Lord of the Light and the Ringer of Truth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, September 15, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” ~Romans 11:5-6

Have you ever seen The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers? I am not as hardcore as those who have read the books but I think that it is an incredible movie that does an excellent job of portraying the turning point in the battle for Middle Earth. The humans, from Rohan, hunker down at Helm’s Deep to defend themselves against a massive army of Uruk-hai, a race of orcs that is far superior than your average orc. Not only do the humans face the threat of the Uruk-hai, but the White Wizard Saruman has convinced the country people that their land has been unjustly taken from them by other humans. This remnant of humans has very few warriors among them and the odds of the final battle of this film are staggering. But our heroes have stumbled across something that has given them hope.

Their friend Gandalf, once a grey wizard, had become a white wizard. He was once thought to be dead but had briefly returned to them and assured them that he would be there when they needed him. Before the battle started, they were surprised that a small army of elves had decided to join their cause, greatly affecting the tide of the battle. The sheer numbers of the orcs was too great, however, and all seemed lost. In faith, the heroes rode out to the battlefield in one final charge and they remembered what Gandalf had told them. He appeared with the rising sun and an army of the finest warriors followed him. They conquered the Uruk-hai and saved the day.

There are times when the world seems like a dark place. Recently, we have been given the impression that many Christians have traded genuine faith for political correctness. In times like these, we refer to Scriptures that remind us of the end times, the judgments that are to come, and the return of Christ. These are very good things, but I think this tendency comes more from our desire to see justice than an innate sense that the end is near. In other words, despite our dark times, I am optimistic.

The times are only as dark as our light is dim. If the times appear dark it is because the light is not shining. I appeal to the old song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!” The assurance we have through the Bible is that the darkness cannot overcome the light. Paul, in Romans, assures us that there is always going to be a remnant and uses the story of Elijah to reassure us of that. Why did he use this story?

After defeating the prophets of Baal, Elijah’s life was threatened by the queen and it seemed as though no one had his back. If there were other believers in Israel, why were they not standing up, pleading the cause of Elijah, and standing for the Word of God? He probably felt like the people of Rohan right before the legion of elves came to their aid. Before that, it had seemed like everyone had abandoned them and that they were on their own. Likewise, God reminded Elijah that he was reserving 7,000 people for himself out of the people of Israel who would not bow to false idols. 7,000 may not have been a lot of people, but it was a lot more than one against the world.

Not only did God reassure Elijah of the remnant of 7,000, he also provided him with a good friend who became his disciple, Elisha. Quickly, Elijah saw the turning of the tide. It became clear that as they gathered together that even just the two of them were able to outshine the darkness. When Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisha carried on Elijah’s ministry and did many more remarkable things during his own ministry.

We have all had our moments of darkness. For my family, it often takes the form of wondering how on earth we are going to pay our bills. But God provides. When I look out into the world and see the cloud of darkness looming over the church, I think to myself that nothing can change what the devil has accomplished and that maybe it is just better to hunker away and ignore the church. But that would be hiding our light under a bushel when we need to let it shine!

If you have not seen The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I highly recommend that you give it a viewing. Sure, that requires setting aside 3 hours of your busy day, but it is well worth it. My favorite scene in the whole movie is when Gandalf appears on the hill with the Riders of Rohan. The Uruk-hai gather at the bottom of the hill, spears pointing up to impale the horses and the riders as they sprint down the hill. As the riders begin their epic charge, the sun peaks over the hill just enough to blind the Uruk-hai and the riders leap over the spears, Gandalf leading on his white horse, and route the enemy. They were vastly outnumbered, but this scene reminds us that the darkness is helpless when confronted with the light.

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