Be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:11-13 says:
“Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
Thanks be to God for His faithfulness and grace of His Word for a divine revelation which I received in prayer through Jeremiah 22:1-9. It is a warning for the times in which we are living in now and which are ahead of us. We need to know we are in a battle against darkness and the evil schemes of Satan, who is constantly trying to distract us, tempt us, terrorise us, instil fear in us and sow seeds of deception in us, as we each day, draw nearer to God.
The Lord is our Fountain of life, through whom we may escape the snares of death. Proverbs 14:26 reads, “In the fear of Jehovah is strong hope, and His sons shall have a place of refuge.” Let us not be intimidated by the one who had already been defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, but press on closer to the victory and glory of God which awaits us. The Holy Spirit reminds us not to be complacent, but to remain vigilant in unwavering faith, obedience, perseverance and in the fear of the Lord. Know and remember that greater is He who dwells in us than the one who is in the world! And yes, in the fear of Jehovah is strong hope, and His sons shall always have a place of refuge.
For mankind, it is wisdom to give all our diligence to ensuring our privilege of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We should not look on any earthly things, as being worthy to be compared with it, nor content with anything short of it. As Jesus advises us in Matthew 6:19-21,
“Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But layup treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.“
Further, in Matthew 6:24, Jesus made it very clear to us that:
“No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Paul described the perils of loving money and encouraged us in 1Timothy 6:11-12 that
“godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out. But having food and clothing, we will be content. But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, to which you are also called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
But at the same time, the Lord Jesus did not want us to worry and talked to us about our most basic and fundamental human needs, assuring us in Matthew 6:31-33,
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? For the nations seek after all these things . For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”
Paul also confirmed the teachings of Jesus, not just for his own times but for ours too, as he taught us all in Romans 12:2 saying,
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.”
Much clearer to us now in 2011, we can see with our own eyes, that many precious people are already suffering from the imminent threats of economic crises in both Europe and the USA; both growing and both very real situations. The signs are now all around, that these will have a domino effect, resulting in a total and complete global financial crisis.
The civil unrests which have broken out in North Africa and the Middle East have afflicted many; many towns and homes are destroyed; lives and possessions lost; people scattered. The downfall of governments and national leaders of several nations and the consequential changes of guard have brought much uncertainty to the peoples of nations concerned. The inhabitants, especially the Christian inhabitants in these countries and region have been robbed of peace.
Land and sea disasters – tsunamis, earthquakes, deadly storms and floods have destroyed and devastated many people in countries affected. Wars and threats of war between countries have added more to the sufferings of its people.
The signs of God’s universal judgement upon the nations, its leaders and the people appears to have suddenly come alive, just as the Lord warned in Scripture. For in Amos 9:8-10 we read:
“Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground, except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. “For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’
I believe we will continue to endure greater tests in the times ahead, well into the year 2012 and beyond, which will shift the geo-political and economic climate of the world. However, when we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will help us overcome each hurdle in our life, no matter our circumstances or the times and seasons in which we live. According to the counsel of His will and purpose, our compassionate and supreme God will lead us to victory and His glory.
In Jeremiah 22:1-9, God warned the King of Judah against injustice, and the violent oppression of the weak, the poor and defenceless. The prophet Jeremiah was ordered by God to convey His message to the King of Judah:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself,’ declares the LORD, ‘that this house shall become a desolation.’ For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: ‘You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city. I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire.’ And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbour, ‘Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?’ And they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”
God executes righteousness and judgement, not only for His own people, but for all who are oppressed. He humbles the proud and helps the weak. He will not allow His people to suffer silently in the hands of evil and unrighteous Kings, governments, leaders and oppressors. In His perfect time and purpose, all will be judged for their actions, both good and evil. Therefore, let us all honour Him as we are called to be faithful – to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.
In Psalm 9, King David praised God for His divine justice. Verses 7-9 read: “But Jehovah shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgement. And He shall judge the world in righteousness; He shall judge the peoples in uprightness. Jehovah also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Further, David moved into prayer in vv15-18 and said, “Those other nations have fallen into the pit they dug to catch others. They have been caught in their own trap. The LORD showed that he judges fairly. The wicked were caught by what they did to hurt others. The wicked will go to the place of death, as will all the nations that forget God. It may seem that those who are poor and needy have been forgotten, but God will not forget them. He will not leave them without hope.” Jehovah takes pleasure in those who fear Him, those who hope in His mercy.
Let us seek God earnestly and yield to the moving of the Holy Spirit who will help us and strengthen us in the face of the challenges ahead. In faith, let us also lift up eyes to God and raise our leaders and nation to the Lord for His mercy and forgiveness; for His anointing, wisdom and favour; and for His counsel and guidance; that our leaders will uphold justice and that they will lead and rule in righteousness and in love. May our leaders and all those holding high offices and authority in our nation, our government, our society, our commerce and industry, our community, our workplace, and including our church, turn to our eternal God alone and turn away from all evil! Let us pray to God for open heavens over our nation as we cry out to the Lord for His grace, for His salvation and for His mercy.
In closing, let us remember the words of First Peter 1:3-9 in our prayer to God:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this we rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, we have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of our faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though we have not seen him, we love him. Though we do not now see Him, we believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls.”
Amen and Amen!