“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again . . .”
Tracking certain themes through the Bible is both fascinating and encouraging. Consider the theme of “arising” and “rising up” as it appears in Scripture. Very often, it is “the bad guys,” those antagonistic to the known will of God and His people, that rise up first. Rather than passively accept defeat, the forces of good rose up in response and gained the victory. The Scriptures are replete with examples. The evil Pharaoh arose to subjugate and destroy God’s covenant people (Exodus 1:8). In response, God raised up Moses, the great prophet, deliverer, and law-giver who was a type of Him Who was to come (Deuteronomy 18:15; 34:10). After the conquest era, there arose an ungodly generation that led Israel astray (Judges 2:10). “Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them” (Judges 2:16). Ehud (3:20), Deborah (4:9; 5:7), and Tola (10:1) were all raised up by God to defeat Israel’s oppressors. In the Kingdom era, Goliath of Gath arose to destroy David and subjugate the nation (1 Samuel 17:48). By God, David slew the Philistine monster and Israel rose up against her enemies in irresistible fashion (1 Samuel 17:52). In the New Testament, we read how the Lord Jesus had fallen asleep in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly a storm arose, which threatened to sink the boat and send its cargo to the bottom of the sea (Mark 4:37). Instead, our Lord arose (Mark 4:39) and commanded the storm to cease. Towards the end of His earthly ministry, many false witnesses arose against Jesus (Mark 14:57). In fact, there were multitudes that had arisen to oppose the Lord and His radical claims (Luke 23:1). His humiliating death by crucifixion must have surely convinced Christ’s enemies that He was gone for good. How shocked they must have been to hear that not even the grave could not contain this righteous Man (Acts 2:22-24). Our Lord’s resurrection appears central and foundational to almost every sermon recorded in the Book of Acts. It is in fact not only the heart of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), but the sure and supreme vindication of every radical claim our Lord made about Himself. His resurrection from the dead declares our Lord to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). When death rose up against Him, He rose up against death. Mankind’s most hated and feared enemy was cast down decisively. Though our bodies are scheduled to be cast down by death one day, we may rejoice that as Christ arose to glorified, bodily existence, we will also (Philippians 3:20-21). In the meantime, let us rise up courageously and irresistibly against all that opposes our God and His Gospel (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Let us do this for His glory and for the good of others.
God bless you, dear saints,