The thought running through my mind today is a bit morbid. But it is also glorious. Victorious, even. It gives me hope even when the future does not look incredibly bright.
Take a look through history, mythology, and almost any religious writing in existence. There is a pervasive mentality, even among those who do not honor faith, that a sacred “something” exists. It is that thing the enemy is not expected to touch. It is that place where souls should be safe.
In fact, in much of our lore the enemy is never believed to be truly evil and without redemption until he invades the sacred. A code among the ranks of our enemy is assumed. They will not invade our sacred because they do not wish us to invade theirs.
Are We Different?
Believers in the one true God know better, in a sense. We know that there is an evil that has no respect for our sacred. But, we still have a reliance on the sacred. Our reliance simply says that God will not allow our sacred to be invaded.
The Israelites believed this. They expected God would always protect His holy place. He would not allow Jerusalem or the temple to fall, no matter what evil tried to invade.
They were wrong.
O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; and this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt. Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; the enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary. Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place; they have set up their own standards for signs. Psalm 74:1-4
The Israelites were surprised when God allowed His holy temple to be desecrated by the enemy. And we are no less surprised when the same thing happens to us, even without the physical temple.
What we forget is that nothing on this earth is truly sacred. Nothing. God grants us so much in this world to remind us of His faithfulness and His love. But every one of those gifts can be invaded. They can be crushed by the enemy.
The Israelites discovered this truth when the temple was invaded and stripped over and over again. The reality was emphasized once and for all when they were taken away from the promised land and moved into captivity.
Nothing perishable is sacred.
Notice the key point here, though. Nothing perishable is sacred.
But we have a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that is imperishable. It is eternal. It is a bond that no evil can break. It is a love than cannot be severed, no matter how horrible the circumstances become. It is our one truly sacred reality.
Our biggest struggles in life do not come when the enemy invades the sacred. They come well before the invasion, arriving when something temporal is elevated to a sacred position. They come in the moment we say, “God will never allow __________.”
Scripture and history show over and over again that God’s people do not escape attacks. But those who belong to Him see something sacred beyond their struggles. Something eternal. Something worth clinging to even when the most sacred earthly treasure has been invaded.
What is sacred to you?