I honestly wasn't even sure what to title this post, because it is just a seemingly random compilation of thoughts I've been having about Moses, the Israelites, Pharaoh, and ISIS.
At our church here in Honduras, we have a song we sing about God throwing Pharaoh and his armies into the Red Sea when they were pursuing the Israelites. It is a very upbeat, joyful song, and from the first time we sang it, I had a problem with it. Yes, it is great that God rescued His chosen people, and I can rejoice in that, but when Pharaoh and his people were thrown into the sea, they died and of course went straight to hell because their hearts had been hardened to God. How can we sing and rejoice in the death of all those lost souls?
The past few weeks I have been reading in Exodus, and my housemates and I have been listening to a sermon series from that book. When I reread the story of the parting of the Red Sea and Pharaoh's death, those same feeling came up, but with another thought: ISIS.
Even though I am living in another country, I still try to keep up with the news from the US and world events so I better know how to pray for the world, and I've seen a lot of news about ISIS lately. And when I thought about God destroying the enemies of the Israelites, I also thought, "What if God did that for us today? What if He destroyed all of ISIS? Would we not sing and rejoice that we are free from that burden?" But at the same time, we KNOW that the members of ISIS are lost souls, who would also be on the fast track to hell if they were killed. Can we really rejoice in that?
I've also been reading this fiction series (which sometimes challenges me to think more that nonfiction books) about a Christian group whose job is to rescue Christian missionaries from dangerous countries and situations where they are being tortured or soon to be killed. But when this group comes in to rescue the missionaries, they do it by nonlethal methods. They use tranquilizer guns and as little violence as possible, trusting God to watch their backs and hopefully change the hearts of the persecutors in the process. I know that these are just fiction books and people would call it crazy to try to do that in real life, but doesn't the battle belong to the Lord anyways? If we would submit to him, won't He fight for us? God has wiped out people groups before all over the Old Testament when His people turned to Him and trusted their battles to Him. And I have to come to peace with the fact that sometimes that is His will. But when we are fighting a losing battle against a group that is clearly against the people of God, I have to wonder what God's will is here, and if we are truly seeking it and following it.
Like I said, just some random thoughts of mine from the past few weeks. Probably not the upbeat "it's almost Christmas!" post you were expecting (but I will be coming home on Friday, so yay!). But please, pray for our country and our leaders, that we would find and follow God's will in this battle, and every other one we are fighting. God wants victory for us. Let's claim that promise.
"For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory." Deuteronomy 20:4