I recently told a younger friend (she’s not much younger than me but she likes to be called young) that I turned 46 two weeks before the last election. No content warning needed–this is not a political post. For the most part, my feelings on politics can be summed up in Joshua 5:13-14. Joshua is on a commission from God, he’s obediently doing what he is supposed to do and in the place he is supposed to be. He has a drawn sword and he asks the angel of the Lord, “Are you for us, or our enemies?” The angel replies, “Neither,” in such a way that Joshua falls on his face. Would that we all fell on our face with that truth.
The election was a tumultuous time though, and I didn’t have faith that there would not be skirmishes of war in most streets. So when I looked up the Psalm that matched my age to see if there would be any themes for the year I could pull out, I started crying. “He makes wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; he sets wagons ablaze. Stop fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
I feel the need to focus on it again and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. I didn’t see war in my streets at that time, but many of our fellow humans are seeing it right now. The song says the Lord of Hosts is with us, but some Bible versions say the Lord of Armies, or Heaven’s Armies. And it reiterates (in the song, not the scripture), “You are on our side.”
The Lord of Armies is with us humans, and we have an army at our back–but he is not necessarily on our side. My 2019 post killing me softly talks more about the different dichotomies in the Bible that some people might skim and call contradictions.
Sometimes two things can be true.
Tow’rs, one of my favorite bands has a song about letting go of bitterness.
One line in the song about bitterness Water Under the Bridge says, “I see a man holding his flag too tight, Going to battle thinking that God is on his side.”
So many of their lyrics are quotable and stay in my heart. Here’s my Spotify playlist.
He is on neither side. However, he is on YOUR side, my friend…and my enemy.