Ancient conquerors would march with their armies into their home cities in a parade called a “triumph”. Great archways built for such occasions still stand all over Europe. In the triumph, the conqueror would display the booty he had claimed in battle, strange animals from the distant lands, and enslaved foreigners who had unsuccessfully waged war against him.

For some, the triumph was simply an exercise in self-glorification. But for others, like the Romans, it was a celebration of their culture. They genuinely believed their victory was for the greater good — even, ultimately, the good of those who were enslaved.

Reading 2 Corinthians 2:12, I thought of God’s successful war with Satan over our souls — “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” He has taken us prisoner to serve Him in Jesus, as the Psalmist prophesied — “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive Thy captives” (Psalm 68:18). Our submission to Him is testimony to the transformational power of the gospel. The fiercest warriors in Satan’s army eventually learn they must yield or perish. Even Saul, Jesus’ staunchest enemy, finally gave up the fight after years of kicking against the goad (Acts 26:14) and became His slave (Romans 1:1).

It is our privilege to walk behind our Lord and Master in His triumph. But as we exult in the improvement of our state, let us not for a moment think that the parade is in our honor. The honor is His and His alone.

By Hal Hammons via The Final Word April 12,2010

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