Introduction - the obedience of faith as one of the characteristics of servanthood
As Gary mentioned last week, we will be looking from time to time at the various facets of true servanthood during this next year - what it looks like to serve inside the church and outside the church; serving God and man. And it just so happens that our next section in Joshua deals with the obedience of faith. Faith must drive our obedience if it is to be pleasing to God, because Scripture says that without faith it is impossible to please God. But obedience is also the evidence of faith. God loves to bless those who have the obedience of faith. And I think verses 6-14 are a beautiful illustration of what that looks like.
The Obedience of faith is the proof of faith (vv. 6-10)
Proof of Joshua's faith (vv. 6-7)
And we will start with Joshua. Joshua's faith and obedience was tested by not allowing him to explain the seven days of odd behavior that he was going to have the Israelites go through. He took them through it one step at a time. But as each day went by and Joshua kept repeating the same orders (with no apparent results) it had the potential of raising eyebrows among the Israelites. Everyone can see in verse 1 that this city is super-secure. There is no penetrating it. There is no scaling of the walls or battering down of the gates. God Himself told Joshua that it was securely shut. But look at God's strategy in verses 3-5 that Joshua will little by little introduce them to without telling them why. God told him,
3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him."
We looked at this a couple of weeks ago. Joshua believed what God told him. But when our belief is tested by circumstances, by pressure from others, by ridicule, and by peer pressure, sometimes leaders can act contrary to their belief. Leaders are often very sensitive to what their people think of them. And it would have been very easy for Joshua to want to explain himself to the people, or to want to adjust his plans a little bit in order to save face and to avoid criticism of his leadership. Think of how crazy God's plans could have seemed to the people:
First, think of the endless marching around the city with no results. They aren't even told how long they are going to be doing this. Joshua knows, but the people apparently don't. Think of those seven days from a leader's perspective. Those seven days would give plenty of time for discontent to arise within the ranks of Israel. A leader could be tempted to worry that after six days of fruitless marching, and with no explanation, some of the people might begin to grumble about crazy old Joshua. What's the silly (and inaccurate) coffee shop definition of insanity? Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When people question a leader's decisions, time is not the leader's friend. But God makes him wait seven days before he can explain the next step to his people. If the people are called to faith, then the leader better live by faith. But it is easy for leaders to be embarrassed by what people will think of them. After all, when in the past had walls ever fallen flat by shouting at them? Why should the people charge at invincible walls? There was plenty to make the people doubt, and if the people doubted, you can see how it could come back to bite Joshua. People will think I am nuts if I don't somehow explain myself.
But Joshua doesn't seem to be the least bit embarrassed. He doesn't feel the need to explain himself. In fact, the limited information that he gives to them in verses 6-7 tests the people's faith too. It says,
Josh. 6:6 Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD." 7 And he said to the people, "Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the LORD."
That's all he tells them. The first day, that might have seemed exciting. We will wait and see what Joshua has up his sleeves. But he does the same thing for six days. Anyway, Joshua passed the leadership test. He followed through on exactly what God told him to do even if it didn't seem realistic to do so.
So I want to apply this passage first of all to our Christian political leaders. That's what Joshua was. The Bible's instructions to political leaders today seem just as unrealistic as God's instructions to Joshua. For example, take God's instructions concerning abortion. Exodus 21 indicates that a baby in the womb has the full rights of personhood that every other person does, and God wants abortion to be treated as murder. Well, the trouble is, it's not politically correct to call abortion murder, so many Christian politicians don't do so. Instead, they try to limit abortions by regulating abortion with reasons that hopefully seem OK to the general public. For example, last January a Senator in Nebraska introduced the heartbeat bill - that abortion would be illegal after week seven. She is poised to introduce it again. She is very sincere in wanting to limit abortions. I appreciate that. But she leaves God's definition of abortion out of the discussion and instead frames it in the medical terms of good standards of care. Let me read her explanation. She told Channel 8 news,
LB1086, what this does is it establishes a standard of care for the use of chemical abortions. Chemical abortions make up about 70% of the abortions in the state of Nebraska, and currently, there is no prescribed standard of care.1
She went on to say,
This bill limits the use of chemical agents to use during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, as risks of complications increase substantially each week thereafter. LB 1086 would also prohibit distributing these drugs through the mail.
