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With GodOn Our Side 092112
As Bob Dylan observed in his 1963 folk song ‘With God On Our Side’, we humans creat situations in which both sides of a human conflict think that because of the passion of their side’s belief, each believes they are blessed by God, and that God sides only with them. Even football games sometimes see holy persons blessing one team or the other..
1 Kings is about the same sort of a situation, with Kings and armies and prophets believing God is on their side. And in Romans we hear the metaphor used that describes gentiles and Jews getting close to God by accident, when the Jews are in disfavor temporarily.
One could suppose that world affairs are still functioning in such a way and that God is on our side, but Allah protects others. It seems this would lead to a conversation about ‘whose God could beat up whose Allah’. But I don’t think disicples of Christ can be part of these arguments. We are not supposed to be involved in the conflict or to try to solve problems with violence. We can no longer be part of one side, but live our lives in accord with God’s love for all.
A better question might be, are we on God’s side?
Pray for peace
Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
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We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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1 Kings 22:24-40
The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm, When the Ziphites Reported to Saul, “David Is Hiding Out with Us”
54 1-2 God, for your sake, help me!
Use your influence to clear me.
Listen, God—I’m desperate.
Don’t be too busy to hear me.
3 Outlaws are out to get me,
hit men are trying to kill me.
Nothing will stop them;
God means nothing to them.
4-5 Oh, look! God’s right here helping!
God’s on my side,
Evil is looping back on my enemies.
Don’t let up! Finish them off!
6-7 I’m ready now to worship, so ready.
I thank you, God—you’re so good.
You got me out of every scrape,
and I saw my enemies get it.
1 Kings 22:24-40
The Message (MSG)
24 Just then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah came up and punched Micaiah in the nose, saying, “Since when did the Spirit of God leave me and take up with you?”
25 Micaiah said, “You’ll know soon enough; you’ll know it when you’re frantically and futilely looking for a place to hide.”
26-27 The king of Israel had heard enough: “Get Micaiah out of here! Turn him over to Amon the city magistrate and to Joash the king’s son with this message, ‘King’s orders: Lock him up in jail; keep him on bread and water until I’m back in one piece.’”
28 Micaiah said, “If you ever get back in one piece, I’m no prophet of God.”
He added,“When it happens, O people, remember where you heard it!”
29-30 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Wear my kingly robe; I’m going into battle disguised.” So the king of Israel entered the battle in disguise.
31 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders (there were thirty-two of them): “Don’t bother with anyone, whether small or great; go after the king of Israel and him only.”
32-33 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat they said, “There he is! The king of Israel!” and took after him. Jehoshaphat yelled out, and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man—it wasn’t the king of Israel after all. They let him go.
34 Just then someone, without aiming, shot an arrow randomly into the crowd and hit the king of Israel in the chink of his armor. The king told his charioteer, “Turn back! Get me out of here—I’m wounded.”
35-37 All day the fighting continued, hot and heavy. Propped up in his chariot, the king watched from the sidelines. He died that evening. Blood from his wound pooled in the chariot. As the sun went down, shouts reverberated through the ranks, “Abandon camp! Head for home! The king is dead!”
37-38 The king was brought to Samaria and there they buried him. They washed down the chariot at the pool of Samaria where the town whores bathed, and the dogs lapped up the blood, just as God’s word had said.
39-40 The rest of Ahab’s life—everything he did, the ivory palace he built, the towns he founded, and the defense system he built up—is all written up in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. He was buried in the family cemetery and his son Ahaziah was the next king.
The Message (MSG)
A Complete Israel
25-29 I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full house. Before it’s all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written,
A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion;
he’ll clean house in Jacob.
And this is my commitment to my people:
removal of their sins.
From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.
30-32 There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.
- 2 Chronicles Chapter 18 (pofw.wordpress.com)
- September 9 (bibleday2day.wordpress.com)
- The liberal fascists’ false prophets (wnd.com)
- How We Begin Our New Life 091812 (mennonitepreacher.wordpress.com)
- Everyday I Look For Him 091912 (mennonitepreacher.wordpress.com)