Lifting Up a Standard

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)

Love-Heart-in-SandThe 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?


Comments

Lifting Up a Standard — 12 Comments

  1. Susan, This post is perfect timing. It’s been an interesting week on many levels. I’m only just now on the computer because I have been immersed in the first 8 chapters of Matthew. The signs of the times are a call to arms. To absorb the Word into our very pores. To learn the Truth so as not to “wink” at evil nor condone it. To love the sinner (we qualify there, too) but not the sin! (overworked phrase, but true nonetheless) To keep our eyes toward awaiting His shout, while living here on earth seeking to obey His will and Word. AND…To be willing to be persecuted and rejected, just like our Savior was. Thank you for taking the time to post this. You have encouraged my heart! :-)

    • Thanks for your comment, Pam. I love it when things all tie together like that. We are definitely in a season of signs, aren’t we. Time to be about the Father’s work while “awaiting His shout.”

      • Love it Susan! Pam – I can’t even go to another bloggers site without you ministering to me! (“To be willing to be persecuted and rejected…”) You and Susan are a great team! I can see why here! Praise the Lord for the inspiration from both of you!

  2. I have never heard what i am about to share with you taught before, but as i pondered this before the Lord this is what He showed me in light of what I have been studying about His birth this week. One interpretation of Isaiah 59 is that the standard that was raised up was Jesus (the Word that was made flesh to dwell among us). Verse 15b says that “…it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice”. Jesus said He did not come to judge the world, so how did He bring justice? The Word is justice. Heb. 4:12. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword and piercing as far as as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”. This will become more evident as you read Luke 2:25-38 when Jesus was presented at the temple on the eighth day. Men and women led by the Holy Spirit spoken by God revealed the purpose and identity of Jesus. Simeon said to Mary in verses 34-35; “Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, for a sign to be opposed– and a sword will pierce even your own soul– to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Jesus came to separate the sheep from the goats, light from darkness, the religious from the righteous. We will do the same as we abide in Him and do only what we see Him do and say only what we hear him say.

    • Hi Lorri ~ Thanks for stopping by! I agree that He is the standard, and, by implication, so is His Word. And we are definitely judged by it. Good thoughts.

  3. Susan, you said it so well and I completely agree with you (and Lois)! It strikes me that the sermon we heard this morning is right in tune with your analysis. We need to love our opponents well enough to challenge them in a winsome manner.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how He orchestrates what we hear so that it seems to be coming from every side!

  4. You are so right….it isn’t going to be easy to stand our ground but we CAN do it! He never promised us a rose garden but HE did promise to be with us and we can make it because He lives in us, guiding us and loving us! Thanks for your word!! Lois

    • Thanks, Lois. As I heard more than once yesterday – when He’s all we have, we discover that He’s all we need.

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