What is your Maginot Line?
by Joseph Franks
In World War II, in an effort to defend France from German aggression, French military leaders led in the construction of the Maginot Line. This was a line of concrete fortifications, bunkers, and flood-zones that stretched along the entire border of France and Germany. This project included air conditioning, cafeterias, and a subway of sorts. The Maginot Line was incredibly expensive, and it drained resources that could have funded other areas of France’s military, but it was deemed a wise investment. The French believed this line of defense, staffed by 36 divisions of French solders, was impenetrable and sufficient to stop the blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany from flowing into the French countryside. The Germans would be forced to travel north to Belgium, and there, on foreign soil, the French could partner with their ally in halting Hitler’s advance.
However, France’s trust in their Maginot Line proved foolish. The Germans made it through Belgium and around the Maginot Line before sufficient defenses could be established, and the entirety of France was captured in about six weeks.
The inhabitants of Edom also had their “Maginot Line.” They dwelt in the mountainous region of Palestine, where invading forces would be forced to climb in a single-file line to advance on their cities and villages. Living in the “cleft of the rock” provided an incredible military advantage. Consequently, the pride of their heart deceived them as they said in their lofty dwellings and from their proud hearts, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” (Obadiah 1:3) In addition to having pride in their own military strength, they also had pride in friends. Foolishly they counted on the never-ending support of Babylon who currently befriended and supported them from the east. (Obadiah 1:7) Edom also seemed to place great confidence and pride in their own wisdom and intellect. (Obadiah 1:8) They were always the smartest people in the room.
However, the Edomites were ignorantly arrogant, and God said to them, “Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down … the house of Esau [shall become] stubble … there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.” (Obadiah 1:4, 18)
Therefore friends, what is your “Maginot Line?”
If it is friends, then you will do anything you must to secure and maintain these relationships. And you will be found ignorantly arrogant, disillusioned, and destroyed.
If it is money, then you will sacrifice all ethics and morals to grab your sufficient share — which is never sufficient — and you will be found ignorantly arrogant disillusioned, and destroyed.
If it is carnal hedonism, then you will find the next “high” as quickly as possible. And yes, through fast and furious living you will find momentary ecstasy, but soon you will be found ignorantly arrogant, disillusioned, and destroyed.
If it is the United States of America, or any other form of nationalism, you will see yourself as invincible and confuse your country’s prosperity with that of God’s international Church-Kingdom. Then, when it goes the way of Israel, Judah, Babylon, Greece, Rome, and the USSR, you will be found ignorantly arrogant, disillusioned and destroyed.
However, if your “Maginot Line” or “Cleft in the Rock” is the Trinitarian God, and you are trusting in Christ alone, then you will be found safe and secure in the end. Oh, battles are surely headed your way. Life in God’s Kingdom is not like a weekend at the Ritz Carlton. But ultimately you will be rescued, saved, and declared victorious, for “A Mighty Fortress is Our God!”
So who are they who are wisely and safely tucked away in the “Cleft of the Rock?” Who are they who are seeking shelter behind Christ’s “Maginot Line?” How can they be recognized? What is the practice of those who truly trust in God’s sovereign care? What are the characteristics of those who are not ignorantly arrogant, disillusioned, and destroyed, but are wisely humble and victorious? They are those people who are found on their knees in prayer, on their feet in prayer, and ending the day on their back in prayer. They are diligent to walk each day after the counsel of God’s Holy Word; therefore they read and meditate upon it regularly. And they are those people who are found gathering with God’s people for worship, education and fellowship before engaging in the cultural war all about them.