The Nature of An Army, Part 3:
“…His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Nowadays a President or Prime Minister, after much deliberation, declares war with the stroke of a pen. The battle is then placed in the hands of top Generals who decide the strategy and command the troops, always in counsel with their country’s leader.
In Bible history we see that Kings declared war, planned the strategy –usually together with their generals– then led their armies into battle. This is the kind of a King we have. Not one that orders us around from far away. He’s with us always, directing the battle, leading the way, defending us against a devious foe.
I’d like to describe this Wonderful Commander, but where should I start? There just ARE so many terrific examples of His faithfulness, His love and compassion. It’s so true, as one writer puts it:
“Could we with ink the ocean fill
and were the skies of parchment made…
…to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.”
Third verse of the song, “The Love of God”
by Frederick M. Lehman, 1869-1953 © Nazarene Publishing House
Frederick Lehman died the year I was born. His song echoes a theme that started back in the book of Acts and has continued steadily through the centuries. Now I’m taking up the same song. Many others of my acquaintance have testified to experiences of God’s love, too. If I’d start relating examples, I’d hardly know where to quit!
I could tell you about Serge Leclerc, a boy whose early childhood was spent on the streets of Toronto. His life of crime started when he was eight; then he was sent to the infamous orphanage run by the Christian Brothers – some of whom were anything but. Serge grew up to became the head of his own little organized crime ring, was arrested and sent to prison.
One of his fellow prisoners became a Christian and Serge thought, “Yeah, right!” But he began to see a Light – and that Light drew him to the love and mercy of Jesus. He was converted, joined the Army of the Lord and worked to spread the Light to others. You can read his book, Untwisted, if you want to know his whole story.
Rick Langlais was a hoodlum and a fighter. His childhood was horrific; he was the perfect example of the warped life psychiatrists say results from such an abusive upbringing. Drugs, booze, violence, you name it. But Rick came to the end one day. He was tired of his life, ready to commit suicide, when the pastor of a church across the street called out to him in a friendly way and started to visit.
He shared the Gospel with Rick and this Wonderful Counsellor began to speak to him, to invite him to come and be healed. Rick gave his life to Jesus that day. When he decided he needed to know more about his new Lord, he enrolled in a Bible college north of Saskatoon. He was so ignorant of Christian life; he stole a car in order to get there!
Today Rick runs Hands-On Street Mission, a search-and-rescue operation for the King, directed toward abused and neglected children who roam the streets of Saskatoon. I’ll probably write more about him in future posts, but if you’re interested, you can read his story yourself:
Dysfunctional, the Rick Langlais Story, by Andrew Fehr,
Published by Houghton-Boston Printers, Saskatoon, SK
(Warning: you need a strong mental constitution to read this! I had to skip part of his childhood memories; they were just too awful.)
There’s Dave Pelzer, A Child Called It and A Man Called Dave.
There’s Michelle Hamilton, preserved through A Mighty Tempest.
There’s “Amazing Grace” writer John Newton… C.S. Lewis… Chuck Colson… and how many others we could name.
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:32-34.
People who experience the love and mercy of God often write about it; we love to tell everyone what a Mighty God we serve. He has rescued us from our old life of sin, saved us from many of its consequences, healed us of past wounds. If we continue to follow His voice, He leads us to those green pastures. (See Psalm 23) As the Prince of Peace, He brings calmness to our once-turbulent lives, even through the dark valleys we meet.
Some people might tell you that it’s all imagination or delusion. But after all these centuries, with all these eye-witnesses, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING TO IT!