Sunday, June 18, 2017

Our God is marching on

I'm in preparation for a sermon on 2 Kings 7.   A broad reading of many great books is a very helpful way of preparing.

In 2 Kings 7, four lepers leave their post outside the besieged city of Samaria's gate and march forth to the enemy's camp.  The broken, starving, lepers go forth in faith.  They go forth knowing that their death is imminent but for the prospect that the enemy would offer them mercy.

As they walk to the camp, God amplifies the sound of their footsteps.  The amplified noise is heard by the enemy. The enemy thinks that a great foreign army has risen to assist the Samarians.  The enemy flees their camp leaving food and weapons behind. 

The lepers enter the camp and enjoy God's providence.  There is plenty for them.  There is plenty for the hungry people of Samaria.


While thinking this through I was fortunate to come across a speech by the American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King.  In the speech titled "Our God is Marching On", King identified with the notion of God's steadfast march for his people.  King had faith that God would deliver civil right amendments.  He used the speech to encourage his weary brethren to persist in the Lord.  These words concluded that speech:

"How long? Not long (not long), because:

   Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; (Yes, sir)
   He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; (Yes)
   He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; (Yes, sir)
   His truth is marching on. (Yes, sir)
   He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; (Speak, sir)
   He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat. (That’s right)
   O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet!
   Our God is marching on. (Yeah)
   Glory, hallelujah! (Yes, sir) Glory, hallelujah! (All right)
   Glory, hallelujah! Glory, hallelujah!
   His Truth is Marching On! (Applause)
   (copied from this linked page)

A seventy-two year old female volunteer who accompanied King reported after the speech that: "My feets [sic] is tired, but my soul is at rest" (as reported in Philip Yancey's book: Soul Survivor, How my Faith Survived the Church", p30, 2001, paperback).

Just as God amplified the sound of the feet of the four lepers as they walked from Samaria, God amplified the sound of the feet of those who stood with Martin Luther King.  God was swift to answer King for the United States President; Lyndon Johnson, in the same year, passed the Voting Rights Act.  That Act bought a major positive change to civil rights. 

Martin Luther King's tired feet, and his supporter's tired feet were jubilant.  God had taken up their march.  Truth marched on!


Note: links good as at 18 June 2017

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