(In 2017, I wrote this series for the 40 days prior to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. I’m reposting the series now for the 40 days after Easter to encourage us to follow through, living in the risen Savior and King.)
I thought some of the men were cutting their eyes to look at my wife, but I hesitated to say anything. Our family was eating lunch in an Army dining facility that’s primarily used for Infantry and Armor Soldiers in Officer Candidate School, the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy and other mostly male training programs. They didn’t seem to be learing, just looking at one of the only women in the room.
And the most beautiful, if I may say.
Then Lauren said she had noticed them looking, and our teenage son teased me about starting a fight. I bucked up and retorted that I was ready to “throw down and bust some heads”. All three of us laughed at the thought of me in my mid fifties weakened by three recent major surgeries, going toe-to-toe with Airborne Rangers half my age. We knew that I was kidding about fighting.
When necessary, we fight for whoever or whatever we love, don’t we?
The Lord is both a lover and a fighter. He not only threatened to fight to protect or avenge His beloved people, He did fight. And He won everytime. (Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 1:30, 3:22 and 20:4, Joshua 23:10, Nehemiah 4:20, etc.) But how can our gentle Lord also be so violent?
Over and over in Scripture, God says that He is jealous for His people. (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24, Joshua 24:19, Ezekiel 16:42, Zechariah 8:2, 2 Corinthians 11:2, etc.) But He’s not jealous for the same reasons that many humans are jealous. He’s not an insecure boyfriend, and he’s not a cocky control freak. He is the Lord who claims exclusive rights to His Bride. (Isaiah 62:1-5, Jeremiah 2:32-33, John 3:29, Revelation 21:2, etc.)
If you’d really like to see the level of God’s possessive love for His people, use a Bible app or program to do a quick search on how many times the Lord the idolatry of His people “adultery” and “prostitution”. The King wants His Bride exclusively for Himself.
So if He is a jealous fighter for His people, why do we seem to have so many struggles? So many who take advantage of us?
In John 18:33-36, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” If our home was here, He’d be “busting heads” to secure it for us. But He came to this world to die for us, to wash us with His Word and to present us to Himself as radiant for the life to come. (Ephesians 5:25-32)
The Lord is even more than a lover or a fighter. He is our victorious King. (Revelation 19:1-8) Know that He is fighting for the protection, growth and beauty of your spirit. For He is also the Bridegroom, preparing you for Himself.