Which Side is the Right Side...
Of history that is? Today we often hear the phrase, “It is important to be on the right side of history.” That statement has become the go-to expression almost always used by those trying to advance a left-leaning cultural agenda. But the better question is ultimately who will be on the right side of eternity!
In 2 Chronicles 15:1-7 it says, “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, FOR GOD TROUBLED THEM WITH EVERY SORT OF DISTRESS. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.’”
These words, though written 3,000 years ago seem like a response to the headlines of our current age. If 2020 and the pandemic were not enough, already 2021 has brought to us more turmoil and insecurities about the future… the pandemic continues, economic inflation is growing at a scary rate, Israel and the middle east are heating up again, tensions are mounting between the U.S. vs Russia and Iran, we have a border crisis of epic proportion, and protests are continuing nightly in American cities. Frankly, it seems that everywhere you look there is chaos, confusion and conflict. Like the passage above, as one translation puts it… “In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts.”(CSB)
I agree with Dr. Tony Evans. “What you and I have been going through is the passive wrath of God… It is God saying, ‘Since you don’t want Me, I’m going to let you experience life without Me.’ So, what we are seeing in our culture, our country, and perhaps even in your home life, is what it looks like when there is a distance between God and a person or a people. The closer the God of the Bible is to a situation, the more ordered the situation will become. The further God is from a situation, the more chaotic it will be.”
The passage above speaks of 3 reasons for Israel’s trouble, and I think it is the same for us:
- They had forsaken God… “For a long time Israel was without the true God.” They worshipped the gods of their age and not the true God, Jehovah.
- They had no knowledge of the truth… they were “without a teaching priest…” While they had plenty of priestly positions, none were teaching and speaking God’s truth.
- They had forsaken the Word of God… they were also “without law.” The Word of God no longer governed their behavior or their worship.
Because of these 3 things, “God troubled them with every sort of distress.” Fortunately, King Asa got it (V. 8). He took action and helped Israel through a number of reforms that brought a renewed commitment by the people to seek God with all their hearts… and that is when things changed… and that is what it looks like to go from the wrong side of history to the right side of eternity. What worked then, will work again. Could the trouble upon our land and even the globe be the passive wrath of God troubling us to try and turn us? I think so, and I pray that like Asa, we too will get it! Remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God’s Glory Alone,