Wednesday March 27: 22 Adar II
It was on this day in 1949 that Israel and Lebanon signed an armistice agreement, ceasing hostilities between them. These two very small countries have played a very large role in the history of the world, and in particular, biblical history. Israel, of course, needs no explanation, but Lebanon, too, has played a very important role in history and in our heritage. For instance, it was cedars from Lebanon that were shipped down to Yaffa, and from Yaffa were taken up to Jerusalem to be used in the construction of Solomon’s Temple. I’ve always wondered why the Lord saw fit to use cedars from a foreign land to be used in His house. Consider this:
“The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted.” (Psalm 104:16)
The cedars of Lebanon are His. He planted them and with a purpose, one of which was to be useful in the building of His house. Now, consider this:
“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 29:12-13)
Apparently, the cedars of Lebanon that He planted can personify His people. His servants are planted by Him and so that they could be used in the construction of His house, so to speak. Understanding that, it warrants mentioning this: those same cedars, personifying God’s people, should be aware of the consequences if we allow ourselves to become proud and haughty. Isaiah said this:
“For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up—and it shall be brought low—upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up and upon all the oaks of Bashan.” (Isaiah 2:12-13)
We’ve all heard that pride goes before a fall, but pride is, oftentimes, such a subtle thing. Often those who display the most pride are among those who think they are doing God’s service. Those cedars that we referred to stood in God’s house. There came a time, however, when God allowed His house, including those cedars, to be broken down.
The point is this: we must be careful to avoid the trap of thinking that being part of God’s House grants us the right to think higher of ourselves than we should. Actually, being called into God’s house should have the opposite effect. It should provoke us to see ourselves for what we really are. In other words, it should humble us. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he considered himself to be a man of unclean lips, surrounded by a nation of people with unclean lips. Isaiah wasn’t lifted up because he was in God’s house but was humbled at seeing the Lord, who was high and lifted up. Might that be our attitude, as well.