6 He will be a spirit of justice
to him who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7 And these also stagger from wine
and reel from beer:
Priests and prophets stagger from beer
and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
they stagger when seeing visions,
they stumble when rendering decisions.
8 All the tables are covered with vomit
and there is not a spot without filth.—The words of the prophet Isaiah from Isaiah 28
As I write this blog post, the people of this nation await the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. I have my own very strongly held opinions regarding almost every matter relating to government and politics. However, on days like this, I am keenly aware that, first and foremost, I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
In His mercy and great grace, before the foundation of the earth, God chose to call me one of His own dearly loved children. In due season—in my case as a nine-year-old boy—God sent His Holy Spirit to reveal that Jesus had died to bear the penalty for my sins. As I acknowledged what God had done for me, I became increasingly aware that I belonged to God’s Kingdom.
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ need to learn to think of themselves primarily as members of the Kingdom of God. Such thinking correlates with teaching that I first heard as a very young teenager. The Youth for Christ speaker declared:
“Now that you belong to God through Christ, you are citizens of God’s Kingdom. You are in this world, but you are not of this world.”
Jesus said as much in John 15:18-19:
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Jesus also prayed for His disciples in John 17:14-16:
14 “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
In the Scripture passage at the beginning of this blog post, the prophet Isaiah explains that God will provide a spirit of justice for the one who sites in judgment. God will provide a source of strength for those who turn back the battle at the gate—in other words for those warriors who faithfully fight the battle with energy and dedication.
In contrast, those who presumptuously lead without the hand of God upon them “stagger with beer and are befuddled with wine...reel from beer...stagger when seeing visions...stumble when rendering decisions.”
I cannot rightly judge the spiritual state of those who lead the government of this nation. I can only look at the actions they take, the decisions they make, the judgments they hand down, and the way they behave in their personal lives. However, because I am principally a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I can learn to not respond with surprise when I observe staggerings, befuddlement, reelings, and stumblings.
This day and every day we do well to put our trust fully in God. We rightly claim with joy our place as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
Yes! Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ need to learn to think of themselves primarily as members of the Kingdom of God.
Will you pray with me?
Thank You, God, for loving us. Thank You for sending Jesus to be our Savior. Thank You for sending us Your Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
Precious Father, we bow in humble gratitude and thank You that You have chosen us to belong to You and have made us citizens of Your eternal Kingdom. As we often pray, we ask You to set our roots deeply into nourishing soil. Plant us firmly in a great outpouring of Your mercy, grace, and love. Help us to stand firm, as You enable us by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
We thank You, Gracious Father, for hearing our prayer in and through the powerful Name of Your Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.