Spiritual Truths

The Obscurest Believer

Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

John Wesley Commentary comments on this verse:  See that ye despise not one of these little ones – As if they were beneath your notice.  Be careful to receive and not to offend, the very weakest believer in Christ: for as inconsiderable as some of these may appear to thee, the very angels of God have a peculiar charge over them: even those of the highest order, who continually appear at the throne of the Most High.”

Barnes NT Commentary says:  “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones,” etc. That is, one who has become like little children – or, a Christian. Jesus then proceeds to state the reason why we should not despise his feeblest and obscurest follower. That reason is drawn from the care which God exercises over them. The first instance of that care is, that in heaven their angels do always behold his face. He does not mean, I suppose, to state that every good man has his guardian angel, as many of the Jews believed; but that the angels were, in general, the guards of his followers, and aided them, and watched over them (Heb 1:14). 
“Do always behold the face of my Father,” etc. This is taken from the practice of earthly courts. To be admitted to the presence of a king; to be permitted to see his face continually; to have free access at all times, was deemed a mark of peculiar favour, (1Kings 10:8; Es 1:14) and was esteemed a security for his protection. So, says our Saviour, we should not despise the obscurest Christians, for they are ministered to by the highest and noblest of beings; beings who are always enjoying the favour and friendship of God.

C.H. Spurgeon’s Commentary on Matthew says:  Those who are servants to poor saints and little children are allowed free entrance to the King: what must he think of his little ones themselves? Nay, this is not all. Jesus himself cares for the poorest and neediest. Yes, he came to save that which was lost. How dare we then be proud, and despise a child because of its youth, or a man because of his poverty, or his want of intelligence? The angels and the angels’ Lord care for the most despised of our race; shall not we?

Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Can You Be Counted On?

In June, Pastor Ron used Timothy and Epaphroditus as examples of servants who could be counted on. (Philippians 2:19 – 3o)  Use this list to evaluate yourself in the area of Christian service.

The signs of a faithful servant:

1) Have a natural care for other believers.

2) Have a genuine selfless care for the cause of Christ (2:4 & 5).

3) Develop/have a tested proven track record of faithful service.

4) Have a willingness to partner with others in ministry.

5) Have a willingness to stand in the gap.

If you have all the attributes of a faithful servant, what type of a worker are you?

Four Types of Workers

1) A worker that someone has to go find to work

2) A worker that someone has to tell what to do

3) A worker that comes and asks what needs to be done

4) A worker that sees something that needs to be done and goes and does it

Which type are YOU?

Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Brow Beating Believers

The path I have chosen with God’s direction has been enlightening. I have learned many things, especially the past few years. After 20+ years of dealing with “interesting children,” I’ve seen my share and then some of children tied up in a world of sinfulness. Not only have they sinned in record measures, but they have been sinned against in ways that would cause even the most experienced sinner to blush. I’m talking about the kids who were adopted out of families that did not regard them as precious jewels the way Christ does. They were broken as small children and grew up with that reflected in their behavior and thought processes. Nearly all of my children who were violated as small children by their birth families have fallen into great vast pits upon leaving our home and striking out on their own. Yes, you can sit back and judge them – or you can have great compassion for a fellow human being who experienced the worst the world has to offer and is trying to make sense of it. Sure, they could have leaned on the One who created them and could have trusted and obeyed Him, but for some reason their view was so darkened they were not able to look up at the light at that point in their lives. It is not for me to judge, though I have tried to reason the “why” of it all.

We tried to make up for all the “bad stuff” that they had experienced prior to coming into our home. It was certainly our intention to do so, but for some reason we were not enough. We gave them a safe home that had proper education, both spiritually and mentally, love and concern along with the discipline to train them in the right way to live. Did it “take?” No, not for the ones who were resistant to such things. But it was planted in their heads. That’s the key.  We’re beginning to see that for some of them, when the time is right and they’ve discovered that the world has nothing for them, they know where to look when they decide to seek God and all He has for them.

It’s obvious to everyone what a parent’s stand ought to be in the midst of their children’s life’s journey. They support the good decisions and don’t support the bad ones. They seek the best for the child. When sinned against, they are to be willing to forgive if the child is genuinely repentant. That doesn’t mean the parents have to support them when they aren’t living right, but they pray for them and give godly advice when asked. They don’t brow beat them or slander their name. They sit quietly by and wait for the child to see the light and welcome them back when they do. They do their best to advise them and try to teach them to keep their paths straight. If the child gets off the right path, the parent does not go off with them. They continue on, waiting for their child to return. If the child is living at home, the parent is to grab them and put them back on the right path in any way God directs them to do so. I’ve told my adult children that they have the right to choose whatever path they want to walk down, but to not expect me to go down with them, for I too have a responsibility to walk with God in the way He directs me.

