroy the object that threatens those He loves, while at the same time extending love to those who will hear.  We see this in His resurrection.  Death had taken a hold on this world, and all were hostage under the thick tar like blanket of hopelessness.  No one, not even Jesus’ closest followers, could see any way that death, the unbeatable foe, could be conquered.  Though David defeated Goliath with merely a sling, Gideon defeated an army that numbered as the sands of the sea, with noise and lights. Barak defeated the indestructible chariots of Sisera with a little mud. No one could see any possibility, when it came to the war against death.  All the countless examples lived in real life in ancient times could not help anyone comprehend how easily God dismisses the most powerful foes of our imagination.  This is the very sentiment spoken of in Psalms 2.  After succumbing to what appeared to be death’s ultimate victory, Jesus calmly sits up in the room prepared for Him by Joseph of Arimathea, removes His burial clothes, and takes the time to fold the cloth around His head and lay it to the side.  Death to Jesus was no more than a few days’ rest.  Our Mighty Ruler, now having crushed death as if it were fragile pottery, now begins to contend with the smoking flax of all those who could not understand and ultimately failed to believe.  Mary and the other women are encouraged to believe and share the news.  Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus are encouraged to remember and share the news.  The disciples, all of whom fled from Jesus, are comforted by His presence, admonished to remember, and sent to share the news:  JESUS IS ALIVE.  The mighty conqueror of death did not break the broken, mournful disciples who had doubted.  He lifted them up to a height, that they could have never dreamt, witnessing a view, that they could have never imagined and provided them with the same unknowable strength, that he used to defeat the unconquerable foe.  Psalms 2:12ff “blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Something must change in us, before we can see God.  Something must change in us, to understand the Prince of Peace who rules with a rod of iron.  The enemy before us is sin, not each other.  All the power and might that we share in him must be used to stand against the cold deadly hand of evil.  But we must NEVER forget that each image bearing creature of God is loved by him, and he will unwaveringly leave the 99 sheep, who did not go astray, to recover the one.  We share in that warfare.  We share in that search.  Sometimes it is us who need to be found.  Jesus can defeat any “invincible” foe in your life, but you must let him do so.  Jesus does not rescue from consequences, but he does walk side by side with us, as we face them. “Yea though I walk through the valley of Death… you are with me” Psalms 23.  He will pick you up, no matter how far you believe you have fallen.  Believe in him, trust his word, and open your eyes to SEE God as he truly is.  You will be amazed what you find.