Arise, O Lord
Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! (Ps. 9:19-20)
God has a way of reminding us we are but men and He reigns supreme.
He has done so from the beginning of the human story, starting with the expulsion from the garden, then the flood, then Babel. As civilizations and empires emerged, reveling in their glory, God again proved His power and humbled the mightiest of nations: the exodus from Egypt, the conquest of Canaan, overthrowing His own people with the Assyrians and Babylonians, then judging Babylon with Medo-Persia, then Macedon and Greece, then Rome––all served His purpose:
"I will send all My plagues against you and your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth" (Ex. 9:14).
"You were shown these things so that you would know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides Him" (Deut 4:35).
"I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king, but Pharaoh’s arms will fall limp. Then they will know that I am the LORD" (Ex. 30:25).
"This is what the LORD says to Cyrus His anointed, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open the doors before him, so that the gates will not be shut...so that all may know, from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting, that there is none but Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other." (Is. 45:1, 6).
It is He who allows nations to form, He who sustains them, and He who brings them to an end that we may know He is the Lord.
While nations rise and fall at their appointed times, what do we do? Stay the course, walk by faith. We still have every truth and promise and blessing that we need to endure. So let us endure, anticipating a home in Heaven, and pray as David prayed: "Let not man prevail...let the nations be judged"––including our own.
No matter what happens, the Christian's citizenship is in Heaven and we only have to sojourn here for a while (Phil. 3:20; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11).
"'My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, I will take no pleasure in him.' But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls" (Heb. 10:38-39).
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:17-18).