Make Your Election Sure
by Dural Pate
|The following article examines the symbolism in an old testament story of Moses and its relevance to America today.|
Fall 2004 - MAKE YOUR ELECTION SURE
"...the flag of the United States of America should hold ...
the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right
as he faces the audience."
--United States Code
How many times lately have you seen a political advertisement where someone is pictured with the American flag by his or her side?
We often see the President of the United States posing behind a podium with the flag standing to his right, in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice that we veterans are familiar with.
Ordinarily, in our churches, two flags are displayed: the American flag positioned to the speaker’s right, and the Christian flag to the speaker’s left as he faces the congregation. There may be a connection to a very old story in the Bible in this custom -- something more than flag display protocol outlined in the UCMJ.
Some time ago I read the story again of the children of Israel and a particular conflict with the Amalekites, found in Exodus Chapter 17.
The Amalekites were a nomadic people who roamed the country north of Egypt and east to west from the Sinai Desert to the Mediterranean Sea. They seemed to aggravate everybody passing through, and were especially troublesome to the Jews.
On this particular occasion, after using his rod to smite the rock and seeing the water come forth (verse 6), Moses instructed Joshua to get the men ready to fight against Amalek (v.7). Moses, Aaron, and Hur would position themselves on top of the hill – with no weapons, just a stick. The Rod.
Now, one might wonder how three unarmed men standing on a hill barely in sight of the battlefield would be of any help in a battle against an onslaught of professional banditti, against Joshua and the Jewish boys. Unarmed, except for the stick.
But maybe we need to take a closer look at the three men, and at the stick.
Captain Hur, probably standing to the right of Moses, was Moses’ brother-in-law, Miriam’s husband, leader of the host of Israel. He was the enforcer, the judiciary, who carried out the plans of the government of Israel. The High Sheriff. (He probably even rode “a big, white, hoss.”) Aaron, standing to the other side of Moses, represented worship to God, the “church” in that era, the religion of that day. He was Moses’ brother, the High Priest. And Moses, himself, of course, was the embodiment of morality – he was the mouthpiece of Moral Law. The code of morality that still exists today in the hearts of many.
The three stood side by side. They had a common purpose. They were more than related to one another. They were the sight of Right. The Rod held high gave courage to their troops.
But Moses couldn’t carry on until the battle was over that day for lack of physical strength. So his companions pulled up a stone for him to sit on, and they two, the other two, held up his hands in support of the cause. (There was no substitute for Moses – no one could take his place. There is no Vice President to Moral Law.) The Rod of Moral Right was exalted before the Army of Israel and Joshua’s army prevailed against Amalek.
Exodus, Chapter 17 closes with the declaration, “The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” And so it has been.
And so it has been: We take note of a speech given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Chicago, Illinois, on October 28, 1944. He declared in his remarks the same message that I believe is recorded in Exodus 17 – that government, religion, and the moral code must be in accord if a country shall remain stable:
“'Peace on earth, good-will toward men' – democracy
must cling to that message. For it is my deep conviction that
democracy cannot live without that true religion which gives
a nation a sense of justice and of moral purpose." -- FDR
And in his farewell address on September 19, 1796, George Washington made these remarks:
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that
morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever
may be conceded to the influence of refined education
on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience
both forbid us to expect that national morality can
prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
-- George Washington
So what we are seeing in our political ads this fall, and in our churches – the flags and the podiums – may be symbolic of the principle given to us in Exodus 17 and from the minds of great men of this country’s past.
The three elements – The United States Flag, The Podium, and The Christian Flag represent in turn: The Government, The Moral Code, and The Church.
The message: The “arms” of the Moral Code must be supported by the Government and the Church if we are to succeed as a democratic nation.
If either of the arms falter, “Amalek” prevails.
If the Government tries to legislate a weakening of the Moral Code, and if the Church fails to support what is Scripturally sound, I believe we stand in jeopardy of losing Democracy, National Sovereignty, and Immortality.