To Philadelphia and Laodicea

(Revelation 3:7-10, 14-22)

Lesson 9 -- second quarter 1997
April 27, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

How long must I wait for vindication?!

I will stand for the truth. Even in the face of mockery and opposition. I cannot feature trading down from truth to something else. And I think you feel the same general way as I do. But let me ask you this: Just how long will you stand for Truth?

We all want to be vindicated for what we believe and practice. We want our adversaries and detractors to come to the place of at least acknowledging that we are right after all. In other words, we want God to stand up for us since we have faithfully stood for Him. But how long are we willing to wait for that vindication? What if the time comes to be wheeled away in a casket, and we still haven't been publicly vindicated? We think it tragic to have to live under the shadow of being considered in error, and the longer the time we have to wait, the greater the magnitude of our tragedy. But to die without being proven right....

Let me give you two examples. You believe evolution is a lie and you believe homosexuality is a sin, right? Good! What if the "scientific community" finally produces "conclusive, incontrovertible evidence" that life evolved and that homosexuality is for most a genetic trait, just like femaleness and maleness? What will you do? Stand on the Truth of the Scriptures! For how long?! Ah, what a question!

Many years ago, two men stood before a foreign ruler with a message from their God. As anticipated, the king rejected the message, so the messengers followed through with a demonstration to prove the supernatural nature of their message. Aaron cast his rod to the ground and it turned into a snake. I'd be impressed; Pharaoh obviously wasn't. For all that we know, he saw this sort of thing every day in his court. The ruler turned to his magicians. These fellows cast their rods down also and presto! More snakes crawling around! The opposition had duplicated the evidence! Instead of being vindicated, Moses and Aaron were mocked. What would you have done at this stage?! Flush? Stammer? Give up? Take a hike? Fret to God? Change your mind? We don't like to be proven wrong, do we.

Moses and Aaron had simply to trust God and let Him figure His way out of this one. You see, they had no need to be vindicated. The One for Whom they stood needed to vindicate Himself. They needed to wait (for however long) for God to honor Himself, and them for standing with Him.

Anyway, here are God's men--on the spot, in a pickle, up a tree, however you want to say it. The evidence presented by the opposition seemed just as solid and exactly the same as theirs. So they waited. And when it was all over for that encounter, Moses and Aaron walked out with their staves; the magicians had to go cut some new ones or buy some from their supplier. You see, the difference in the evidence wasn't clear till the very end. And Moses and Aaron had to wait.

What an inspiration! I just know that if I stand for Truth I'll be vindicated in my stand. I believe God stands firm with those who dare stand for Him. But what if I have to die for my faith, apparently deserted and unvindicated by God? Somehow, that doesn't seem quite so inspiring!

Many years ago, three men stood before a foreign ruler. Their message was simple: "Our God is able to deliver us from your punishment; for sure, He will deliver us from you. We won't bend, we won't bow; skip the second chance!" That's how I want to be in my day. Let's stand together!!

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