Two things stand out to me. First, it seems to imply that abortion is OK up to seven weeks. I know that this senator doesn't think so, but in order to get it passed, that's what she in effect says. Second, she says that the bill makes for good standards of care since we don't want complications to happen with abortion. In other words, make abortion safer. Regulate it. I know that she doesn't believe that, but it is a vehicle to try to reduce the number of abortions. And that's a good goal, right?
And I would say, "No. Both the goal and the methods are wrong." What does Romans 13 say the goal of a civic officer should be - even in ancient Rome? It should be to be a minister of God for justice and for vengeance. And sincerity has nothing to do with it. These are great people. But if the blood-guilt of our land is ever to be cleansed and God's favor returned (and it is God's favor we should be interested in), then state officials need to do four things with regard to abortion:
- First, they need to define abortion the way God does in Exodus 21. God says willful abortion after fertilization of the egg is murder. So the state needs to criminalize all abortion and to define it as murder.
- Second, the civic officer needs to be willing to punish murder as murder and not be apologetic about it.
- Third, stop calling the women victims if they have agreed to murder their babies.
- And fourth, for church leaders and civic leaders to publically repent of the sins of abortion in our land.
Then God guarantees that He will cleanse the land of blood guilt and restore His favor. Now, you might think that this is an impossible task. But it has been done many times before from the apostolic age and on - even when Christians were a minority. Actually, in the 1800s, there were abortion clinics all over the state of New York, and because the church got involved and civic officers treated that sin as God does, abortion was criminalized once again.
You see, the Bible indicates that a politician should not vote in favor of sin (abortion is legal up until week xyz) in order limit more sin (after that week its not legal). Politicians tell me that seeing a bill go through that criminalizes 100% of all abortions is unrealistic. It's not achievable. The bill wouldn't even make it out of committee. And my response is, "But what does God want you to do? After all, Romans 13 says that you are a minister of God and must represent God." God calls for faithfulness, not for successful passage of a bill. The results are in God's hands.
Secondly, trying to abolish abortion is just as unrealistic as Israel taking on Jericho. Or to use a more modern example, it is just as unrealistic as William Wilberforce abolishing slavery in England. Everybody said that it was impossible. The success of our actions is God's responsibility; our responsibility is the obedience of faith. And both obedience and faith are defined by the Scripture.
And here is the thing: if Christians would walk by faith, our nation would instantly be a different country. Why do I say that? Well, the Pew Foundation did a survey of the members of the 117th Congress, and 88% of them identified as Christian. They could have the vote - if they would follow the Bible in faith. Yet the vast majority of those 88% think it is unrealistic to do so, so they don't try. They don't even think it is realistic to pass a biblically reasonable budget. Look at the Christians who voted in favor of the insane $1.7 trillion omnibus just before Christmas. That's what's really nuts. Christians have the votes; they just don't have the faith or the worldview or the guts or the willingness to serve God in politics. We desperately need political leaders who can pass the faithfulness test that Joshua passed and stop making excuses.
Proof of the priests' faith (v. 8)
But we can't rightly criticize civic leaders for their lack of faith and their compromises if we act in exactly the same way. Let's examine the priests, the soldiers, and the average person.
Verse 8 describes church leaders who were willing to put their necks on the line even if it looked stupid to the Jerichoites. Verse 8 says,
So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
Won't the church look stupid if we march for seven days around Jericho and nothing happens? Maybe. But these priests knew that if God commanded something, they needed to be willing to obey, and (get this:) they need to be willing to obey boldly, clearly, loudly, and publically. And they needed to unapologetically identify with Yehowah by carrying His throne in plain sight of everyone without embarrassment. That's loudly and publicly declaring the Lordship of Christ over all of life without any embarrassment. And they did so. It was a bold statement of faith to anyone who was looking on that God's ways are right even if nobody else believes them. Truth doesn't change based upon public opinion. We've got to be convinced of that. Those were the kind of church leaders that Israel had back then.
