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  • Sars and Wars
    Friday, 28 March 2003 @ 01:46 PM SGT
    Contributed by: Gatekeeper
    Views:: 3,155
    Shema By Joshua Ong

    We are now living in times of the four terrors; namely wars, famines, diseases and plagues.

    Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever would. For no curse is without a cause.

    Israel would always serve as our excellent example. Their history and story will teach us to wise up and walk humbly with God.


    God Himself proclaims blessings to Israel when they walk in obedience, otherwise curses await them. In fact, Israel was punished double for their sins (Isaiah 40:2). They were required not just to know Godís laws but also to keep them.

    The original intent of these great and godly laws given by the Sovereign LORD are meant to protect them from sins, and not to punish them. And like Adam, they went over to the other side of Godís laws, they chose to disobey, and therefore incurred punishment instead of protection. They transgressed against the very laws they knew and kept. For that reason, they received double punishment.

    To be Godís people isnít all about His grace alone. That is only one side of the coin. The other side is His glory. We have to live in both His grace and His glory! Amazingly, within His grace is His glory and within His glory is His grace. They are inseparably intertwined. If we only understand the meaning of the glory of His grace, we would not contemplate to degrade it.

    Grace though free is not cheap. The life Jesus offered to us is the very life He offered up for us. It costs us nothing but it could Him everything! Too much grace is disgrace like a spoilt child without proper conduct and character. God is both the righteous Lion and the merciful Lamb; both the loving Father and the just King.

    In Ezekiel 14:19-23 (TLB), God said:

    1. "And if I pour out my fury by sending an epidemic of disease into the land, and the plague kills man and beast alike,
    2. though Noah, Daniel, and Job were living there, the Lord God says that only they would be saved because of their righteousness."
    3. And the Lord says: "Four great punishments await Jerusalem to destroy all life: war, famine, ferocious beasts , plague.
    4. If there are survivors and they come here to join you as exiles in Babylon, you will see with your own eyes how wicked they are, and you will know it was right for me to destroy Jerusalem.
    5. You will agree, when you meet them, that it is not without cause that all these things are being done to Israel."

    Being Who He is, a just God, He punishes His children first before He punishes others. In 1 Peter 4:17-19 (TLB), we have this admonition from Apostle Paul:

    1. For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin first among God's own children. And if even we who are Christians must be judged, what terrible fate awaits those who have never believed in the Lord?
    2. If the righteous are barely saved, what chance will the godless have?
    3. So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God Who made you, for He will never fail you.

    Does His judgment spell the end? Of course not! Just look at Israel...


    Sars & Wars Episode II: The Return Of The Prodigal

    King Solomon prayed a prayer in I Kings 8:33-40 (TLB) which may give us a clue and an answer to the famines, wars, diseases and plagues we are encountering in our world today:

    1. "And when Your people sin and their enemies defeat them, hear them from heaven and forgive them if they turn to You again and confess that You are their God.
    2. Bring them back again to this land which You have given to their fathers.
    3. "And when the skies are shut up and there is no rain because of their sin, hear them from heaven and forgive them when they pray toward this place and confess Your name.
    4. And after You have punished them, help them to follow the good ways in which they should walk, and send rain upon the land that You have given Your people.
    5. "If there is a famine in the land caused by plant disease or locusts or caterpillars, or if Israel's enemies besiege one of her cities, or if the people are struck by an epidemic or plague-- or whatever the problem is--
    6. then when the people realize their sin and pray toward this Temple,
    7. hear them from heaven and forgive and answer all who have made an honest confession; for You know each heart.
    8. In this way they will always learn to reverence You as they continue to live in this land that You have given their fathers.

    One night the Lord appeared to Solomon and told him (2 Chr 7:12-22;TLB):

    1. "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place where I want you to sacrifice to Me.
    2. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust swarms to eat up all of your crops, or if I send an epidemic among you,
    3. then if My people will humble themselves and pray, and search for Me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.
    4. I will listen, wide awake, to every prayer made in this place.
    5. For I have chosen this Temple and sanctified it to be My home forever; My eyes and My heart shall always be here.
    6. "As for yourself, if you follow Me as your father David did,
    7. then I will see to it that you and your descendants will always be the kings of Israel;
    8. but if you don't follow Me, if you refuse the laws I have given you and worship idols,
    9. then I will destroy My people from this land of Mine that I have given them, and this Temple shall be destroyed even though I have sanctified it for Myself. Instead, I will make it a public horror and disgrace.
    10. Instead of its being famous, all who pass by will be incredulous. "'Why has the Lord done such a terrible thing to this land and to this Temple?' they will ask.
    11. "And the answer will be, 'Because His people abandoned the Lord God of their fathers, the God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead. That is why He has done all this to them.'"

    The only antidote against the four terrors is now in our hands, in four dosages:

    • humble ourselves
    • pray
    • seek His face
    • turn from our wicked ways

    Then God will hear us!


    Sars & Wars Episode III: The Care of The Angels

    In the midst of Sars and Wars, we have these promises of Godís protection in Psalm 91 (Todayís English Version). The only condition is abiding in His Presence and therein is His Protection.

    Only those who ascend His holy mountain will abide and stand in these troubled times. Only clean hands and pure hearts are allowed entry.

    1. Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,
    2. can say to Him, "You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in You I trust."
    3. He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.
    4. He will cover you with His wings; you will be safe in His care; His faithfulness will protect and defend you.
    5. You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day
    6. or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight.
    7. A thousand may fall dead beside you, ten thousand all around you, but you will not be harmed.
    8. You will look and see how the wicked are punished.
    9. You have made the LORD your defender, the Most High your protector,
    10. and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home.
    11. God will put His angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go.
    12. They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones.
    13. You will trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes.
    14. God says, "I will save those who love Me and will protect those who acknowledge Me as LORD.
    15. When they call to Me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honour them.
    16. I will reward them with long life; I will save them."


       


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