God Save the King Who Saves Us!

“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about it,

Yet they had to be extremely careful not to shout it.

For at the time, a very wicked queen ruled Judah’s land.

She put her grandchildren to death so she could rule as planned.


Death and destruction overtook the country known as “Praise.”

As evil screamed for recognition, death ruled many days.

Meanwhile, sequestered in a room until six years had passed,

One boy remained protected from the bad queen’s vicious blast.


“God save the king!” whispered the three people who knew about him.

Of course, to save him from the queen, they dared not shout about him.

The little king was very much alive, that much they knew.

His whereabouts stayed veiled to all, except the chosen few.


The king would live as long as he remained obscure, unknown

Until the day arrived for him to sit upon the throne.

That’s when a larger group convened to help protect the king.

Before a larger audience His praises they would sing.


When finally, they fetched him, shielded well on every side,

And placed him in the temple, evil found no place to hide.

The trumpets blew. “God save the king!” his subjects now declared.

The mean queen’s ears picked up on it. Soon she was running scared.


She rushed into the temple, tore her clothes, and yelled “Unfair!”

“It’s treason!” she announced to see the true king standing there.

“It’s like a resurrection, but of course it can’t be real.

I killed them all. No one survived. Before me all must kneel!”


The priest who oversaw the celebration told his men

To drag her from God’s house, never to enter it again.

Out by the horse’s gate they went and slew her with the sword.

Deliverance took place that day as they obeyed the LORD.


And that’s how evil Athaliah finally met her doom.

Because the king still lived, her deadly reign had no more room,

For as the crowd rejoiced in him, the fear of her did cease,

Replaced by shouts of joy and unimaginable peace.


The story in II Kings chapter 11 tells how young King Joash escaped the murderous clutches of his evil grandmother. He remained hidden in God’s house for six years while Athaliah ruled the land, just as King Jesus remained hidden from Herod who tried to have him killed.

We live in an information age where keeping secrets has become very difficult. It can tempt  us to share too much of what we know. But sometimes truths need to be kept hidden for a while, until the time is right to share them.

In some ways, the truth of Jesus’ resurrection has been hidden from the church – not in the sense that His followers don’t believe He rose from the dead but in the sense that they don’t act as if He’s truly alive. Rather than expecting Him to empower them the way He empowered the early church, they reason that God no longer does the same miracles He did back then. They have allowed the spirit of death epitomized in Athaliah to dash their hopes and kill their faith. To them the true identity of the real king remains hidden.

But as the time of deliverance draws near, those of us who know our king will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). We will share the awesome truths God shows to us with those who are willing to help us defend it, just as Jehoiada gathered numerous commanders to guard the young king. The difference is, we don’t need to cry “God save the king!” because King Jesus doesn’t need saving. He gave His life to save us. As we lift our hands and rejoice in Him, the devils in our lives will exposed themselves just as Athaliah heard the people’s praise and exposed herself. That’s because Satan wants to be worshiped and will always complain when we worship Jesus, who IS the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).

A sword of metal killed Athaliah. To cast out devils, we have God’s Word, the truth that’s found in Christ. The Holy Spirit makes His resurrection power real to us. (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:11)

There’s nothing to worry about because Jesus has won the victory for us.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetimes subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)




Free the Doves and Find Deliverance

Free the doves, do not think to put them in a cage.

Let these symbols of God’s Spirit come as a sage

With wisdom to guide you along your life’s path,

And lead you to Christ who can save you from wrath.

                              These flashes of purity speak of God’s grace.

These birds do not worry.  False hope they don’t chase.

They’re quiet but gentle and talk without speech.

                   To those who have eyes to see, they’re free to preach.

                        The dove spells good news, but when we spurn its grace

No souls are delivered. God’s Word finds no place

In men’s hardened hearts, for they can’t find their way.

False messenger pigeons have led them astray.

                   Free the doves, let them loose,  Let God’s Spirit prevail.

  Do not clip a wing and do not snip a tail,

  But open the cage, let them fly where they may.

  Don’t hinder their progress but heed what they say.


And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

– Matthew 21:12-14

Doves symbolize the Holy Spirit, who descended on Jesus like a dove and remained upon him. (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32)

For, the thief, which is the devil, “comes to steal, kill and destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10

The devil wants to keep people lame and blind and miserable. He wants to steal our health, kill our well being, and destroy our souls.

“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” – Matthew 12:28

When Jesus freed the doves, it served as a picture of deliverance. As Peter explained in Acts 10:38, Jesus Christ whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power, did good everywhere he went and healing everyone the devil had oppressed.





Free the Doves

Symbols of purity, flashes of grace,

Whispers of gentleness, sweet freedom chase

The dove spells good tidings, but when it is caged

No souls are delivered. God’s Word finds no place

In men’s hardened hearts, for they can’t find their way.

False messenger pigeons have led them astray.

Free the doves,

Let them loose,

Let God’s Spirit prevail.

Do not clip a wing

And do not snip a tail,

But open the cage,

Let them fly where they may.

Don’t hinder their progress

But heed what they say.


And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. Matthew 21:12

Adventures in Spirit-filled Living (or the lack of it)

Clay Studybaker surveyed the sad remains of his would-be wheat field. He wanted to give up on it because his evil rototiller had run amok the day before and crashed into a tree. Clay hoped no one had seen the way he yelled, screamed, and kicked the blasted thing before flinging it into the town dump. “I know I got a little out of control,” he admitted to himself, “but I sure hope my face doesn’t end up on the nightly news.”

These morbid thoughts were quickly brushed aside as he watched a bedraggled man coming toward him. He looked like he was running from a mad bull. His suit was torn and tattered and his face covered with mud. He must have taken the path that ran through the nearby swamp and carelessly tripped over a log.