But what is the responsibility of those who are not family, those who the child has sinned against? If they are believers, then their responsibility is the same. The only exception is deferring to the parent for discipline. Compassion ought to rule. We are in God’s family. Too often I have seen my children offend or sin against another believer and receive the same amount of offence right back. If we consider ourselves mature believers, then we ought to return love and compassion, not seek to “make them pay.”  We ought to consider what is the best for that child, not recompense for our offended pride. Brow beating someone into submission out of our so called spiritual standing as authority is not love. The desire to capitalize on their sin is as bad as the original sin we were considering. It is prideful arrogance – showing we care more for our hurt feelings than the offender’s welfare and spiritual needs. To not offer forgiveness and reconcilliation when there has been repentance is to curse the love of God. If the love of God dwells in us, we will love others. If it does not, we will allow our selfish desires to walk all over those we consider less than us. It is then at that point that we become the offender and turn God’s attention off the sinner and on to ourselves. That is not a place I would ever want to be.

John 8:7  “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” 

Galatians 6:1  “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Musings Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

What is Involved in Forgiveness?

We were greeted recently by a young man who at one time was sinned against by some of our children. He was smiling as he shook our hand! To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by his genuine friendliness. This young man is living his Christianity. This young man was showing the love of Christ by exhibiting genuine forgiveness.

Does “forgive” mean that we no longer hold a grudge or think ill of a person? Does it mean we say, “OK” then turn around and punish them to make ourselves feel better? Is it our responsibility as the offended to make sure they learn from their mistake? Or does it mean that we have compassion on the one who sinned against us and are willing to show mercy to them and help them become more faithful Christians?  Here is a Biblical account of what genuine forgiveness is and what God expects of believers. My comments about the verses are in red:

Matthew 18:21 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. (Please note here that the debtor just asked for an extension, but the king chose to forgive the debt completely. Notice also that the king did not punish the debtor. The king is a type of Christ – an example of heart felt forgiveness born out of compassion.)

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  (This man not only denied an extension, but he also punished the debtor. Though done in a lawful way, he sought revenge for being sinned against.)

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. (This is the result of a unloving and unforgiving attitude. It affects more than just the two involved.) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (This is a very scary position to be in!)

If we really forgive, I believe it will show in our treatment of the one we have forgiven. I’m not saying they become our best friend or we approve of what they did or that we need to ignore the circumstances. But I am saying that true forgiveness comes when the offender repents of their offense, makes it right, and asks the offended to forgive them. They in turn provide the forgiveness that completes the process of reconcilliation. Forgiveness should bring reconcilliation. After all, when we sinned against God and asked forgiveness, He faithfully granted the forgiveness and opened the gate of Heaven for us. We are reconciled with the Father. There is nothing between us and we can fellowship without resentment or guilt.

Have you ever offended someone, asked forgiveness, but then felt very uncomfortable when you saw them next? Or has someone sinned against you and you avoid them or turn the cold shoulder when  you see them? Do you know of someone who has sinned against someone you know and care about and then you have a hard time looking at them in the eye or feel the need to shun them (or their family members) when you see them in a crowd? Do you have trouble greeting them or someone in their family when you see them next? If you are the offender and you have asked forgiveness, do you feel uncomfortable when you see them next, even though they have said they forgive you? If any of the above is true, then the process of true forgiveness has not been completed.

For you see, having adopted as many special needs kids as we have, we’ve had our “share of shunnings.” Even though we are known for being very strict parents, following through and taking care of each offence when one or more of our kids have sinned against someone, we have often been treated as if we were the offenders, and our kids are “marked off their list” of valued people. When those same kids realize this, more problems come along because they will react to being considered less than worthy of others’ love and friendship. I’ve seen this over and over in my family. When these kids come into adolescence (which by the way lasts way longer than the average kid), in their limited reasoning, they feel they have a right to retaliate because they’ve pent up so much anger. They are angry about their past, present and future.  That’s why you see so many kids get into trouble with the law and make seriously bad choices. They are punishing the world for how they are received – which ultimately turns around and punishes them. It’s the way of the world – a perpetual circle of sin.

