Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Lord's Army

We were in Joel 2 for Bible class today. In verse 11, the enemy of Israel is referred to as "His army." So often, when we hear the title "Lord of hosts" we think of the Sanctus and the angels or even the multitude of saints. We seldom think of the "Lord's army" as being the crowd of unbelievers who are raised up against the Church so that the Lord might bring people to repentance.

When asked about that, Pastor reminded us of the story of Joshua meeting the Commander of the Lord's Army. When Joshua asked whether the Angel was on Israel's side or the Canaanites' side, He said, "No." (And as Pastor is wont to say, Joshua's thoughts probably ran along the lines of, "Huh? 'No' wasn't one of the options....")

Then the next question came. In verse 2 it says that this army that comes against God's people will be a huge army, and strong, the likes of which had never been seen before and never would be seen again. So how can this be? Which army was Joel talking about that was the biggest, strongest, unbeatable-est army EVER? Really? Forever and ever?

Pastor replied that it was the Lord's army. A couple of hundred years after Joel's preaching, the Babylonian army destroyed Judah. That was the Lord's army that He raised up for His purposes. In AD 70, the Roman army came and destroyed Jerusalem and the second temple. That too was the Lord's army, raised up for His purposes. In Luther's day, the Turks were advancing upon Europe. They too were the Lord's army.

And yet, the angel hosts are also the Lord's army.

And so was Joshua's army that defeated the Canaanites, and David's armies that defeated the Philistines.

God has His plans and His purposes, and they are all for the good of the ones He calls to Himself. Even if those plans don't make any sense to us. Even if those plans cause us some real discomfort.

No comments:

Post a Comment