What has the modern church done? Have they boldly blown the trumpets of war? No. For the most part the church wants to look nice in the eyes of the world, and as a result the church has largely become irrelevant. Consider the following indisputable facts:
- Surveys show that the vast majority of pastors and other church leaders today still send their children to government schools - even as bad and corrupt as those schools have become. Rather than discipling the nation, these church leaders have invited the pagan nation to disciple their children. It's the opposite of the Great Commission. And they all have their excuses. For example, they say that they are sending their children to the schools in order to be missionaries. That sounds very spiritual, doesn't it? Forget about the fact that these children haven't been trained to be missionaries yet, or that they are students, not teachers. Forget about the fact that they are defenseless in the face of wolves.
Or secondly, these pastors claim that they can't afford to give their children Christian education. Yeah right, while they watch Netflix on a 72" TV, drive the latest model cars, and spend money on other unimportant things. I repeat my accusation that the majority of church leaders today have invited the pagans to disciple their children. It's insane. They are not living like these priests. And that is just one of many such compromises. I'll give you two more.
Hardly any pulpits condemn child sacrifice, pray for its total abolition, or seek to interpose by picketing at abortion clinics and/or speaking to their elected representatives. They prefer to stick to positive uplifting subjects. Modern preaching does not even remotely resemble the preaching of Jesus or the ancient prophets. Where are the priests willing to blow the trumpets of war? They are AWOL.
Third, rather than promoting adoption or in other ways living out the Scripture's description of pure and undefiled religion (which James describes as caring for orphans and widows in their distress), the pulpits have been OK with secular welfare programs and government run foster care. It used to be the church that led in this area.
And I could go on with a long list of reasons why I believe the modern priests of our nation are not willing to loudly blow the trumpets of war or to carry God's presence into the public sphere. They lack the obedience of faith.
Proof of the activist soldiers' faith (v. 9)
Let's look at the soldiers. Verse 9 shows that the soldiers were not embarrassed to be surrounded by these religiously zealous priests or to be prepared for war. These were the activists. These were the ones who were going to be taking the city. Verse 9 says,
The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.
The thought might have come into their heads, "It does look a little absurd to march around an impenetrable city." But they rejected any such thought because they were living by faith. They were prepared to fight at a moment's notice. They didn't know when or how that would happen, but they were prepared to fight at a moment's notice. And it's a good thing. Being prepared meant they could take advantage of the Jerichoites surprise the moment the walls came down. They were instantly prepared to penetrate the city. What if the walls came down while they were in camp? It would be no good. Many would escape. But when the walls came down, they were all in their places, with swords at the ready.
The point is that faith makes plans for God to answer our prayers. This is why Robert Fugate and I collaborated together to write up some explicitly Biblical party platforms for each major political issue. Every phrase of each of the 24 platform policies that we wrote is heavily footnoted with Scriptures (171 footnotes in all) to make some future party's platforms explicitly Biblical. Now, here's the question: "Why on earth would Dr. Fugate and I waste our time doing something like that? It's so unrealistic." Well, we did it because faith prepares for God to answer our prayers. What are we praying? That every high thing that has exalted itself against God in our society would be brought down and Biblical civilization would replace it. When you are praying for a baby, get a crib, and start making the adjustments needed for that baby. When you pray for a job, start looking for the job and making the adjustments needed.
