Tag Archives: Israelites

Providence of God (Part Two)

In Part One, we concluded that God is Jehovah Jireh. HE is the eternal provider of both spiritual and physical needs of all that HE created. God Loves our obedience and penitence which are part of basic ingredients of man’s relationship with HIM. When man loves God with his body soul and spirit, man will love to praise and worship HIM. These will show in his mercy, grace and compassion that will be freely showered on the people. Proverb 21:1 says “The KIngs heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will. his shows that HE can punish or reward man’s actions. God HAS given His rules and regulations i.e. The Ten Commandments as guide to the children of Israel to be able to obey and worship the true God of Israel so as tobe able to enjoy bountiful providence of God. Contrary wise, He has also made for unleashing negative sanction gross disobedient actions, mainly that of worshipping Baal or any man-made god. Jeremiah 16:1-13. (KJV)

We can also say that providence does depend on man’s input that gives output that is better than the input. Psalm 1: 1-3 is an example of such; “Blessed is the man who worketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in  the seat of scornful. But His delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in his law doth he and in HIS law does He meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth its fruit in his season; his leaf shall not whither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper” (KJV). Jehovah the Almighty, though He knows our needs from time to time and makes provision for them as well but will always frown at us  when man consciously commits sin, the chief of which is when he decides to worship man-made gods, that is what he cannot tolerate. When those who should know refuse to know, God always makes, wicked rulers to first conquer them, enslave them and later use the wicked ruler to restore to their land without paying him a dime for the freedom granted them. Ezra ,the Scribe received such providence for the Israelites.

Prophet Isaiah in chapter 45: 12-13,  the Lord’s warning: “I have the earth, and created man upon it; I even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have i commanded. I have raised him (KIng Cyrus) up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways, he shall my city, and let go my captives . not for a price nor rewards, saith the Lord of Host” (KJV) This was also amply demonstrated in Ezra 7: 1-10, where God impressed it upon the heart of the King to grant Ezra his request to go and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes gave his endorsement to Ezra’s mission. The providence of God came as a result of what the king had noticed in Ezra all along that he was a devoted scribe skilled in te Law of Moses; not only that he studied the laws but also obeyed the laws of the God of Israel. He also had plans to tech the statutes and judgement in Israel.

Providence also involved first seeking, believing and trusting God to bring His blessings that money cannot buy. In Ruth 2: 11-12, we learnt in the statement of Boaz made: “And Boaz answered and said to her, it has fully been showed me, all tat thou has done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thy husband; and how you have left thy father and thy mother and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people thou knowest heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust”. Be it recalled that the Jews despised the Moabites who do not worship the God of Israel. Bible scholars have written that the Moabites were descendants of Lot who was a nephew of Abraham a Jewish Patriarch. Ruth believed in the God of the Israelites. Her trust in Naomi, indicated her trust in Naomi’s God. By divine providence she became a great ancestral grandmother to Jesse and David from whose lineage our Lord Jesus came. Remember, Christ came to save the lost souls and to restore them into God’s kingdom. It is an apt demonstration of the providence of God. The Good News as brought by Jesus Christ is God’s providence designed to reconcile man Jehovah, The Almighty God.

Focusing on God

 Sin blindfolds man from beholding the glory of God

Sin blindfolds man from beholding the glory of God

One walking or driving through any street in a big city needs to stay focused if he or she is to reach desired destination. The reason is that there are many attractions and distractions such that if one loses focus, one is more likely to miss the road leading to ones destination. Driver that has the GPS stands the chance of arriving at his destination easily provided he stays focused all along. The christian GPS is clearly the fruits of the spirit as recorded in the Bible. This reminds us concerning the children of Israel on arrival in the land of Canaan. To a believer, focusing on God demands obedience and depending on HIM in all areas of life. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, they really focused on God and continuously got all they needed without having to pay a dime, Isaiah 55:1(NKJV). It says: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat, Yes, come, buy wine and milk, Without money and without price.”

