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Take a Knee

And a little child will lead them… Isaiah 11:6
Meet Holden Thomas, the 2 ½ year old son of Mitch Thomas- the area director for Push the Rock.  Imagine this moment… Mitch had just led a gym class for homeschool children.  At the end of their game, Mitch asked the kids to “take a knee.”  You have probably seen athletes “take a knee” before or after a game to dedicate themselves to the Lord with thanksgiving.  I so appreciate that quiet witness seen at college and professional games.  At Push the Rock sports camps, the children learn to “take a knee” to pray at the end of their game.  This day, when Mitch called the children to prayer, Holden dropped to his knee and bowed his head, already understanding our need to humble ourselves before the Lord.  I invite you to hold onto that image as we prepare for Election Day 2020.  Today and tomorrow and the next day… perhaps for weeks to come as this election is decided… we will need to “take a knee” to pray for God’s protection and guidance for our nation.
The ancient Biblical call to “take a knee” is found in Nehemiah and Ezekiel.  In those Biblical records, the terminology is “stand in the gap.”  When God speaks to the prophet Ezekiel, the people of God have ceased to be faithful.  They have turned to pagan gods and pagan ways.  And even though their enemies are standing on their borders ready to conquer them, the people will not turn back to God.  The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel saying:
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall
and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so that
I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” (Ezekiel 22:30)
No one would bow before the Lord… no one would pray… no one would seek the Lord on behalf of the people.  We know from the Biblical record that there has always been a faithful remnant in Israel, even in their most rebellious times.  But, that faithful remnant would not “stand in the gap” on behalf of their people in Ezekiel’s day.  The result- Jerusalem was destroyed and the people of God were taken off into exile in Babylon.
The second time we see this call to “stand in the gap” is in the book of Nehemiah.  At this time, some of the people have returned from exile in Babylon to rebuild the temple and then the walls of Jerusalem.  The neighbors had grown accustomed to controlling Palestine, so they were not pleased to see the efforts to reclaim Jerusalem’s prominence in the area.  As the Jews worked to rebuild the wall, the neighbors shot at the builders to prevent the completion of the walls of Jerusalem.  The Lord spoke through Nehemiah, calling the people to “stand in the gap” in the walls of the city- to stand as human shields to protect the builders as they worked.  Imagine the danger of “standing in the gap” in that day! Yet, how different the response of the people in Nehemiah’s day.  We are told that all the people took their turn standing in the gap on behalf of the people.
Today, God is calling us to stand in the gap on behalf of our nation.  It is time for us to “take a knee.”  I hope Holden’s sweet example inspires you today to be God’s faithful remnant… like the people in Nehemiah’s day.  Pray for our nation as we go to the polls.  Pray for those who work at the polls… pray for those who will protect our right to go to the polls… pray for those who will stand in lines across our nation to vote at the polls.  Pray for peace at Lenape Valley as we open our doors to be a polling place.  Pray for those who will count the millions of mail-in votes.  Pray for peace… for respect… for freedom… Pray- Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  May God find a bold, faithful people ready to stand in the gap… already taking a knee… for the sake of our nation.
With you, on my knees…
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