Be Careful When You Pick a Fight

November 11, 2016

Life happens; art remembers life.

Man is unique among God’s creation. When people experience profound things, their memories are often complemented by creativity, to capture and retain the importance of the moment. Paintings, sculptures and statues, plays and performances, music: the varieties of expression allow the significant exceptions to the daily routine to stand tall.

Almost 4000 years ago, the Children of Israel were rescued from their Egyptian slavery by God, using Moses as his human leader to effect the plan. The drama unfolded in an extraordinary way – a burning bush as a source of vision, a strategy that included plagues and palace intrigue – resulting in 2 million people leaving Egypt in a massive exodus, from bondage to freedom.

An unexpected conflict – capable of derailing the dream – put the people at great risk: the most powerful military force on the planet decided to come after the Jews, intent on turning them back and neutralizing God’s plan. What would they do?

God stepped in, powerfully: the same miracle that assisted the Jewish escape – the parting of the Red Sea – was the means by which God obliterated the armies of Egypt, including their Commander in Chief, Pharaoh himself. What an incredible War Story:

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord    swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen – the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. – Exodus 14:23-28

Great victories often stimulate art, to commemorate the experience:

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord: “The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea.” – Exodus 15:1, 3-4

The Lord is a Warrior; the Lord is his name. Fighting righteous battles is part of God’s history; part of our history is the valiant service provided by Americans who have stepped in – at crucial moments in the story – to place themselves at risk for us all.

Veterans Day is the time to remember and recognize these brave warriors. Today, in The Master’s Program, we have 42 Veterans who are currently enrolled in TMP – with scholarships provided by TMP grads/patriots – in groups across the country.

We salute them today: the Lord fought for Israel; our Veterans have fought for us, and we’re grateful to God for them.

Bob Shank





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