God knows our needs and invites us to avail ourselves with His gracious provisions. Anyone that loses focus may not benefit from Gods provision. This translates into anytime the children of Israel turns their back against their God they lose woefully if not shamefully in battle. As they stayed focused on God in perfect obedience, the walls of Jericho fell not by being mighty in battle but by obeying and following God’s strategies for winning.  Joshua 7: 1-26 (NKJV) reminds us that after the epic victory over Jericho, Israel could not defeat AI that was known to have “few people”.

Achan son of Carmi from the tribe of Judah had stolen accursed items from the battle of Jericho that was  to be destroyed completely. Joshua was alarmed and asked God, “why?”. In response, God said in verse:11 “Israel has sinned and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have stolen and deceived, and they have also put it among their own stuff, (verse 12) therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction, Neither will I be with you anymore unless you destroy the accursed among you”

The blueprint of focussing on God is traceable to the NINE great attributes of a good christian. Galatian 5: 22-23 as well as in Verse 24 says: “But the fruit of the spirit is love , joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such there is no law…….If we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit” To lose focus on God is to embrace the work of the flesh which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousy, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresy, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like, Galatians 6: 20-21 (NKJV).

Answered Prayers Series # 2

God isn't a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.

God isn’t a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.

Answered prayers are a two-way process of man saying prayers to God in faith and answers being granted by the Almighty God through Christ our savior. Psalm 5: 3 (NKJV) says; “My voice you shall hear in the morning O Lord, in the morning I will direct to you, and I will look up” Also, it is declared in Psalm 3: 4 (NKJV) “I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy place”. The bridge between man and God is FAITH. Even though God specially called Moses to go and ask for the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, yet he needed faith to buttress his absolute obedience to what God instructed him to do from time to time. Moses faithfully trusted God and was full of obedience. His obedience was based on his meekness which God attested to. Therefore, when he prayed for God’s guidance, he was always receiving the required correct answer. The various plagues suffered in Egypt happened consequent upon Moses’ prayer induced God’s punishment on Egypt for suffering the chosen people of God for 430 years.

 

There are so many prayers said that we can say God does not honor. A true believer must take time to consider parent-child relationship concerning the lots of requests made by children and those granted them. Is it not out of parental genuine care that not all requests are granted? Where parents know the bad after-effect of request if granted, they tend to prevent or delay granting the request until an appropriate time. On a greater spiritual level therefore, there is relevance between the love of parents and their children as well as the manner in which God answers our prayers. If parents as mortals do love their children so dearly, how much more about God’s love for mankind that he always considered His children’s prayer for their benefit and never for their destruction.

 

He considers the pros and cons before deciding to grant any prayer, delay the answer or prevent it from manifesting which the supplicant does not know in advance. God is all-knowing and He performs wonders without having to obtain clearance from mankind. For instant, a usurper planning to overthrow the incumbent, when there is God’s divine intervention the secret would leak out. Such would be usurper would get punished and not praised. Therefore the believer who is upright in heart or a person with integrity still needs to be righteous to ensure receiving answers to prayers in the manner in which the Patriarchs, Moses or Hannah prayed and received the right answers. Answered prayers ensured the miraculous release of Peter from King Herod’s prison while preparing to kill him Acts 12: 1-10 (NKJV). God knew the great role Peter was still to play and therefore sent an Angel to secure Peter’s release. This enabled him to lead the Church of Christ and was able to be part of the spreading the gospel.

Non-Carnal Love Series # 34

Non-canal loveObedience and love of God for who He is accentuated the hand of God in ensuring that the children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua rose literally from behind to win the war at Ai. Our sin or acting on our impulse rather than on God’s guidance is disliked by God. Such shows that one has taken Him out of ones life equation. Consider the situation of the Israelites, they depended on God to destroy the city of Jericho. Avarice and love of material things made Israel to incur the wrath of God. They felt it was going to be an easy run-over of Ai because they believed Ai was not populated enough as to be able to give them a tough time. They underrated Ai while unknown to the whole of Israel that Achan had “taken the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel”. This made God to turn aside from Israel. Joshua 7: 1-5 (NKJV)

Joshua inquired and found out the cause of the defeat. He took punitive measure against Achan and his household. God forgave them with a promise of affirmed defeat over Ai. Joshua 7: 10-26 (NKJV). God loves the penitent heart. Israel’s supremacy in battle was restored. Ai fell following Israel’s compliance with the will of God of Israel. To all believers, let it be known that the Lord God Almighty does not accept partial compliance with His divine instructions. He enjoys our total obedience and makes us conquerors in the battle of life. Joshua 8: 1-21 (NKJV). Our obedience is a demonstration of loving God which brings joy to humanity.

