“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’” (Luke 19:14)
As we discovered yesterday in Part 1, a sinister force had been at work spreading slanderous lies about the King, and using these lies to stir the hearts of ignorant men to perform an act of eternal stupidity — rejecting their King.
Of course I am speaking of Christ and His kingdom, and the work of Satan in perverting the minds of fallen men so as to have them reject Christ altogether, and thus enter into a Christless eternity doomed forever.
It is The Serpent’s chief design to have men blame God for things that happen in the course of life that don’t seem fair, or right, or good. A child is killed by a crazed predator, or dies of some dreadful disease—and God gets blamed.
Someone’s life savings are lost in an economic collapse—and God gets blamed. Our favorite sports team loses the championship game—and God gets blamed. And on it goes from the awful to the absurd…covering all points in between.
Such is the case in this story of the Nobleman. He that is good gets blamed for the bad. It is the Serpent who “takes out what he did not put in, and reaps what he did not sow.” And he does it with such cunning as to get people to blame God.
While citizens hate the Lord, and cowards fear Him, we who are His servants must excel in our love for Him. The truth is—our authentic faith and bright conduct as happy servants of the King may be the only hope others have of ever recovering from the deception of Satan and the ruin of sin. Our faithfulness and generosity in dark moments of history may be the only light that some will ever see. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Peter exhorted us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pe.3:15). Do you know the Lord? If so, then you can make Him known!
Daniel said, “the people who do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Dr. King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Men who take action in the face of passivity and perversion fill God’s heart with pleasure, and transform their world with power – the power of love.
Paul the apostle was described by James, the Lord’s brother, as a man who “hazarded his life for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:26). What an epitaph! Could the same be said of you? Wouldn’t you want it to be? The word hazarded literally means “to hand over.” Have you handed your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Paul summed up his own life story in a single sentence when he stood before a king who held in his hand the power of life and death. “O Agrippa,” he affirmed, “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision!” (Acts 26:19). Vision, passion, discipline and risk, on display in a life of faith, hope and courage — it is what marks every true child of God.
And it is the desperate need of the hour.