Armed and Ready – Man as Defender

Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants... Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. - Isaiah 42:10, 12-13 ESV
Early in the morning on April 22, 2008, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale were standing sentry when a truck sped toward their compound in Ramadi, Iraq. Neither man hesitated, stepped back, or tried to step aside. With their feet planted shoulder-width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. It only took six seconds for the truck to detonate. Not enough time to think about their families, country, flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty. Both Haerter and Yale died that day and were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.
God offers hope and assurance to His people in today’s Scripture, one of four “Servant Songs” in Isaiah describing what the Messiah would one day bring to mankind. It would be His willingness to sacrifice Himself – His mission and His might – that would change everything. As we celebrate the miracle of Christmas, we are reminded of Jesus’ mission and his might. Paul put it this way:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Now that Christmas is over, we have once again arrived at the beginning of a New Year afforded to us by the Creator of the universe, who has entrusted you and me with a fresh assignment from God! It’s good to be reminded in Scripture of the type of man we are called to be as Defenders. The Lord Himself is a Warrior (Exodus 15:3), armed and ready for battle: “The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes” (Isaiah 42:13). 
Men of God, His mission and His might are ours as well. The mission of loving to the point of self-sacrifice; living a godly life in an ungodly world; pouring biblical truth into our homes, children, and grandchildren; and walking in the might and strength that comes from heaven is vital to our role as men who are Defenders. And please keep in mind that being a Defender is not just for men with young families. All of you older guys like me must remember that God’s call for you to defend what He has entrusted you with or what you hold dear is not diminished due to age. You simply find new ways to stand boldly against evil. 
The God of heaven stands watch over you and me at this very moment. Men, it is time to bravely stand your watch over your family, your nation, and your values as we march into this New Year! I pray you will do your duty with a song of praise on your lips, thanksgiving to God in your heart, and the strength of the Lord in your body and soul. He is with you!
  • As a New Year begins, what can you do to build and strengthen your spiritual walk with God? Consider joining us daily as we Stand on the Word. Visit or text the word “Bible” to 67742.
  • What will you put into your daily routine that focuses and grows your faith and the faith of your family? Consider having them join you in daily Bible reading. If you can’t do it together in-person, you can text them the reading and the two daily questions to engage them. 
  • Pray for God to arm you with His presence and power to take on the challenges presented in the New Year.