What would Christians do if God made America converted overnight? It would be embarrassing because Christians aren't prepared to replace humanism with anything. In fact, Christians are the chief opponents of applying Scripture to culture. Just as one example, in May of last year, Louisiana was considering a bill that would have allowed murder charges to be brought against anyone involved in abortion, including the mother who voluntarily came for abortion. It was a good law and it looked like they had the votes to pass it. What did the activist Christian soldiers who claim to be taking on the strongholds of abortion do in response? We know exactly what they did. The leaders of 76 pro-life organizations (whose whole stated goal is supposedly to oppose abortion) wrote a letter condemning the legislation, saying that they were unequivocally opposed to criminalizing a woman's getting an abortion, and asking legislators to instead "act with love and compassion" toward such women and to always treat such women as "a victim of a callous industry." Let me quote one paragraph in full. It says,
"As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts..."2
Did you get that? They said, "any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts..." and the letter mandated that the legislators always treat such women as "a victim of a callous industry." Really? Even a woman like Jessica DelBalzo, who said (and I quote),
I love abortion. I don't accept it. I don't view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to abortion funds... Rather than trying to cozy up to the forced-birth camp, women who value their freedom should be proud to say that they like abortion. In fact, they should venerate it whole-heartedly. Abortion is our last refuge, the one final, definitive instrument that secures our bodily autonomy. What's not to love?3
I say that we should not donate one dime to these so-called pro-life organizations. Instead, support Jarrod Ridge's organization, End Abortion Now Nebraska. The organizations that wrote that letter aren't Biblically pro-life. They are living fat off the naivete of Christians who donate money to them. It sure seems to me that they don't want abortion to end because that would be the end of their income stream. Maybe that's being too cynical, but at a minimum I hope you can see that the letter these 76 pro-life organizations sent basically calls God's law immoral and tells people to not trust God's Word on this subject. It would be too embarrassing. It was signed by Roman Catholic pro-life groups, Lutherans, and even the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have failed this test, haven't they?
What about soldiers for other so-called Christian advocacy groups? It is obvious that many of them think like the world. Christians haven't studied Biblical economics, Biblical civics, Biblical mercy ministries, Biblical administration, marketing, or what the Bible says to 60 other topics. We desperately need the church to be ready with Biblical answers that can be put into place the moment the walls of our modern Jerichos fall - and those walls will fall in God's providence. He has promised that they will. But I doubt God will make them fall until the church demonstrates the obedience of faith. Why would He bother?
Please pray for our Biblical Blueprints team as we seek to show the sufficiency of Scripture for all of life. Before the nation can be changed, the activist soldiers in the church need to be changed. When you've got activist Christians like Jim Wallis of Sojourners, who believe that God calls us to be Christian communists, you know the soldiers of the kingdom are not ready. They are not ready for the walls to come down; not even remotely. The church is a mess. Yes we have activists, but do they know the Biblical Blueprints? Are they really following what God's law says? No. Many of them explicitly reject God's Old Testament law as being in any way relevant to New Testament culture. They turn instead to Natural Law. It's crazy. It's the opposite of the obedience of faith.
But thankfully, that is changing. There are leaders popping up all over America who are taking God at His Word, are unembarrassed by His Word, and who have the obedience of faith. And they are multiplying. Praise God! Let's ditch the failed weapons of the world - fighting spiritual battles the world's way. Here's what 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says,
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Proof of the people's faith (v. 10)
But what about the rest of the people? God gives them a challenge of faith as well. And they too stand as a model of the obedience of faith to us. Verse 10 says,
Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout."
Wow! For six days we have to endure the jeering and heckling of the people on the wall and we can't say anything? Joshua, that's going to take some self-control! They are hurling insults at us that make us mad. They are mocking us and saying that there is no way that we can scale these walls. Surely we should say something in response, shouldn't we? But if God calls for absolute silence, they were willing to obey. That shows the obedience of faith. And when God called the people to shout at the wall and to start running toward the walls, they were willing to do so. They didn't hold mental reservations of, "What if the walls don't fall down." No, they gave the kind of implicit obedience that demonstrated genuine faith.
And I would urge each of us to obey what we already know are the clear commands of Scripture and not allow embarrassment, pragmatics, realism, or anything else to stop our obedience of faith. I'll just give a couple areas where the common people of the kingdom need to rethink their obedience of faith. And I know, these ideas are controversial. It may take a while to wrap your brains around them, but be Bereans and see if what I am saying is right. You can disagree with me, but I hope you have a Biblical case for disagreeing. At least keep an open mind.
