January 17, 2021
“As your days, so shall your strength be.”
We live in a fractured society. We are broken, fractured, split and torn apart. We are culturally, economically, geographically, ideologically, politically, religiously, socially, theologically divided into homogenous groups that are grounded in what each believes to be correct, principled and right. Getting beyond the differences that divide us seem insurmountable.
Our nation has been challenged and continues to struggle to become what the founders envisioned. “On the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when our Constitution was adopted, Americans gathered on the steps of Independence Hall to await the news of the government our founders had crafted. They asked Benjamin Franklin, ‘What do we have, a republic or a monarchy?’ Franklin replied, ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’ Our responsibility is to keep it.”
The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Constitution spells out in the Bill of Rights with Amendments the privileges we have as citizens. Even our pledge of allegiance to the flag says, “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”
It is our responsibility to maintain and sustain our democratic republic. We must do what is necessary to form that more perfect union that lives up to the creed of its faith about the possibility of the many becoming one, e pluribus unum, the motto of our country. America has struggled from its inception to become that shining example of democracy. We are always reminded of the words of James Russell Lowell in his poem, Present Crisis.
“Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide. In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.”
The passage in Deuteronomy is a part of the five-fold blessing Moses gave to the tribe of Asher. I pass the one which says, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” The Lord is always present to us in all of life’s changing scenes. It is the abiding presence of the Lord that gives us courage for our circumstances, direction for any difficulty, and strength for our situation one day at a time.
We live one day at a time. Our days are filled with moments. It has been said that life changes from moment to moment. We cannot with certainty peer over the rim of one day so as to see what will happen and we cannot glimpse beyond the moments that fill the days of our lives. Each day has its own particular alterations and variations of light and shade with an assortment of moments coloring the day. One day is smiling, another is gloom, every hour, and every place has hues of its own. Each day brings with it its own demands. Each day will require new self-adaptation. The blessing assures us that we have the strength we need for each day with the specificity of its shadows and shades, troubles, and trials. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Strength as sure as the day. As the earth revolves around the sun one day will end another will begin. Such is the way we live the days of our lives. There is no doubt that as the sun appears over the eastern horizon that a day will dawn. We know that there is a tomorrow. Imagine having the strength with the same certainty that you have about the coming day. We do not determine whether the day comes or not. That is fixed by the rotation of the earth on its axis around the sun out of our reach. We discover in Moses’ blessing for the tribe of Asher that the Lord we serve brings about the days of our lives with certainty.
Strength as varied as the day. Whatever kind of strength is needed for any given day the Lord provides. Whether for anxiety, bereavement, calamity, disappointment, doubt, pain, sickness, temptation, work or you name it. No day will come without its due measure of might to enable us to meet its demands. The Lord gives us strength for all of life’s changing scenes with its colors, hues, and peculiarities.
Strength as long as the day. As long as any demands are made upon you, so long will be the strength to meet them. The word in scripture is often used for the events that take place in a given period of time. Here is a blessing that assures you of what you need to face whatever happens on any given day regardless of how long certain days and seasons last.
Consider the strength the Lord gives you as sure as the day, as varied as the day, and as long as the day.
Dr. William S. Epps, Senior Pastor