Inspiration from Dr. David White
The Kingdom Series – ‘When Every Knee Will Bow’
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth,” Phil 2:10
One has to wonder if the fiasco going on in the NFL where teams and a number of players are taking a knee during the displaying of the flag and playing of the national anthem has any spiritual significance. It appears it does, and as always the bible, God’s Word has already addressed the subject.
In briefly surveying the Scriptures we discover that bowing the knee is a picture of first of all worship and reverence. In Psalms 95:6-7 we find, “Oh come. Let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”
In addition to worship, kneeling in this Scripture reveals who the one kneeling acknowledges as their God and to whom their allegiance belongs.
Second, kneeling in the bible is a symbol of honor.
Encouraging the Ephesian believers the Apostle Paul declares, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Eph 3:14)
To give someone honor further means we recognize their position. Paul does this when he acknowledges the Father of Jesus Christ as the One, “from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” (Eph 3:15)
Next, kneeling is identified with prayer, devotion and thanksgiving.
Referring to Daniel we read, “he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Dan 6:10).
Daniel unashamedly and consistently knelt in prayer with his windows opened wide for all to see. In this case Daniel’s kneeling was symbolic of his willingness to stand alone and to do so publicly regardless of the costs and even if no one else did.
Daniel proclaimed his uncompromising devotion to his God. Other places where we see kneeling and prayer together is in I Kings 8:54, Luke 22:41, Acts 7:60 and Acts 20:36).
Fourth, kneeling in the bible was also a form of mockery and defiance.
Prior to Jesus being crucified we see where the Roman soldiers, “bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews” (Matt 27:29)!
The soldier’s defiance was specifically directed towards Jesus who they publicly denied as being their king.
Their taking a knee was a mockery towards the One God had chosen but in reality was directed at God Himself. Without question this is a picture of what is taking place today in America both in the natural and the spiritual. In contrast to a president, Jesus was more than just a king. Jesus was sent by the Father and was the King of all Kings.
Fifth, kneeling in the bible was not only seen as worship but as someone yielding in submission to the pagan gods and philosophies of the age.
We read an account in the Old Testament where the people had forsaken the One true God and embraced all that was false. What was clearly an abomination to God could be compared to what is politically correct and preferable in the eyes of many today.
“… because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes…” (I Ki 11:33)
It’s interesting to see the meanings of the names of the pagan gods listed in this text. For example Ashtoreth was the female counterpart of Baal, the fertility goddess and ‘queen of heaven’. Among the meanings of the pagan god Chemosh is destroyer or to subdue. Milcom is defined as their king, or their own god.
“Those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, but who also swear by Milcom; Those who have turned from following the Lord,” (Zeph 1:5-6a)
Many in Zephaniah’s day pretended to serve the Lord but when tested would not stand for God but instead bowed their knee to their own or the people’s god. These were those who had turned from following the Lord.
Closely akin to these pagan gods was Baal who was the sun god or whose name simply means lord.
One specific Baal of that day was Baal Perizim who was the lord of divisions. Baal Perizim is no doubt alive and well today laboring towards the fulfillment of what he knows Jesus promised would happen to a house divided.
“If a kingdom is divided [split into factions and rebelling] against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:24-25 Amp.)
It was Baal that when Elijah suggested he alone was left after the Lord’s prophets had been killed that God said, “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal” (Rom 11:3-4).
If one looks deeper into these named pagan gods you will find they are still being worshiped and honored today under different titles. Instead of standing for what was right many in the past and present have bowed the knee to what is clearly detestable and offensive to God. Standing for what is right and true is far more important than kneeling for what is politically or what the majority define as correct. In addition our choices come with both immediate and eternal consequences.
Bowing Now or Then
In conclusion, bowing the knee in the bible is a promise of what will unanimously occur in the future regardless to what or to whom someone may bow their knee today.
“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).
Those who bow their knee to Jesus as their Lord now will be rewarded on that day. Those who refuse to do so now will be forced to do so one day and prior to when they will be judged for the choices they made in this life. A judgment that God, out of His love, sent His Son to deliver them from.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn 3:16-17).
David White Th.D.
David and his wife Shirley are the head pastors at the Gathering Church in Moravian Falls, NC. The Fresh Bread Blog is where Dr. David posts inspiration and messages he receives from the Lord for the church and missions.
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