While Mount Sinai was cloaked in clouds, lightning streaked across the sky, the earth trembled without warning, the Children of Israel huddled in the valley below. It had been several weeks since their leader, Moses, had climbed the mountain, disappearing in the shrouded mountaintop. Egypt and their slavery lay behind them. The promise of a new land lay before them. But now it was that miserable in between time. Something must be done. At least they thought so.
Their solution proved that although they had left the land of shackles, their hearts were very much still in chains. The invisible God of deliverance and His servant Moses were both absent from their sight. Boredom flowed into restlessness which flowed into rebellion. Two calves of gold were made and these visible, handcrafted gods, they proclaimed would go before them to the Promised Land.
God sent Moses to quell the rebellion, to call His people back before He was forced to strike them down in one fell blow. Moses could scarcely believe what he saw. In an angry moment, he dashed to pieces the newly crafted stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. And amid the Marti Gras of sin, he called out, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” The tribe of Levi stood with him. They were God’s allies in the battle.
Lest we think too harshly of the Israelites, the gods of our own making continue to woo those who would seek an easier way, a deity defined by desire rather than by service. The battle is joined between God and Satan, that great enemy of souls. And again the cry goes out, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Who is not on the Lord’s side? Simply answered, any and all who have not sought and found Christ as Savior. While a person may not be openly hostile toward God and may believe and accept that God exists, that person remains an enemy until peace with God is made. God’s Word says, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7). There are no neutral parties, no safe havens to avoid an alliance. Either you are for the Lord or you are against Him.
How is a person an enemy of God?
First, in the things they love. God expects that we love Him above all else. When that is done, all other loves fall into their proper place. But the enemy of God loves many things and may even have a sentimental love for God, but He is pushed down in their priorities. But God will not share His supreme place with any other.
Second, in the choices that are made. If a person chooses to go to work instead of college there will flow from that decision many others. If a person has not yielded to God, the original decision is made without considering what His will is for that person’s life. It can only lead to further decisions that will tend to move the person further away from Him.
Thirdly, in a view toward life. The person who is not on the Lord’s side will see life in a skewed way, distorting events that occur and the meaning they have. Imagine a man who has spent all his life in a cave with only the light of a dim candle. That seems normal to that person and the way things should be because that has been his view. But then he suddenly walks outside on a bright sunny day. Rather than seeing this as a glorious moment, the person would hide his eyes, rush back inside the cave and so miss all that his eyes were intended to behold. The one who is not on the Lord’s side cannot properly view the things of God and indeed, to him they look strange. He will side against God as a result.
If that is the case, how does one move from being God’s enemy to being on His side?
God knew that humankind was badly damaged by sin. But He left within us this desire for wholeness. So it is that despite our age we keep acquiring knowledge. Despite how healthy we might be, we wish to be healthier. Despite how good a relationship might be we want it to be stronger. The problem with sin, however, is that its very presence is like a parasite that drains away any chance at wholeness. Sin is an infection for which we cannot find a cure. Except through Christ.
God would not create a healthy desire within us that He did not intend to fulfill. The rebellion is real. The sin has left its path of destruction. We have voluntarily enlisted in the ranks of the enemy. But we want out. We want restoration. We want wholeness.
Christ came to settle the matter. Sin was so awful, so monstrous, that only the most extreme punishment fit the crime. That meant someone had to die and Christ did just that. He died and by the sacrifice of His own blood the punishment was settled. Lifecan be had by turning to Him.
There is a wonderful story from the Old Testament that illustrates this. When the Children of Israel rebelled against God yet one more time, poisonous snakes were sent among them. Crying out to God for healing, He instructed Moses to make a brass snake, put it on a pole and all who looked on it would be healed. But they had to look or they would not be healed. (See Numbers 21:4-9)
In the same way, those who would seek to join the Lord’s side must look to Him and Him alone for salvation. His sacrifice on the cross is much better than any brass snake could be for His healing is not for a body that will eventually die later from something else anyway. His healing is for our soul and that healing can take us not only through life on this earth but on into eternity where we can forever enjoy His presence.
Christ has died for your sins. To be on the Lord’s side in this very moment, honestly admit that you have been His enemy but you don’t want that anymore. You must surrender, surrender unconditionally, without reservation. Having done that, you look to Him and ask for His forgiveness for all that has separated you from Him. And then ask Him to make you not only someone on His side, but His child. Maybe you know the Bible verse that says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That verse is not for someone else. Today that verse is for you.
Who is on the Lord’s side? Will it be you? Will it be today?