I honestly don’t think this is what God intended for His people. After all, He has forgiven all of us who claim the name of Christ, ought we not extend the same complete forgiveness to those who wish to be forgiven? Should not the Christian realm be different from the world?  Besides, if families are willing to step out and take in the children who are considered unwanted in this world, should they not have the support of fellow Christians? If anyone takes in children who have suffered at the hand of this world, there will be serious problems as a result of that decision. If these children are adopted by Christians, ought they not be received as we were received of God at salvation – forgiven and loved?

I would say about 50% of Christians in our world have exhibited this type of forgiveness to our “interesting'” children. The other 50% apparently think they are perfect and don’t feel the need to forgive others. They carry around an obvious disdain for our family because sin has been so very rampant in many of our children – dispite our teaching, training and admonitions to them.  I am hoping the love of the first, forgiving group of Christians, can overcome the bitterness that has been stirred in the hearts of our children by the second, unforgiving group. Considering the weaknesses and fragile emotional state of my kids, I highly doubt it will.  We are all held accountable – the sinner and the one who was sinned against. We can’t expect God to forgive us completely and then turn around and not extend that forgiveness to others. Unfortunately, some of our children have found the world to be much more forgiving than fellow Christians. Why do you think this is so?

Luke 7:41 “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”

Missions Spiritual Truths

Are You in Bootcamp?

I’ve been receiving edevotions from Christian Womanhood and ran across one that made me think. You can sign up here if you’re interested in receiving them. Today’s devotion compared the Christian life with bootcamp. Here’s an excerpt:

“He loves us enough to stretch us farther than we think we can grow in wisdom and knowledge, grace and truth. He tests us each and every day, revealing our weaknesses, challenging our decision to live for Christ, testing our sincerity.

 He does all of this out of love, knowing that “…our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17).  He wants us to graduate from boot camp as mature, confident soldiers, able to stand before the Lord at the Judgment Seat and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:23b).
My neighbor knew for a long time that he wanted to be in the Army. He knew when he signed up that boot camp was not going to be fun. He anticipated the fact that the officers were going to be very tough and that life was going to be difficult for a while. He knew all of this, yet he looked forward to joining the Army. He wanted to be a soldier.  If you are serious about serving God, you will pay a price to serve Him. Just like boot camp separates the men from the boys, Jesus Christ will bring trials into your life to make sure you really, really, want to be used by Him.”
She went on to say that by choice we are in God’s army and that our trials here on Earth are a sort of bootcamp that prepare us for our service to our Lord in Heaven. Not many make the choice, but the ones that do, stand out as true servants of God. As I look back on the past 20+ years, I see many hard times that some have said we “brought on ourselves.” I guess I have to agree with them. We did bring it on ourselves – by enlisting in God’s army and following our High Commander’s orders. If my son, who’s going to Afghanistan, experiences battle and is injured, would you say to him, “He brought it on himself?” Of course not! You will honor him as someone who put himself in harm’s way for the good of his country. He will have counted the cost. Our personal cost was great in our service for our King, but they were worth it – He was worth it. We didn’t know how much pain and heartache we’d encounter in His service when we signed up, but that doesn’t negate our offering to the One who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. What are you doing that shows you enlisted in His army?  James 2:18 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
Notable Acts Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Chiastic Structure Isn’t Just in Literature

Occasionally I run into truly amazing people. You know, the ones who just jump out at you as being above and beyond – a person who is truly like Christ. Often we accept as normal the disloyal, unkind behavior of those around us – whether Christian or not. We excuse it as, “Well, they’re having a hard day,” or “You just need to ignore her, she’s always been like that.” While I do believe we need to cut people slack and be forgiving in difficult situations, I think we have turned into a mamby pamby type of Christianity where we can’t tell a difference between the Christian and someone who is lost.

This past 7 weeks has been extremely hard for our family. We’re encountering the same type of attacks on our family from Satan that we’ve seen before. It’s been a no-holds barred type of attack on our children. The other time we experienced the same type of length and intensity was just a few years ago. It was so bad for our family that we ended up leaving the ministry. Of course we’ll not let him win, for we fully intend to re-enter the ministry in the future – after we’ve recovered, but I also know that Satan is alive and well and doing his best to damage families whom he feels is a threat to his agenda. Though he’ll never win the war, he’s doing a pretty good job at trumping the Christians in his little skirmishes. Of course it doesn’t feel like little skirmishes to the Christians who are in the midst of them, but to God they are little and of no consequence because He can take them and turn them over – for His glory and our good. This time I am seeing the attacks differently because I know his agenda from my prior experiences. Apparently he’s extremely threatened by our family and wishes to “take us out.” But I know God is greater than him and will work all this out and give us victory just like he did Daniel, Joseph, Moses, and all the other Bible heroes set up as examples for us. I have learned amazing things about myself and others these past 7 weeks that I would never have learned any other way. I learned more about God and have seen the true worth of many around me – and found some true abiding in the faith believers that I didn’t know were there. It’s been a truly amazing experience – amazingly painful and amazingly enlightening.

