April 23, 2017
Here we go again. I can imagine this becoming the catch slogan of the demoralized demons who continually brought back reports of Divine intervention. At certain points when the devil thought he had won certain ground, captured certain victories, the only thing truly certain was that God’s power was never beyond help.
How about when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden? Satan thought he had the prized creation, the clay mirrors of God, in an everlasting death-hold. But suddenly God announces a plan. This plan involves a lamb, but this lamb is no ordinary defense strategy for fallen man. It is the lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. Just when Satan thought he had God in the crosshairs of defeat, a seed of Redemption was planted in the soil of humanity. The crushing blow of sin would transition over time into the crimson blood of salvation for all man. Satan would stand wagging his head in amazement at God’s genius. “Here we go again…”
The fruit stains of Satanic trickery would prove no match for blood stains of truth.
How about when Abraham and Sarah succumbed to the notion that Hagar could be the surrogate mother for the blessed seed of inheritance? Satan must have chuckled while Hagar’s belly swelled, while Sarah looked longingly in envy at her handmaiden, while Abraham stared pensively at the setting sun wondering if he had done the right thing. The great deceiver probably thought, “Finally, I’ve proven God wrong. His seed will not come through Sarah. It will come by fleshly substitute, by human ingenuity granted enhancement by seed thoughts of doubt planted at the hands of Lucifer.”
But on that day in Genesis seventeen when the theophany of God singled Sarah out behind the curtain of the tent and announced she was going to conceive, Satan must have shook his head and said, “Here we go again…” Sarah is too old. She’s wrinkled like a prune, like a leather bag left out in the sun too long. But now instead of aging forward, God has put her years in reverse.
Ishmael may have been a permissive glance at Satanic and humanistic invention. But Isaac was the promise born in the miracle hour of destiny. Sarah may have been in her old age, but eternity’s will was ever young.
How about when Daniel stood at the mouth of the lion’s den? The ferocious lions growled in the dusty pit. The bystanders gasped as they heard the rumbling thunder of the hungry beasts, a tempest of fur and fury. I guess you could say they were the “mane” attraction. Daniel’s conspirators sardonically smiled at each other for a job well done. Daniel stepped into the basket elevator and stood motionless as he was lowered into the abyss of terror to be mutilated by man-size lions. Their teeth dripped with saliva. Their massive jaws opened and shut in anticipation of fresh meat. They paced around in a death circle and whatever was placed in the midst would be shared only by the swift.
The guards standing near the sealing rock were used to the screams that usually resounded, death cries of the tormented. And when they watched Daniel being led in chains to the sight of sadistic torment they shook their heads and said, “here we go again. Another criminal meal for the precious creatures below.” To them it was a repeat of the past, just another execution in a routine world of pleading, bleeding, and feeding.
They would be there in the morning to scrape up the leftovers, pile up the bones, usually licked sparkling white, and take them to the grave yard where they would shovel up some dirt, throw in the scarce human remains, replace the dirt and go on as if they had just discarded some chicken bones in the garbage after a fulfilling meal.
But when the dawn sucked darkness from the night and left a pale morning, the executioners led a tear stricken king to the lion’s den. They picked fig pieces from the teeth and made sucking sounds as they slid their tongues over decayed molars. They burped and went about business thinking about what the missus had made for lunch. When they rolled away the stone covering, the usual odor of masticated flesh did not accost their nostrils, the stench of death absent. And when Satan looked beyond the shadow of snoring lions, he saw the untouched figure of Daniel peering east, toward Jerusalem, and he was simply praying. “Here we go again.” God has intervened. Listen now…