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Thursday, February 11, 2016

They sought to destroy whom they feared

Then there came to power in Egypt a new king who knew nothing of Joseph. ‘Look,’ he said to his subjects ‘these people, the sons of Israel, have become so numerous and strong that they are a threat to us. We must be prudent and take steps against their increasing any further,’ ... Accordingly they put slave-drivers over the Israelites to wear them down under heavy loads. In this way they built the store-cities of Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. But the more they were crushed, the more they increased and spread, and men came to dread the sons of Israel. (Exodus 1:1-22)

This reminds me of the eugenics that drove the Nazis to try and destroy the Jews, or drove any group to genocide. Could there be a parallel as well with attempts to destroy Christianity in countries which were once Christian kingdoms, where now they proclaim proudly, at least many of those in political power, that they are secular nations? 'We have no king but Caesar', they might as well be saying.

But for Christians and Jews, we know this: "No sword of their own won the land; no arm of their own brought them victory." For to God we declare: "It was your right hand, your arm and the light of your face; for you loved them." -- Psalm 43 (44)

This does not mean timid acquiescence to secular masters, of course, but it does mean recognizing the real power behind our victory: Christ, crucified and risen. And so our struggles for justice and the spread of the gospel has meaning beyond this passing world. In these days of Lent, let us remember: we are at war with the Enemy, and our King has already won, not with blades and bullets, but, as by missionaries of centuries past, with the Cross.

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