Found or forsaken?
Fate or faith?
“Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: ‘Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!’
And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord (2 Chronicles 15:1-8 NKJV).”
On this Memorial Day, let us remember fallen soldiers around the world. We unite to honor the memory of those who were killed in battle. It is more than duty; it is a longing.
It is especially painful to survivors when remains are unidentifiable; there is no closure. This led to resting places in numerous nations for those listed as unknown soldiers. The United States remembers their unknown fallen at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
Apostle Paul walked the streets of Athens and felt sadness as he observed the worship of idols. It compelled him to share his knowledge of Jesus resurrection in synagogues and the market place.
The crowds thought the message was strange but they enjoyed discussions about new ideas. (Acts 17: 15-21) Paul seized the moment as an opportunity for evangelism.
“And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. (Acts 17:22-23 NAS).”
He introduced them to the Creator, the giver of life, calling people to repentance. God does not record a list of unknowns.
“O LORD, Thou has searched me and known me (Psalm 139:1 NAS).”
He knows all about us; He knows me.
“Thou does scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways (Psalm 139:3 NAS).”
There is great comfort in the realization that none is unknown by the One who formed them. Nations may not be able to identify soldiers; yet, God calls them all by name.