Taking a knee
Take a knee…can mean a lot of things. While playing high school football, during a tough practice, the coach would give us a break by asking us to ‘take a knee’. When a player on either team in a game goes down with an injury, out of concern and respect, the players individually and as a group ‘take a knee’, with some actually praying for the wounded warrior. Tim Tebow used to quietly ‘take a knee’ before a game for a time of prayer. A great book has been written by Dr. John Tolson entitled, “Take a Knee: Winning Plays for the Game of Life”. The Foreword is by Tony Romo, and a challenge by Roger Staubach. Worth the investment. It was born out of his time as Chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and other teams.
Over the past few years and now most recently, the act of taking a knee has been in defiance of the American flag and the National Anthem by certain athletes. Just this past week, many of our leading politicians have demonstrated this act identifying with a social issue relating to our Black population and the police. It seems to have become more divisive than unifying for our nation.
Biblical examples of “taking a knee”
As I have been reflecting on the act of ‘taking a knee’, I was reminded of several times in the Bible relating to this. Elijah was in a cave running from his enemies. He told God that he was alone in his service to him. The Lord gave instructions and told him this. “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (I Kings 19.18).
Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and was made second only to Pharaoh in power. God had blessed him mightily to accomplish the salvation of Israel. And he (Pharaoh) made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Then he set him over all the land of Egypt. (Gen. 41.43)
As recorded in Ephesians, Paul was confronted by the Lord, explaining the mystery of the gospel and the reason for his tribulations, encouraging him to not lose heart. Paul’s response was classic. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Vs. 3.14,15). He was praying for and encouraging his followers to be in humble submission to the gospel.
The Day of Days
‘Bowing the knee’ is a reverent demonstration of humility, honor or worship. Before kings and earthly rulers, it was/is common practice. But the ultimate act is yet to come. It is being saved for the Day of Days. “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also 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. 2.8-11).
Every person who has ever lived, and I suppose the angels, will that day, take a knee. Jesus is the only one who has ever lived that deserves this reverence. What a joyous, and for many, an equally frightening day that will be. It will include athletes, politicians, theologians, missionaries, all races, saved and unsaved. Everybody!!!
My feeling is, if we’re gonna ‘take a knee’ here on earth, let’s do it for a godly purpose and worship of the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is coming back; his name is Faithful and True. And he won’t be in the second chariot!!