But the Lord didn’t want to destroy the royal family of David. That’s because the Lord had made a covenant with him. The Lord had promised to keep the lamp of David’s kingdom burning brightly. The Lord had promised that for David and his children after him forever. -2 Chronicles 21:7-8
On my blog site, I often post articles around some of the things I see quite disheartening in the American Church landscape. My last article was titled, We Have Lost our Way. Through those articles, I have received a significant number of responses of people having similar feelings, seeing the same reality, and resonating with the discouragement of the state of much of the evangelical church in the US in our focus and obsession with politics to the point of it destroying our witness, credibility, and character, while alienating and stereotyping people in need of God’s love and grace that we should be reaching most.
However, in this article, I want to share a word of hope and encouragement to those who feel entirely disheartened and discouraged. It is a word that struck me the other day during my devotional time in the book of 2 Chronicles. The book of 2 Chronicles, in general, reminds me of a lot of the times we are living in now. The problem was ultimately not with the culture, but with the church. God’s people had lost their way, were walking unfaithfully in their relationship with him and one another, and were not living as the light and witness they were called to be. The result was one of division and consequence in some truly tragic and preventable ways.
But amid those dynamics, I came across the verses above. Those two verses speak of God’s heart towards his people still being tender, despite their hearts growing hard towards him. It also reminds us of God’s faithfulness in relationship with us, despite our failure and unfaithfulness in relationship with him. However, the verse that most struck me and has stayed with me is how, the Lord had promised to keep the lamp of David’s kingdom burning brightly. Amid human failure, was still divine faithfulness! Among a people who had lost their way was a promise that not all was lost. Towards a nation living beneath their calling, was a word of eternal hope.
The Lord had promised to keep the lamp of David’s kingdom, burning brightly…
Despite the discouragement of where we are at today, there are people and churches burning brightly! Despite our personal failures, there is undeserved grace and hope. The Lord will have his people. He will purify his own. He will work in and through his people. And he will redeem and restore his people even from themselves.
The church (his people), despite our failings, is the means by which Jesus shines as the hope of the world. At times, we may have to believe this by faith. In our own lives, and at our lowest points, we may also have to cling to this promise. But it is true, and it will be true, for he who speaks it is the way, the truth, and the life! May he burn brightly in us again.