I’ve been studying Esther in my ladies’ Bible study (Beth Moore) and have found myself to be living her story. I’m expecting God to do something great through our family – even in the midst of extreme pain and trial where I can’t see Him doing anything miraculous outwardly, but I am seeing miraculous things being done by his people on our behalf. It’s like the chiastic structure that we see in literature. Chiastic structure is a literary term for inverted parallelism. Here’s an example: We don’t live to eat, we eat to live. You take the Greek letter “chi” and it’s an “X.” Put the word live at the left top of the “”X and eat at the right top of the “X.” We should not live to eat, rather, we eat to live. Put the word eat at the bottom left of the “X” and the word live at the bottom right of the “X.” There you have a mirror image (the bottom of the X) only inverted (or switched). The statement “we live to eat” is not a proper statement – we should only have the attitude of “we eat to live.” That is chiastic structure. Here’s another one: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” ~ John F. Kennedy. You take that statement and invert it (inverted parallelism) and it becomes a noble statement rather than a selfish one. Esther is riddled with chiastic structure. God used the greed, pride and corrupted beliefs of a vile man and turned them around to do His will – But he didn’t just wave His hand and make it so, He chose simple, inexperienced believers to save his people – people who love Him enough to risk their own lives to help others.

That is what I am asking God to do for our family. I am asking Him to take our circumstances brought on by sin and to reverse them to bring Him glory and my family’s good. He can do it. He did it for Esther and He will do it for me. I have a Haman and a King, along with a Mordecai and Esther in my story – and God will work through them all to bring us victory. I even have a Hatach! I need a peripety – a sudden change of events that reverse the expected or intended outcome. God is a great God and can take any situation and change it around. He did it for us Wednesday of this week already. We found two men, Jimmie and Jeff, men who we never met before, to bring us our needed peripety (sudden change of events) for one of our sons. These are true men of God. They heard our cry and met our needs – sight unseen. They didn’t know us, but they knew God and that was all that mattered. They are true Christians who let God work a miracle through them. They went out of their way and helped another believer. Wow. That’s pretty amazing. The impact of God’s love freely received by a believer can change another person’s life. I know it has mine.

So, now I’m lookin’ for another miracle because my family needs one. I just don’t know by whom or how it will happen. All I need to do is live my faith and God will take care of the rest.

Spiritual Truths

God Will Take Care of It

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.

This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”     Isaiah 54:10-17

Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

My Awesome Unseen God

This spiritual journey that God has sent me on isn’t like all the others. In the past, He’d been gracious enough to just give me one major crisis at a time. When looking back through the past 25 or so years, I can distinctly remember thinking that I was grateful that God allowed one serious trial to stop before another came. Because we had adopted many special needs children, we lived from crisis to crisis all those years. It’s only been the last six months that that has lessened and we’ve actually enjoyed several months in a row without incident – until recently.

From Scripture, I know that God never gives us more than we can handle – part of the reason for this is that He knows our spiritual state and can gauge our ability to handle things, and part of it has to do with His ability to sustain us as believers. So, based on that, I know that He must think I can handle more than I have in the past – and apparently all at once. Added in is the agony I feel when I see my husband go through the trials too. Usually one of us is “up” when the other is “down.” It’s as if God is stripping us of all we have in order to rebuild us into something better. Having the book of Job and Esther has helped me endure. I’m sure Job, just like me, feared going to his door each time bad news knocked.  You get to the point where you say, “OK, what else can go wrong?” Well, we’re to that point. Daily we get news that stirs the pot of discouragement more. We step to the right think we got an answer only for it to change the next day. So we step to the the left and knock on another door to no avail. There’s got to be a window somewhere that God can open! I just know it!