First, think about who you vote for and ask yourself why you vote that way? Do your reasons come from the Bible or from pragmatism? Let's just consider the minimal qualifications that the Bible lays out for the civic officers that the people are supposed to choose. Robert Fugate has a list of qualifications that is quite well laid out.4 I have developed a briefer list of 11 absolutely essential qualifications without which God absolutely rejects a political candidate and an additional 20 qualifications that all candidates should aspire to and that Christians should prefer, but which do not necessarily disqualify a person. In addition, there are also some specialized qualifications for specialized officers like judges.5 The point is that God doesn't leave us in the dark as to what He wants. And that's what I'm interested in understanding - what does God want me to do in the public sphere? We can have confidence that the Bible is sufficient to tell us how to please God in all of life. But it is interesting that God deliberately gives some qualifications that test our faith and that for sure test the obedience of faith. And I will give you five of the first 11 qualifications that the Bible says are an absolute "must" so that you can see that the Bible does not guide the voting of Christians at all - not at all. And yes, they have their excuses, but in my opinion they amount to lack of faith. They don't have the faith that these people had.
Qualification 8 is that the candidate must be a male and not female. And yes, the Bible does use the word "must," and says it is a shame when women rule. I can't ignore that word "must" simply because there aren't good male candidates. Deborah was not a political leader. She was a prophetess. Hebrews says that Barak ruled while she was alive, not her. Qualification 5 is that the candidates must be Christians. Qualification 6 is that the candidate must be familiar with the Scripture. Qualification 9 is that he must not compromise on some principles of righteousness and justice in order to advance some other righteous cause. Qualification 10 is that he must rule in the fear of the Lord.
Believe it or not, I have been able to vote for people who meet all 11 essentials and many of the 20 other qualifications. But some people think such lists are utterly unrealistic in our day and age. As one person worded it, "Hey, don't you believe in Total Depravity? Total Depravity means that we can't be unrealistic, so we will never be able to vote for a perfect candidate." And I asked him, "Did Total Depravity exist under Moses? Of course it did. But God still held before the people His perfect standard." There will always be corruption in politics, but we need to hold the standard out there.
I got into an argument with someone recently who was criticizing John Thune for voting for the $1.7 trillion Omnibus bill in December. And I agreed with him that John Thune was wrong to do so, but I pointed out that he was just as compromised in his voting as Thune was in that vote. This gentleman had voted for a lesser of two evils - he voted for a man who was utterly unqualified for office - whose promises even contradicted the very constitution he vowed to uphold, which means he would perjure himself with his first actions in office. Yet he voted for him. So I asked him how he can consistently compromise on his very limited responsibilities for civics (which is voting for the right candidates) and then criticize John Thune for a similar compromise? His excuse was that to fail to do so would remove ourselves from any sphere of influence. And my response was to either vote by faith or stop criticizing John Thune. For me, voting is a faith issue.
For Kathy, her not voting is a faith issue. She doesn't believe the Bible allows women to vote (I agree). I've written a book on that. So every election she prays that there were would be multiple men who would cast godly votes to replace hers. Allowing the vote for women in the 1920s was unbiblical, and it immediately resulted in the drift of America into a softer, more welfare oriented, and more collectivist society. Now, feel free to disagree with me, but please use Scripture to do so.
But in any case, it makes no sense to follow the Bible on these and many other issues unless we believe that God really does continue to govern in the affairs of men and He loves to bless those who walk faithfully with him. We don't have to win votes to be faithful in politics. But we do have to have God's favor. So hopefully looking at how these four groups of people obeyed God in faith can help us to improve our own serve. We are called to be servants of God, and one of the essentials of a true servant of God is that he walks out his life with the obedience of faith.
Four more tests of the obedience of faith (vv. 11-14)
Is it done in God's presence and under His Lordship? (v. 11)
Now I want to quickly outline four more tests of the obedience of faith in verses 11-14. The first one is to evaluate whether our obedience is done in God's presence and under His Lordship. Verse 11 says,
So he had the ark of the LORD circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.
