As I mentioned earlier, I just watched the Lord of the Rings. Yes, the whole trilogy, yes all the extended versions. Laura and I don’t have cable, and most of our movies we’ve seen before. I have all the extended editions of the trilogy. But I haven’t seen any of the movies since I saw them when they each came out in the theater.
So, Laura and I spent some time, snuggled up under a blanket, with popcorn or pizza, and enjoyed relaxing with an epic struggle between good and evil.
And I think it’s good for my soul. Honestly.
It’s good, because it pounds into my head that evil is evil, and powerful. It makes me understand that good is more powerful. But battle is just that — battle. Struggle. Casualties. Fear. Despair. Almost giving up. And, if you’re the good guys — victory!
We battle, as Christians, in many ways, and at different levels.
We battle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers.
We battle against our own indwelling sin, in various and subtle forms.
We battle error and false teaching.
And, I think stories help me to see this, or, maybe more correctly, to remember it. To feel it.
The story of the Lord of the Rings stands fresh in my mind today, and I couldn’t help but think about it when I was reading my devotions in Isaiah 25. After watching the movies, I think I felt more keenly the splendor the end-of-days victory of the LORD. Not that I need such stories, because I think that epic victories echo the ultimate victory of God and his people. I just think that watching the movies this past week gave a slightly different angle when I read these verses:
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill. And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands. And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
Because God will win. Yes, he has already won, and the chess pieces are aligned, the moves are being made. Soon, Christ will appear with a sword, our mighty king will return, and our God will spread before us, his people, a feast for all eternity. In his presence we will glory, in splendor arrayed, sons of the King.