Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tipping the Scale

I was so disappointed with the end of Joash’s reign. He was a cool king while Jehoiada was alive but the moment Jehoiada died, he killed Jehoiada’s son Zechariah, abandoned God, and embraced idolatry… leading the Northern kingdom to commit idolatry. Sad that one person was the cause of so much sin.

QUESTION: In the battle between good and evil, can one person affect the outcome?

The battle:
  • God and His angels vs. Satan and his demons
The interesting prize: humans
  • God wants humans to obey and love Him
  • Satan wants humans to disobey and leave God
Strength of the armies:
  • Satan’s army is large, the number of demons is like the sand on the seashore (Rev 20:7-9).
  • God’s army is LARGER and STRONGER.

    1) God’s army can be as large as He wants it to be (He technically could create an infinite number of angels rite? hehe). Jesus, for example, easily had 12,000 angels at his disposal (Matt 26:53).

    2) Each angel is extremely powerful; one angel was able to kill 185,000 Assyrians in one sweep (2 Kings 19:35).

    3) It is God who leads His army. He is POWERFUL, infinitely more powerful than Satan. God has the power to consume and annihilate evil. As much as Satan is evil, God is much much more good, His love is infinitely greater than any evil.

    4) God created Satan; He can, has, and will defeat Satan.
The scale seems to favor God and His army rite? God and His army seem to have a sure win rite?

OT BATTLE ANALYSIS: In the OT, it seems that when a bad king (like Joash) reigned, the people were led away from God… it seemed like a person like Joash can tip the scale against God. Despite the strength of God and His army, the battle was momentarily lost because of ONE person.

NT BATTLE ANALYSIS: Because of Jesus, the dynamic of the battle is a little different today. Disciples are now temples in which the Holy Spirit dwells. Consequently, a king or leader cannot lead God’s entire people astray. We are our own person deciding our own fate. According to John, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Thus individually, we can decide to obey and love Him—we have the power to defeat Satan.

ANSWER: I think a person CAN affect the outcome of a battle. Nonetheless, through Jesus' sacrifice, good has already overcome evil and Satan has ultimately been defeated. There is a victory celebration awaiting us and the outcome of our individual battles will determine whether we attend that celebration, but regardless... God has already won the war (Revelations).


Justin Seibel said...

Great points Tera. I can tell you put some work into this. I haven't reached the part about Joash yet. You are right about God being infinitely powerful and can always defeat satan. and things are different since Jesus.

Here are my comments. You're right God is stronger, but he doesn't get overly involved. He has to let people choose him. I think he does hold back the demons alot because if he allowed them full reign they'd destroy the earth. At the same time, he allows life to happen. i think the battle is in the hearts of men. what will we do? both influence us, but we decide. Really Jesus won the war already because he defeated death and gave us a way out.

Also I absolutely believe that any amount of good or evil done by one person effects the people around you to one degree or the other. I think a bad leader could lead a group astray, and they'll be judged harder for that. one thing that is different from OT and NT is that Israel was both a country and a spiritual group of people. Now to belong to the kingdom you don't have to be part of the country. So Israel can have people in the country, leaders included, that are part of the group, but not spiritual. i think the Jews had it harder back then to maintain spirituality with their country. I hope this helps. You might want to read the beginning of Job as well. Satan has to ask God permission to touch Job. There's also the thought that demons are just the fallen angels. so on omniscient, but powerful.

hananiah said...

All true and good stuff Tera & Justin...

Absolutely true that there is a battle going on. Regardless of the outcome known by our faith, we live out our hope for the best and most excellent way. Love is our measure and it is an unending debt.

Anyone ONE person can affect anyone else, for better or worse; good or bad (in varying degrees, as noted; and sometimes in combination). Anyone who denies that we affect each other has not referenced their bible, does not understand the human psyche, has some hidden motive/ excuse or has no true relationships.

So what to do about this amazing power we all possess...? Will our hopes match our faith in love?

Justin Seibel said...

wow that's kind of cool. we can influence others with the way we are.