Prison Break, Lambs, and Nursing mothersOne of my favorite TV shows is Prison Break, which I’m currently watching on Hulu during quarantine. It originally aired from 2005-2009, with a surprise (and terrible) 5th season in 2017. The first season is one cliff-hanger ending after another, with at least 2-3 major twists per episode... enough to keep you on your toes coming back for more, and then it subsequent seasons it’s kind of downhill from there. But I still find it entertaining. The plot line is that a young man is framed for the murder of the Vice President’s brother, and sentenced to die. While he is in prison, his younger brother, a straight-laced engineer, commits a crime that’ll get him into the same prison, where he has an elaborate plan to break his older brother out. As the series goes along, though, one thing you can’t help but notice is a constant quest for power. I won’t go into all the details, but between guns to people’s heads, killing loved ones, threatening violence, or manipulation, there is a constant power struggle between characters to see who will come out on top, as each character faces his or her own fears about how being the one NOT in power will affect them.
THE POWER OF GOD
See, the Lord God comes with strength, and his power establishes his rule. His wages are with him, and his reward accompanies him. –Isaiah 40:10The Lord clearly is someone to be afraid of. Isaiah 40 goes on to say the Lord can measure the waters of the earth in the palm of his hand, and where we use light-years to measure the heavens, he uses the width of his hand. The nations of earth are a speck of dust to him. The end of Romans 11 says,
Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! – Romans 11:33There is no limit to his understanding, and he is perfect in all his ways. He comes with his wages in hand, Isaiah 40 says. The wages of sin is death. God has the power and authority to really wreak havoc in our lives, and make things very painful and difficult for us as a result of our sin against him. But he also comes with reward – eternal life for those who by faith do good, and eternal death for those who continue to refuse him. He has every right, and he has unlimited power.
BUT GODIsaiah 40 goes on in the next verse to say,
He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment He gently leads those that are nursing. – Isaiah 40:11Now, when our movie producers think about power and strength, it’s not very often that it includes carrying infants or lambs with them (aside from rescuing them from burning buildings), and we prefer armies, hired contractors, and/or heroes with guns and muscles and advantage, rather than nursing mothers. But God shows his strength and power by carrying the weak and the vulnerable; those who are unable to help themselves. One of the lies Satan wants us to believe is that God helps those who helps themselves. It’s not in the Bible, by the way. Nor is it true. The truth is, God helps those who can’t help themselves.
I AM ONE OF THEM, AND SO ARE YOU – SO LETS JUST PRAISE THE LORDYou remember that line from the old Sunday school song, “Father Abraham?” So when it comes to thinking about the strong and the vulnerable, which one would you say you are? We like to think of ourselves as strong, having it all together. Or at least we look up to the people we think are strong and have it all together. But the gospel says we are all vulnerable lambs. We have an enemy, a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, roaming to and fro in the world looking for the weak. Lions rarely attack the strong. They single out the ones that can’t run far or fast, and dinner is served. If I have any strength at all, it has been granted to me to help those who are weak, not to position myself over others. But, Ephesians 2 says I don’t have any strength at all of my own. It’s all a gift. We were dead in our sins. Not weak in our sin, but dead. I am one of those lambs that needs carried, and so are you. So let’s praise the Lord for sending the Lamb of God, who became weak for us and died sacrificially in our place, so that we would be carried by his enormously strong and unending grace, adopted into his family and given a place to belong for eternity. In that sense, a nursing mother is actually more of a sign of strength, more a picture of God, than the bravado “shoot-em-up” show of power we often see in movies, even though scripture is clear that the day is coming when God will pronounce judgment on his enemies. There will be judgment for Satan, for his demons, and for those who refuse the life preserver that is the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Please don’t wait another day. Call out to God while you still can! Believer, as you go about your day and you feel anxious and weak, lean into the breast of your Heavenly Father and find rest – he is more than enough!
When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? –Psalm 56:3,4