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Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices. —Zechariah 6:13
This well-known Scripture from the book of Zechariah speaks about Jesus and His role in building His Ekklesia and ruling on His throne as a king and a priest. For our purposes in this hour, the key observation is that “peace will be between the two offices,” that is, the role and function of a priest and the role and function of a king. In this critical, prophetic moment of the response of God’s people to what is currently shaking the earth, and in the future, the relevance of this distinction cannot be over-emphasized. The peace of God will result from knowing where and how to deploy the kingly role and authority, and conversely, the priestly role of mediation and healing. When does God require ruling, when does He require care and healing, and how are they applied properly? Welcome to the marches, the riots, the occupations, the rivers of hate, and the dodging of responsibility from all sides. In this moment, there is anything but peace. Instead, we have the rustling of swords.
Several weeks ago, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Dennis, don’t be fooled by COVID-19; it is a blocker pulling out of the line (a football play where pulling guards create chaos for defenders trying to tackle the player carrying the ball) to make a path for the real ball carrier and his purpose.” As a former running back, I knew exactly what God’s Spirit was saying to me. COVID-19 is a dangerous blocker demanding our attention, but he doesn’t have the ball.
I am clear on both the concept and the warning. So, what is the enemy’s goal here, and are racism, white privilege, and uneven wealth-distribution the specific leverage to achieving his ultimate purpose? Church, for decades some of us have been saying that God has called us to fully engage the nations with the whole Gospel of the Kingdom, and not just how to qualify for its membership. We’re up now, so to speak, with little to nothing to say about when and how to apply the king’s portion of law and order or the priest’s mediating grace. Know this sure, my brothers and sisters, the world system will always focus on that which separates us, and a load of it is coming. We must unify around God’s Word, not public opinion or political demands.
All this brings up the issues surrounding mercy and its application for those who have been most damaged by injustices in the social systems. When demonstrations shift from marches and protests to looting and destroying, how do we apply mercy to the angry crowd to engage in the chaos? What is the balanced wisdom of dispensing Kingdom law and punishment or priestly grace and “understanding“ to the marginalized and misused? There is obviously no easy answer because compassion says one thing and constraint says another. Having been an activist more than 50 years ago in the opening acts of the so-called civil rights movement and seeing where it now stands decades later, my feelings are mixed. Wanton destruction almost never leads to justice or relational restoration. It seems to me that wisdom says this: Our focus must be on destroying what is destroying us and nothing else. In this case, that means the removal of unjust kingly laws and the energetic commitment to building priestly relational bridges everywhere they are needed. So, how do we achieve this? Only by finding God’s appointed leaders who are walking in this balance and shutting out the noise of those who would lead us elsewhere. May the kingly priests come together, and that is…