When the enemy shall come in like a flood,
the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Isaiah 59:19 (KJV)
The teaching I’ve heard on this verse (which is way different, by the way, in the more modern versions like NASB, NIV and ESV) have explained the “standard” as a flag or banner.
In ancient times, when battles were waged in person, with one body of warriors clashing with another, a flag or banner was raised to rally the forces, to give them courage, spur them onward to victory. And that is the imagery I’ve heard used for this verse.
Yesterday, however, a friend of mine (thank you Jenni Wilson) shed a fresh light on this verse.
Recently we (Believers) have seen wickedness and impurity rising “like flood” all around us. In legislation, and being taught and approved in the schools, in the military, in the workplace, and yes, even in Christian organizations and the church.
Practices that were formerly openly recognized as immoral and sinful, now proclaimed as normal and good. Lifestyles that once brought shame now being worn as badges of honor.
The enemy has indeed come in like a flood.
But God through His Holy Spirit is lifting up a standard. Not a flag or banner, but an authoritative measure of what is good and right and appropriate.
His standard is purity and holiness, and He will not wink at behaviors that are sinful. He has not changed. Immorality is still offensive to Him.
I’m not a prophet (nor do I play one on television). But I truly believe that a line is being drawn, and we are being called to choose sides. Are we in Christ, counting the cost to live as He calls us to live, or are we outside of Him, ordering our lives according to the standards of the world?