Stomp on your enemies

G7 leaders meet in Europe to lay strategy for keeping their global reach strong! China drives to overtake a receding American empire! Russia presses to recover its clout! Dominance–-economic, political and military–-is the name of this game, and always has been for empires. “Make America great again” in recent years was not a call for reciprocity; it was a drive for dominance.

Monarchs of the biblical world sought dominance, often symbolized by rulers placing images of conquered peoples on their footstools, as seen here on the throne chair of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in a Cairo museum. Hebrews were among Tutankhamun’s subjugated peoples.

At times ancient Israel lapsed into a domination mentality, as we see in Psalm 110, probably written for the coronation of King David or one of his dynasty. “The LORD says to my lord [the king], ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’” God will “shatter [foreign] kings on the day of his wrath” so the ruler of Israel can put his feet on foes.

The early church repeatedly took Old Testament footstool imagery and applied it to Jesus. Peter at Pentecost declared that domination language in Psalm 110 found fulfillment not in David, but in Christ (Acts 2:34, 35). Peter’s sermon comes from the very disciple who in the Upper Room saw Jesus humbly kneel and wash his disciples’ feet. It comes from the apostle who heard Jesus say at Gethsemane, “put away your sword.” Peter knew that Jesus turned domination on its head.

The Gospels show Jesus defeating the powers of prejudice, sickness, and violence. His weapons were forgiveness and love of enemy to the point of laying down his life. Through cross and resurrection, the apostle Paul says, Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities . . . triumphing over them” (Col. 2:15). Of the risen Christ Paul said, “he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25, 26).

There are powers in our world we should want to see defeated: racism, greed, bigotry, warfare and all forces of death. Let Jesus put those enemies under his feet. Maranatha!

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I regret that both tours to Bible lands that I had expected to lead this year in September and October have been cancelled because of the Delta strain of COVID-19. God willing, I expect to lead Thy Kingdom Come–Jordan, Palestine, Israel (https://tourmagination.com/tour/2022-jordan-palestine-israel/) in September 2022 and hope you consider joining that pilgrim band!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. marianbeaman says:

    I still espouse the New Testament view of peaceable living. Though I am no longer Mennonite, I can relate to your assertion, “The Gospels show Jesus defeating the powers of prejudice, sickness, and violence.”

    I am happy you can resume your tours this fall. What a blessing!
    Thank you for visiting my blog recently and commenting, Nelson. 🙂

    Like

  2. dotcutrell says:

    I found the footstool imagery fascinating.  We seem to be slowly moving toward the kingdom when “every everyone is free and all will be God’s children in justice love and peace.”         Dot CutrellSent from my Samsung Galaxy , an AT&T LTE smartphone

    Like

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