Would a soldier in dire straits not flee to the banner raised by his commander? Not likely. So why do some refuse to flee to the banner of Christ’s gospel?
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow.
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us! Psalm 60:4-5
When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.
David uses a military analogy to faith and salvation. The troops are scattered and about to die. The commander sets up a banner to rally them back. They see the banner and head for it. There they are saved from defeat and the tide of victory is turned in their favor. Would a soldier who is in dire straits not flee to the banner raised by his commander? Not likely.
Yet look what happened when Paul raised the banner of the gospel among the Jews in Rome. He used their Scriptures in his efforts to convince them. Some believed and some did not. Why not? It was not that Paul had failed to be clear. He diagnosed their condition from the prophet Isaiah. Their hearts were dull, ears nearly deaf. They closed their eyes. The banner was raised. They refused to flee to it.
They had their opportunity, but they did not grasp it. Paul told them he would take the message to the Gentiles, and they would listen.
Think about it
Those who fear God are His beloved. They show their true identity by fleeing to the banner He has raised, the gospel of Jesus Christ. There they find salvation. But dulled hearts do not respond to the message despite its clarity.
Have you fled to the banner? If not, Christ has sent out the command to all to repent and believe the gospel now. Pray that God would deliver you from a dull heart and grant you faith that leads to repentance.
If you are one of His disciples, your task and mine is to keep proclaiming the good news of life in Jesus Christ from the Bible, accurately and faithfully, as Paul modeled. Some will believe. Some will not. Take courage. Stay the course, because to everyone who flees to the banner, God will grant salvation.