Based on fear, the world around us continues to look for a scapegoat. Someone to blame for the condition our world is in. (A scapegoat is defined as a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for the purpose of convenience and practicality despite being improper or immoral.)
When it comes to believers, are we aligning with the world’s search for a scapegoat, or are we looking upward, using the authority we have because God has already provided a scapegoat for our wrongdoings? We can become distracted when we continually look to assign or shift blame. (Each of us carry some of the blame, by the way.) We become focused when we do our part of standing guard over our land, praying for God’s mercy and rescue. Are we putting our faith into the atmosphere to battle fear and blame? Are we doing our part to contend for victory in this invisible battle against an invisible enemy?
The Old Testament Definition of Scapegoat
Ever wonder where the term ‘scapegoat’ comes from? Read Leviticus 16. During the days of Moses, God set rules and regulations in place to atone for the sins of the Israelites (atone: to make amends).
Aaron, the High Priest, was to take two male goats. One he would sacrifice to the Lord as a sin offering. The blood of this goat was sprinkled on and in front of the atonement cover, in the Tent of Meeting, and on the altar. This was to atone for the uncleanliness and rebellion of the sins of the Israelites.
The second goat was brought before the Lord. Aaron lay both of his hands on the head of the goat, confessed the wickedness and rebellion of the people and symbolically transferred those onto the goat. The goat was sent into the desert as a scapegoat. The goat carried the sins and guilt of the people to a solitary place.
Of course, God knew it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away the sins of the world. But He allowed man to use this method once a year to release the burden and guilt of sin for each person. In this way, they received:
- Forgiveness of sins through the sacrificial goat
- Removal of the guilt of sin through the scapegoat sent into the desert
God’s Perfect Scapegoat: Jesus
In time, God provided both a perfect sacrifice and scapegoat through His only son, Jesus, who offered cleansing for us when He gave His life on the cross. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus on our hearts cleanses us from a guilty conscience and washes away our sins. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, because He is our scapegoat, we no longer need carry the burden or guilt of sin. And because He carried away our sin and guilt, our thankful hearts, filled with His grace and mercy, need to shift from blaming others for the wrongs in the world (looking for a scapegoat) and redirect that energy to standing on the walls of our country and battling the evil that tries to overtake our country, our families, our provision, our world. How? Through fasting, prayer, repentance, and praise!
For unbelievers, you may ask … ‘how do I make this shift from the world’s way of thinking to becoming a guardsman on the wall of God?’
- Admit you have sinned
- Repent of pride, greed, fear, and selfishness … ask God to replace these sins with peace, faith, and kindness
- Ask God for forgiveness, acknowledging the gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
See – we have the perfect sacrifice and scapegoat for our sins. Call off the search for another scapegoat and take the stance of standing guard over our nation! Focus on what we can change, not on what has already been done.
Be a Guardsman over the Nations
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Now, with the removal of our personal sin and guilt, we have direct access to God to ask Him to remove the guilt and the sins from our nation. We each have a part and a calling to stand guard over our nation in the spiritual realm. Confessing the sins of our nation … crying out to Him for forgiveness, protection, and restoration.
- Repent for the sins of the nation … model the prayer from Daniel 9:4-19. (replace the words Judah with the name of your city. Replace the word Jerusalem with the name of your state, replace the word Israel with the name of your country. (What are the sins of our nation? Here are just a few: self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, bickering, complaining, division, murder of unborn babies, greed, power.)
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your city, state, country, and world – to come and heal our land.
- Be a light wherever you go. Carry the peace and love of Christ rather than emulating the ungodly behaviors of those around you.
Contend for victory over the evil realm that is trying to overtake our nation … use God’s warfare weapons and strategy to defeat this enemy. This is our calling … this is our responsibility. Rather than looking for a scapegoat, be a guardsman.