He Wins

"Every battle that has been ever fought anywhere on this globe was that of two spiritual kingdoms — light against darkness. God against the devil."

IN THE CIVIL WAR, both the North and the South thought God was on their side and were quick to trumpet, Surely God would turn the tide in their favor. But amongst the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps, where they builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps, one question remained. Who was on the Lord’s side? Because God does not endorse division. He asks sanctification. That’s a big word meaning separation unto holiness. Separation and division are not the same. Division comes from strife, and the Word says strife is the cause of much evil.

God formed the UNITED States. We were individual state governments that became a union. The Civil War killed some 620,000 men over a desire to protect personal greed and evil practices. Brother stared into the eyes of brother across a rabid battle line they initially believed would last a few days, not four years. The method of war was a mix of old and new technology and battle tactics, and hatred labeled honor as long as it wore a uniform. Point is, the reason for the war was because of strife caused by man's opinions.

God’s side was unity. He needed this nation for Israel, some 100+ years later. He saw the long term. And sees it still. God sits outside of time. His thoughts are higher than ours on every scale. We only see His perspective through the Holy Spirit. And many in this nation do not know Him to see it.

When Solomon judged between two women the theft of one woman's newborn, He asked for a sword to divide the child in half. He'd been given the wisdom of God that he had asked for, though he had made a stupid choice already in marrying Pharaoh's daughter. This judgment over the child is given as an example of God speaking through him. The story itself pictures the division not of the child but of the nation of Israel. In that the true mother spoke up and gave her child to the thief, we see God's timeline for His covenant people.

The prophesied Messiah would not come to a divided people nor to ungodly kings who exalted themselves onto the throne. Abraham had been given one son of promise, Isaac, and from Him would come one King of all.

Previous to Solomon’s judgment that day, King Saul had been anointed to the office by God only reluctantly and with a stern warning to the people about what having a king would do to their mindset. They chose to have him as king anyway. Then came David, who the people loved, and Solomon who followed him. But a people with a future line of ungodly rulers would eventually become servants of a Gentile ruler who worshiped false gods and had also placed himself in power. Caeser crowned himself emperor. And strife had divided Israel, only for them to come together long enough to be crushed by Rome.

Who was on the Lord's side? He hadn't wanted them to worship any king but the King of Kings. He didn't want these UNITED States to serve any God but the God of Israel. Yet, when we were formed many believed in the things that caused the Civil War, and after it, many believed in them although they had lost. The States remained one but were still mentally divided. This picture surges forward to much division in the decades which followed, none of the issues fully resolved. What divided Israel did not vanish either. When Jesus ministered to crowds, He saw Samaritan against Jew, and Pharisee against commoner.

The war was not between two women over one child, nor a divided Israel with self-serving kings. It was not between Gentiles and Jews, nor looking back, Philistines against Israel. We are not fighting the British against us rogue Americans, nor brothers divided by gendered hate. Today is not Republicans against Democrats. Every battle that has been ever fought anywhere on this globe was that of two spiritual kingdoms — light against darkness. God against the devil.

And yet, who is on the Lord's side? Because the devil has never exalted his throne above God’s. God saw the entire story from the beginning, each person, each nation, each argument, each war. And His intent was that He would win. That good would win. He did win. Even when men failed, God won. He is never at a loss for how to rescue. When Israel went into Babylon, He prophesied it would last 70 years. When Isaiah spoke of the child born of a virgin, God saw our freedom from sin and our glorious redemption. We win. He wins. We fail. He wins. Not as the result of our actions but as the powerful majesty of His.

Here is our confidence. In the midst of wars and rumors of wars, both national and personal, we have victory because God is faithful. Because He sees all and has already declared the ending. We suffer beneath the struggle of good and evil, but because God is our Father, we cannot truly lose. He sent His Son to win the battle of life and death, and for now, men still die, but eternal life is possible in them. We have one physical life for a span of time, and we have infinity with Christ whose love holds all things together. We are not a tattered remnant hoisting a shredded flag, but spiritual giants wearing the armor of God who holds up everything.

We are on the Lord's side.

“Truly, our hearts felt like we were going to die. Why did this happen? So that we might stop relying on our own strength and trust our entire selves into God’s hands, as he is able to breathe life into the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Image 1, the American Civil War, 1860 from Wikimedia Commons
Image 2, Envelope logo, from Wikimedia Commons

Suzanne D. Williams, Author