“Who is that klutz anyway?” Clay thought.

The ‘klutz’ turned out to be Clay’s best friend Clem. “Hide me, quick!” he yelled.

Clay shook his head. “I’ll try, messy guy.” He looked all around, but all he saw was dirt, grass, and a banged-up tree. The swamp looming in the distance looked spooky. Then he spotted it. “Run!”

An old, white shack with peeling paint awaited the arrival of two paranoid men. Like a bullet, Clem burst through the door and knocked it off its hinges.

With a sigh Clay picked the fallen board off his clumsy friend and set it back upright. “There. Now we’re safe. Any wolf that tries to crash this place will have to knock first.”

Clem’s mud-stained face grew white as a sheet. “No, don’t let the wolf get me! I don’t want to die.”

Clay handed him an old dish rag to wipe off the dirt. “There’s no need to get uptight. Just tell me who the culprit is and I’ll run him out of town – after I pray for him, of course.”

Clem plucked a burr from his hair. “But that’s what scared me – the prayer. It was the church’s grand opening and I thought I’d check it out. As was standing in line at the altar some big dude in overalls pushed me down flat on my back. My head hit the floor with a big bang. They called it ‘being filled with the Holy Ghost.’ Oh, what a headache! As soon as I heard the word ‘ghost,’ I ran out of there as fast as my two legs would carry me. I hope no ghosts followed me here.”

“No, Clem, there aren’t any ghosts with you. That’s just a figment of your imagination.”

“What figment?” Clem yelled. “Do you mean the thing that hijacked your rototiller? (I heard about it on the nightly news). You sure did throw a fit. I mean -”

“No!” Clay exclaimed, his cheeks red with chagrin. “Bad news reporters! If any of them ever show up at my doorstep, I swear I’ll – I mean, wow! I just noticed how swollen your head is.”

The bump was huge. Clay, who had never hugged anything in his life besides a tree (and that was just so he could measure it before chopping it down), threw his arms around his frazzled friend and wept. “The Jesus I know would never whack anybody over the head in order to fill them with the Holy Ghost,” he said. “The purpose of the Holy Ghost – or Holy Spirit, as I like to call Him, is not to spook you or to whack you upside the head, but to comfort you.” Clay went to the refrigerator and got an ice pack to put on Clem’s bump.

“But the pastor in that church said that sometimes Jesus needs to whip his sheep, like he whipped the money changers in the temple,” Clem said.

Clay shook his head. “The money changers in the story weren’t the sheep. They were like wolves, and wolves eat sheep. After Jesus kicked the wolves out of the temple, the sheep came to him and got healed. Jesus is nice, you see, unlike some people who go blabbing about others’ misfortunes over at the local television station. I wish I didn’t have to forgive whoever did it.”

Clem’s eye twitched. “WH – Why?”

“Because if I don’t forgive, I can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit. But oh, the nerve of that good-for-nothing bum who videotaped me. GRR, ERRR!”

Clem could take it no longer. “I’m sorry!” he exclaimed. “Please don’t be mad. I’m the one who filmed the rototiller thing and sent it to the news station.”

Clay’s eyes narrowed. “I knew it was you. You’re always spying on me, waiting for me to do some crazy stunt so you can make money off it.”

“But – but can you forgive me?” Clem asked.

“Of course,” Clay said. “But don’t ever do it again.”

“With the Holy Spirit’s help, I won’t,” Clem answered.

And they both lived happily ever after – well, for the most part, as long as they stayed filled with the Spirit.

Behind the Dark Mask

A mysterious bag lay beneath a dark mask.

The girl who reached for it got taken to task.


“Why can I not touch it? God said ‘Do not fear,’”

She argued, but they would not let her come near.
“It’s evil,” they told her.


“I don’t understand.”


“Do not ask about it,” came their reprimand.


“The thing that lies buried within must stay hidden.

You mustn’t expose it. Now do as you’re bidden.”


With those rigid words, they set down the strict law.

“It’s risky to open it. Tremble in awe.”


So read the cold rules hammered into the wall,

Engraved in hard stone to be heeded by all.


“The devil has left this bag here as a snare.

He’s trying to trick the poor children. Beware!”


Jesus showed her this gift. Must she leave it alone?

Obey man or God? What lord sat on the throne?


It didn’t feel right to be scared of that mask.

She wondered why they thought to take her to task.


If the gift was so wrong, why would they leave it there?

Could no one remove it if it was a snare?


Who had greater power – the devil or Christ?

“Read your Bible, dear fellows. You needn’t think twice.”


“You say such gifts no longer are for today

So, it has to be counterfeit? ‘Keep it at bay’?”


“If you’re afraid, why not ask God to deliver

You from this strange bag here at which you folks shiver?”


“For surely, He’s able and surely, He’s just.

If you ask Him for good things, protect you He must.”


They cringed at her words, yet they feared to say more.

On the softest of tiptoes, they snuck out the door.


They gave it a slam just to pound in their point,

And yet they could not knock her nose out of joint.


In one daring move she yanked back the dark mask,

The mask for which she had been taken to task.


She opened the bag which was covered with dust.

Out flew a bright light. It was true. It was just.


A peace filled the room. There was joy, there was love,

Which shone, as it were, from the wings of a dove.


There were visions and dreams, prophecy to be had,

Tongues of men and of angels. These gifts were not bad.


In that tiny back room, they had languished so long.

But they were the gifts that can make people strong.


The law locked them up, but God’s grace broke the chain,

For gifts that Christ purchased we should not restrain.


(Merchandisers prefer to have us entertained,

Until the time comes when their ankles get sprained.


Then suddenly they start to plan how to snag

The healing that lies in that mystery bag…)