 

Non-Carnal Love Series # 21

Non-canal loveIn Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, we learnt about the immeasurable love of father to his son. What makes the love stand out as unique and inimitable is the way the prodigal second son depleted his father’s prosperity while still alive. Rather than investing it for higher returns to his investment, he squandered it all. By the way, only dead person’s property is subject to being inherited. For the father to release part of his wealth is always in the sense of drawing up the will to prevent dying intestate. By implication, the father has limitless resources. On the part of the love the son had for the father, it was just the riches or a non-divine love of the father for who he was.

Let us substitute the “certain man” being the father of the two sons with the Almighty God and see how we have been enjoying His benefits without genuine love for our benefactor. Taking back the lost and found son is God’s act of forgiveness once we show evidence of a broken and contrite heart. In other words, a sinner must show a sense of remorse. However sinful we are, HE (God) is ready to accept us just as we are. Luke 15: 11 – 32.

Non-Carnal Love Series # 14

God’s love is from generation to generation. The trio of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob demonstrated a two-way love cord that connected the three patriarchs to God’s love. It is highly significant in the life of Jacob, later called Israel. He became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. The patriarchs all loved, trusted, worshipped and obeyed God. Even while they, the Israelites were in Egypt for 450 years in bondage, God never forgot his love bond with the lineage of the patriarchs. In his divine love, God saw the afflictions of His people – the Hebrews – and orchestrated their release from bondage. He used Moses, a Hebrew child but brought up as a prince of Egypt in all their arts and culture to effect God’s will. With filial love for the Hebrews he met out instant justice to a wicked Egyptian task-master and became a fugitive in the land of Midian for 40 years.

God commissioned him to go and secure the release of the children of Israel from bondage. In love God took them to the promised land but got rid of the disobedient generation that left Egypt before settling down in the land of Canaan. Armament in war does not ensure victory, rather God’s mysterious hand upon Israel brought down the walls of Jericho – a highly dreaded and fortified city – all because of obedience to the war strategies God gave them. Divine love when sustained conquers fear, defeat and sorrow in the life of man.

Non-Carnal Love Series # 10

Love of Christ is love of God

God holds the world together in love

The pathway to divine love or genuine love, according to man’s standard, can be rugged but whoever endures to the end without opting out midway will be the type of person to enjoy the positive outcome and by the will of God be able to gain eternal life world without end. Ruth, a Moabite who did not belong to any part of the twelve tribes of Israel got married to Naomi’s son. Both husband and the two sons died leaving Naomi as a widow with two daughters-in-law.

Naomi, an Ephraimite of Bethlehem, Judah would have returned all alone to her native land but for the priceless love Ruth had for her as mother-in-law to whom she swore to remain until death separated them. Ruth’s sense of dignity followed her to the land of Judah. As a young widow, she was virtuous in comportment in Boaz’s barley field where Jewish tradition allowed her to glean after the major harvest. Naomi followed the tradition scrupulously to legitimize getting Ruth married to Boaz, one of the next of kin to Elimelech, her dead husband.

God judges the heart and not physical attributes or skin color. HE has no consideration for nationality, religion or physical prowess before exercising his sovereignty. Whoever loves his neighbor as himself without counting the cost loves God and will reward the person accordingly. This was the portion of Ruth,  a heathen from Moab, who became an essential part of Jesus’s lineage from Salmon with Rehab (the harlot as wife) to Boaz to Obed to Jesse and to King David. What a divine grace on Ruth.                 The Book of Ruth Chapters 1 – 4