I know that we shouldn’t get too discouraged when things don’t go right, it just means that God either has another path for us to take or the timing isn’t right. Maybe God has some things to put in place before we accomplish what we set out to do. Like the book of Esther, we can’t seem to find God anywhere. We don’t see Him stepping in and managing things like we normally do. That’s not to say He’s not there, for we know He is. But it just means He’s stepped back and watching things play out. This is definitely not a parting of the Red Sea event. It’s more like in the book of Esther where He guides and directs us to accomplish His will. There is a lot of responsibility to do so on our part. We need to make sure our faith and ability to hear Him are up to par. We need to listen to that still small voice directing us as if we were His puppet. In this instance, we need to be like His puppet, we must allow Him to completely work the strings to our hands, feet and mouth. It’s not easy for us to put ourselves in that position – we do tend to want to do things with our own abilities and wisdom. But especially when the stakes are high, like they are now, we need to be completely turned over the the Spirit’s leading. Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering around in the dark. I know God is there but can’t see how it’s going to work out for His glory and our best.

Yet, even wondering how it will all work out, I have to trust Him. What other choice do I have? So, I sit here wondering what’s next and how I’m going to handle one more rock in the road. A long time ago I realized I care way more deeply about situations and events than most people and I am much more proactive than the average person. I’m a fixer. If I have nothing to fix, I am very content to just enjoy life. But if there’s something that needs fixing, I’m very impatient with other people and expect them to diligently follow things through to the end. It is very frustrating for me to have my future or my family’s future in someone else’s hands. I can’t fix them, but God can. I just need to be content to let God handle it – He does it so much better than I do!

Here’s the moral to the story that has not finished playing out in my life. No matter what others do, God will always manage my life for His own glory and my good if I follow Him and trust Him to direct my ways. I may not see Him or feel Him in the midst of trial, but I know He’s there. Some day I will be able to look back and tell you how God worked it all out, but for the moment, I have to just sit and wait and realize He is able. Perhaps I might even be able to do that patiently.

Spiritual Truths

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Don’t Go to Egypt

Wow. Pastor Ron did it again. His messages are to me very obviously spoken directly from God’s mouth to my ear. I feel like God is remaking me into someone from whom He’ll one day ask something big. It is as if I’m in the refining fire – and boy is it hot! He’s calling up one by one those truths in my life that I have already tucked away and is making them real – so real that I’m feeling pulled inside out! All I can say is I hope I live through it. This valley is riddled with rocks. Behind every tree is a dangerous beast that threatens my family. Under every rock is a snake ready to strike. I feel like a weary traveler in a Pilgrim’s Progress type of story. If I hadn’t already read the last page, I’d feel as though my very soul was in peril. Yet, His assurance is as real as the pain that threatens to take me over.

Above me I see clouds ready to burst like the call of impending doom. I see moving shadows all around that are the embodiment of an eerie, supernatural threat. As in the book of Esther, God is here, but I can’t see Him. He has stepped aside to give way to His faithful servants. He has set the burden of His will on the shoulders of fallible, yet Spirit-filled believers. It’s no trial to trust the One true God, but it is tenuous to say the least to trust fallible man, actual human flesh to do His perfect will even if God Himself directed it this time to be so. It is a new road that He takes me on. Hopefully my faith is up for the journey.

Here are the verses – the living Word that the world so easily casts aside.

Jeremiah 42:1-12  “Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, ‘Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.’

 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, ‘I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.’

 Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.’

And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah. Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, And said unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.'”

Though the people who brought this petition did right in the beginning by asking the Lord to judge and guide, they ended up going into Egypt rather than staying put like God told them to. It proved to be a big mistake on their part to seek the help of the world when God was so very present and able. I borrow from another story to end – the story of David and God’s judgment for his sin. God gave his three choices as chastisement for his sin and this is what David decided:

1Chron. 21:8-13 “And David said unto God, ‘I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’ And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying,  ‘Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.’ 

So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, ‘Choose thee either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.’

And David said unto Gad, ‘I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.'”

We should never go to the world for solutions to our problems. It will hurt the cause of Christ. Nor should we rely on human reasoning to deal with our problems or sin in our life or others. We need to always go to God. He is able. The world is not. Satan is the prince and power of this world, and those in the world is not worthy to entrust the advancement of the cause of Christ. Our goal ought to always be to glorify God and bring others to Him. If what we are doing does not fulfill those two objectives, then we are not following the example of Scripture and we will be a liability to His kingdom.

Heb 10:30,31 “For we know him that hath said, ‘Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'”   Even so, I choose God’s hands over the world’s. For like David said, “Great are His mercies.”