It’s not that the continued bizarre behaviour of #DONALDTRUMP ….leaving VP Mike Pence out of the loop, and his now infamous press conference…. didn’t catch my attention this week.
Nor the continued acts of egregious wickedness resulting in murder in Jamaica and the spread of #fakenews on social media!
Nor the death after a long struggle with illness of a dear childhood friend.
But when the Lord sends His Powerful Word, ” which sustains all things….speaking about Christ in Hebrews 1:3…..that Word trumps everything else.
THE WORD OF GOD IN CONTEXT
The children of Israel were in desperate straits. God had ‘ hardened Pharaoh’s mind’, and so with his powerful army he chased down God’s people who seemed to be in ‘ chaos and confusion ‘ by The Red Sea. Pretty much according to a script written by Trump’s right hand man, Steve Bannon. Alternative facts were about to replace reality, and not even Vice President Pence was ” in the loop”.
Or in the Jamaican context. Evil hovered mightily over the place. Girls were about to be abducted, raped and killed by wicked taxi men. Rampaging gunmen were about to kill everybody in sight…..even dog and puss.
So the once oppressed people, who had been rescued by mighty acts by God, became afraid. And ‘ longed for the security of slavery in Egypt’! Less they perish in this ‘ god forsaken’ wilderness at the hands of Pharoah. Read the account in Exodus 14 through the ‘ lens’, of your 21st century eyes and see if , Jamaica and The USA, both countries which owe their freedom to the Living God, do not ‘appear in the text’.
Together with the whole world which has been rescued from Sin and Death….and slavery, and war, and pestilence, and drought, and Tsunamis, and genocide, and wanton immorality, and injustice…..by the hand of The Living God. From the days of Noah to the Cross of Calvary. From the rampaging Muslim armies in early European history to Freedom from Apartheid in South Africa. From The Killing Fields of Pol Pot’s Cambodia to Peace between Hutus and and Tutsis in Rwanda.
But God had a plan. ‘ I will gain glory for myself……and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord’. A blueprint for the relationship between sinful and what Satan would like us to believe ‘ God forsaken humanity’.
Which is why rather than trusting in God in the midst of ” Tribal War inna a Babylon ” … Bob Marley, we’ve decided to ‘ go back to Egypt….to our own devices…..in our struggles against evil or #MurderinJamaica and the phenomenon of #DonaldTrumpallmexicansarerapists
And so the Eternal Word of God, from across the ages reminds us, in one of the most dramatic scenes in all of Scripture, of The Power and the Intent and the mercy of The Living God.
” Moses answered the people. ‘ Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.”. 14:14-14.
And as they say, ‘ The rest is history’.
So when we are confronted by an even greater act of mercy, Christ’s death on Calvary ‘…..for the sins of all mankind’ and yet yearn to ‘ go back to Egypt ‘ in the face of danger, or to enjoy the flesh pots, ought we not to be heart broken with remorse. A challenge which I was to led to write about on Facebook this week.
Experimentally the meaning of life is to attain the excellency of a broken heart, for that alone entails repentance and acceptance, the two great poles of the Bible revelation.
” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ” ( Ps. 51:17) why, – we don’t know, but God has made it so. The one thing we are after is to avoid getting a broken heart – Oswald Chambers ” The Base Impulse ”
I don’t think I have ever understood the need of the human heart for Christ’s healing love and mercy explained as profoundly as this. Deserves a ” Grammy Award”, especially on a night like this. Especially doing ministry ‘ in a time such as this ‘ #MurderinJamaica.
Comment: A time for serious introspection. How deeply do we grieve for our own sins, and for the sins of the nation? Are we really ‘ brokenhearted ‘ before a merciful and Holy God? Or are we just angry and determined to do better and ‘ right every wrong’. Stop the violence. Make men understand that women are not to be ‘ objectified’, not to be seen merely as ‘ sex objects’, nor as chattel to be ‘ owned’. Get more involved. Join the March. Wear black. All good thoughts.
However Oswald Chambers suggests that in the face of the reality of a compassionate God, who in Christ died on Calvary for our sins, repentance and a crying to God for mercy, is a much better way to rescue our beleaguered nation.
As I ponder these things in my heart, the other powerful Word from the Lord places a bookend on this message
” Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Acts 4:29-31. NIV
The context. In the time of the early church; persecution. In our 21st century times; persecution still rages. In different forms. Where is God? Does He not see the suffering of our women and children? Why did He allow Donald Trump to beat Hillary Clinton. All Pastors are like those caught molesting young girls…..we don’t trust the church. Forget about them…..we’re on our own in this struggle……the church is irrelevant in today’s modern world.
And so our challenge in the Church today, is to follow the example of the early church. And repent of our many sins, what we have done….fall into temptation….sexual and other sins; and what we have left undone….ignored the wretched of the earth in their suffering….lacking in compassion to to those who speak ill against us, and persecute us and do evil…..how many of us are praying steadfastly for Donald Trump……
In other words…..a broken and contrite O God you will not despise!
And then, appeal to God in the midst of the trials and challenges of life. For His healing mercies!
The question is; do we still believe that God can do the impossible in Jamaica. And in the USA….and across the world in Aleppo and in Palestine? And do we still pray in our churches with this kind of faith….so that the very church walls ‘ tremble’ with ‘ signs of the Holy Spirit. Or are we just going through the motions! God have mercy. Christ have mercy.
I leave you with two short Facebook posts. Neither one requires much comment, as both of them in essence call us to ” Look to Jesus, and ye be saved”. And stop depending on Egypt!
You need to watch this video after reading Exodus 14. Especially ” But Moses said to the people, ‘ do not be afraid , and stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you. You only have to keep still”.
For God is indeed a ” miracle working God”, Who can do the impossible. #MurderinJamaica. #Violenceagainstwomen
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless; give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:37. One of the readings in my Church for Sunday #earlymorningdevotions……and then this wonderful song came flooding in my mind. In an age of non stop watching of #MiamiVice and progressively more sophisticated but basically the same template of #Youngandrestless. And then we wonder ‘ how did we ever get here in a land of murder and gender based violence……..because we have spent too much time looking at, and listening to, worthless things #ayahsuhnice 0, Lord have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us. #Nottheonlyproblembutpartofit
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full into His wonderful face,
and the things of this world
will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.