The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever (Isaiah 40:8).
From legal assaults on public displays of the Ten Commandments to attempts to remove God from public schools, the Enemy has tried time and again to prevent God’s Holy Word from reaching its destination: the heart of man.
Angst in Arkansas
One recent attack occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June 2017. A relatively small, mostly conservative Southern state, Arkansas is located in the Bible Belt with a church, it seems, on every corner.
While raising private donations for a six-foot-tall Ten Commandments monument is not alarming to Bible-believing citizens of the Natural State, the fact that it was successfully placed on capitol grounds, in today’s judgmental world, is.
Unfortunately, this victory was short-lived. Less than twenty-four hours after installation, someone rammed a vehicle into the monument, bringing it crashing down. Just as the original tablets of stone were broken at Mount Sinai, so too was the fate of the larger-than-life commandments monument at the capitol.
The attempt at defeat was not successful, though. Private donations were raised once again, and in April 2018 a second monument was installed in the same location as before. This time, however, four large concrete barriers were built to stand guard at each corner of the monument.
As a government employee who works in a building behind the capitol, I have the opportunity daily to admire the many monuments on display. During one recent lunch break, I happened past the location where the commandments monument would again be placed.
Surprisingly, the bright orange cones and plastic fencing surrounding the area didn’t catch my eye for long. My attention quickly shifted to the four large concrete barricades that surrounded the foundation.
After viewing this, I initially felt sad — sad that we live in a world where concrete barriers are needed to protect one of God’s most precious gifts to humanity: His Holy Law. What is so readily available and free to everyone now needs physical protection.
After pondering this for some time, however, I came to two important realizations that changed my perspective on the whole situation.
First, I realized how thankful I am to live in a conservative state that would not let the first attempt at destruction inhibit it from defying opposition and placing a second monument in the same location, on public grounds. In addition, the fact that private individuals and organizations would donate money for a second monument shows there are still good people in the world who love God and will take a stand for what is right.
It was the second, more profound realization that really hit home with me. While concrete barricades protect the Ten Commandments at the capitol, it is more important that spiritual barricades protect God’s commandments in our heart.
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 11:18).
Equipped for the fight
In addition to accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must follow God’s Ten Commandments — all of them.
Simple enough, right? The Enemy, however, doesn’t make it easy. While we are constantly fighting a spiritual war, God equips us with what we need to fight back. In order to be ready for battle, we must have His Truth embedded so deeply in our hearts that nothing can penetrate the barricades we put there to protect it.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
As of this writing, the new monument at the Arkansas capitol still stands, despite opposition and vows from multiple groups to remove it.
Even if the court system ultimately sides with them, I know that my God is much bigger than a six-foot monument. A physical table of stone isn’t going to save us; accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior will.
Having God’s law written in our hearts ensures we are following His ways and honoring Him. Those aren’t just words on a page or a tablet of stone; that’s a promise — one that is safely guarded in my heart.