The Bible calls the ark God's throne. They were doing their cultural duty in the presence of God.
And we need to get used to doing all that we do in the presence of God. If you would be embarrassed to do what you are doing if Jesus was in front of you, then you should stop doing it. But there is no shame in doing what God's Word authorizes - yet people still feel shame. Some people are ashamed of war. They are passifists. But the Bible honors godly wars, while calling some wars (actually several of America's wars) ungodly wars. Again, God must define what is godly and what is not. We must live our lives Coram Deo - before the face of God. You can certainly disagree with my interpretation of what the Scripture says, but you can't ignore what the Scripture says and still be walking in the obedience of faith. Act as if all your activities are being done before the ark of the covenant - before the throne of God. After all, it is God alone who can take down strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Wait a minute! That's a New Testament verse, isn't it? The New Testament is no different on these principles. It applies these kinds of stories to our daily living.
Is it eager obedience? (v. 12 - "early")
The second test - is it eager obedience? And wow! This a good test. Is our obedience to God eager obedience? Verse 12 says,
And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
Why did they need to get up early in the morning? After all, it didn't take very long to march around Jericho. We know that because on day seven they marched around it seven times and still had time left in the day to destroy the city. I believe they got up early on all seven days because they were eager and excited to be about the King's business. The word "early" speaks of eagerness. We too must be eager to serve the Lord - even in the face of impossible odds. We must be eager to serve the Lord - even when everyone around us thinks we are odd ducks. Eventually they will be the ones who are the odd ducks. Eager to serve the Lord because we love Him and are passionate about His cause.
Is it orderly obedience? (v. 13)
The third test - is it orderly obedience? Verse 13 definitely speaks of orderly obedience. It wasn't each man doing what was right in his own eyes. We can't overreact to collectivism by becoming anarchists. It says,
Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.
They proceeded in exactly the manner that God prescribed. This speaks against hyper-individualism and it reminds us of the importance of operating as a body together. This year we will be focusing on what it means to be servants of the Most High God. Part of what it means is being committed to body life.
Is it persevering obedience? (v. 14)
And then finally, is it persevering obedience? This is one of the hardest tests of the obedience of faith. Verse 14 says,
And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days.
This whole time nothing was happening to Jericho. It stayed as invincible as ever. In fact, if anything, the jeering and mocking from the Jerichoites on the wall probably got louder and more bold as the days went on. But despite no outward changes during the first six days, they persevered in faithfully following God's Word.
And that is a good lesson for us. Ours is the duty, the results are God's. We should not allow discouragement over the lack of revival in the church to make us stop seeking to influence the church. God has sent revival almost overnight hundreds of times in the past. But it has almost always been after years of faithful perseverance. Think of how many years Abraham had to wait for God to fulfill His promise of an Isaac. God is sovereign over timing. We are called to faithful perseverance. We should not allow discouragement over the lack of reformation in culture to make us stop seeking to influence our culture. God converted Armenia and other nations overnight. But it was mainly because the church had previously been persevering that true Reformation happened with lasting results.
The First Great Awakening in America brought profound cultural changes and ushered us into independence from Britain's tyranny. In other nations God destroyed the anti-Christian nation and allowed Christians the opportunity to rebuild on its ruins. Sometimes they rebuilt with the Bible; sometimes they didn't. And you can guess which rebuilds lasted longer.
What will God do with America? I have no idea. It may be people will only benefit from our labors at applying the Bible a hundred or more years from today. If that's God's will, I'm okay with that. Or it may be that God will do something remarkable in 2023. That's not for us to decide. Ours is the duty and God calls us to faithful obedience. Faithful persevering obedience is one of the evidences of genuine faith.
Hopefully by now you've got a good picture of what the obedience of faith looks like. May each of us embrace the obedience of faith in this coming year. Amen.
My list of qualifications for civic officers can be found here: https://kaysercommentary.com/Resources/General-Qualifications-for-Civic-Office.md ↩