Nathaniel Stalling Jr is Pastor of Burning Bush Temple of Christ Church.
As a Christian, I see the most profound victory ever achieved at the cross. What Jesus the Christ accomplished at calvary was centuries in the making. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was every loss does not mean it’s over. Israel was finally free from its bondage in Egypt. The time had come for them to meet their God, and serve Him. The Lord performed miracles on their behalf, subdued the Pharoah of Egypt and, took them by the hand, led them to a land of their own. After the death of Moses, and Joshua succeeded him to lead Israel into the land the Lord promised them, the people were finally at peace, and they rested. After distributing the land to each of the twelve tribes they settled down and began to build homes, businesses and, families. Israel began to prosper beyond their wildest dreams. The Lord gave them peace on every side. Their only duty was to keep the promise they made to the Lord.
After a while, when Joshua advanced in age, he called all the heads of Israel together one last time to give his farewell address: “A long time after that, when the Lord had given Israel rest from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua had grown old and advanced in years, that Joshua called all Israel, their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, “I am old and advanced in years. And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these nations for your sake; for the Lord, your God is He who has been fighting for you.” Joshua 23:1-4 AMP
Within a generation they began to forget that the covenant they made with the Lord was conditional: “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, to fear and honor with reverence this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. Moreover, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you.” Deuteronomy 28:58-60 AMP
As early as the time of the ‘Judges’ it began to go sideways for the new inhabitants of the land. Israel began to mingle and get too close to the neighboring nations around them. They began to worship idols and commit all kinds of terrible sins. After a brief time of prosperity during the reign of David and Solomon, the nation’s condition worsened again under the kings of Israel and Judah. As a matter of fact, the book of Kings has nothing positive to say about the kingdom of Israel. They were politically and morally bankrupt. The nation of Israel had to be saved from itself. The Lord God had been protecting His people from all the surrounding nations. No outside forces could overcome this small nation of newcomers in the land of Canaan. Many had tried and failed. Even natural disasters, plagues and, diseases could not touch this favored nation. But all that was about to change. In order for God’s chosen people to survive, to continue to be the instrument and vehicle in keeping His plan on course, Israel would have to lose, to win.
After the unprecedented peaceful and prosperous years under the kingship of Solomon, the time to pay the proverbial piper was near. God had, for the most part, stayed silent during the reign of King Solomon, in honor of his father, King David. But now that Solomon has died it was time to set things right. Things had been spiraling downward for decades. Under this new king, Jeroboam II, severe oppression of the poor had been instituted by the newly wealthy class. Lawless judges were in charge of the judicial system, dishonest merchants falsified the balances by deceit, and worship was nothing more than a smokescreen that shrouded terrible abuses of the poor. The Lord chose a simple man, a herdsman, from the southern kingdom of Judah, a town called Tekoa, to deliver a message to King Jeroboam of the northern kingdom of Israel. Amos was his name, and this was the message: “Thus He showed me [a vision], and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand [to determine if the wall was straight or if it needed to be destroyed]. The Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold, I am setting a plumb line [as a standard] Among My people Israel [showing the defectiveness of the nation, requiring judgment]. I shall not spare them any longer. [The door of mercy is shut.] And the [idolatrous] high places of Isaac (Israel) will be devastated and deserted, And the sanctuaries of Israel will be in ruins. Then I shall rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword [and destroy the monarchy].” Amos 7:7-9 AMP.
Within forty years the Assyrians swooped in like an eagle and carried God’s people out of the land He gave them into exile, they balked and complained; but slowly they conformed to the ways of their conquerors. Then, to show Himself faithful to His people, that they would know and, be encouraged, that He had not forgotten about them, God raised up another one of His female superstars. Esther. The Lord used Esther to save His people from total destruction and paved the way for them to eventually return to their land. Every loss does not mean it’s over. Sometimes you have to lose in order to win.
© 2021 Nathaniel Stalling Jr