Why does God do this?
Psalms 105:25 -
He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtly [to be deceitful] with his servants.
Today's message continues with the messages we have been receiving since a few days on persecution.
Whenever any problems come in our way we have prayful people immediately take authority and start binding the powers of Satan and start rebuking him. People have made Satan an excuse for everything concerning darkness or anything going bad. No doubt there are times that Satan takes advantage of our low spiritual life and brings us to a state of denying Jesus by shaking our faith and bringing us to destruction. But most of the times it is not Satan to be blamed but we ourselves and our actions.
In today's message we read the Lord provoked the hearts of the Egyptians to hate the Israelites and to subdue them. It was again He alone who made the Egyptians to deceive the people chosen to lead His people.
We may ask why God did such things to His own people, people whom He loved so much. If we read scriptures the Lord had blessed and prospered His people when they dwelled in the land of Egypt and did great wonders for them. But soon His people started adopting the traditions and beliefs of the Egyptians. They adopted the festivals, the gods and the traditions of the Egyptians to coexist peacefully among them. But then the Lord God is the King of peace and peace comes only through Him alone. So when the Israelites put other gods before the Lord God, they had rejected Him and thus forsook His peace.
The first Commandment tells us not to make any other gods before our God. In another place the Lord says He is a Jealous God. In one place the Lord even claims His name as Jealous. This word describing Him as jealous is only in Hebrew text in the Old Testament. This word is not the vice jealousy but means the possessiveness of a mother towards her children.
People think the first Commandment is like the law of the land if we do not do it we will be punished. If one really understands it, it is actually a request from the Lord for our own good. Since He alone is the giver of peace the greatest mistake would be to reject Him by putting another god before Him. How can light and darkness exist in the same room? It is we who subdue the light so that darkness exists in our lives.
One of the greatest shames in Christianity was in 1965 when the Pope sent an invitation to the religious heads of all religions to come to the Vatican to pray together to God for peace. There were nearly 160 religious heads of various religion right from a spiritman of Africa to a Rabbi of the Jews. Each one called on his god and prayed to their gods.
The 2nd Vatican which bought thousands of heads of the Catholic Churches of all over the world together drafted some laws and the most important amongst them was asking Christians to respect and adapt the beliefs of other religions especially Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Today Catholic priest studying Theology are encouraged to study and do Masters or PHD in religions like Buddhism, Islam and Vedas among others. The sad part of it is they firstly have no knowledge of their own faith and the foundation of their faith which is the Word of God but are experts on other religions, other beliefs. Ask a Catholic Priest come out of the seminary what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is and you will find them fumbling on it. But ask them what Vedanta or spirituality is and they will rattle like a parrot.
One of the greatest defences we give to ourselves is 'we are not doing it, the others are doing it and who are we to judge them?'
If you read in today's message the Servants of God were not doing the things which the people were doing but yet they were affected. We are cannot turn a blind eye to our brother or sister if we find them going stray from the ways of the Lord. Like Adam was blamed first for Eve's sin because he knew it yet kept silent. So also we too will be first blamed first. And like Adam soon became party to that sin of Eve later so also if we do not take a stand against it soon we will find we too are party to sins of those gone astray. A classic example is that today we have some believer Churches in the US are having the Koran been read during Church service.
If we stand or sit with a group of people worshiping the Lord and if that group is going astray we cannot keep silent or ignore their doings and claim exception from their doings. We should either speak out against them or come out from amongst them.
Jesus was a Jew and would regularly go to the Synagogue but we see He always spoke out against almost all the traditions of the Jews since they were not from the Lord. When it came to His disciples, since they were not very strong like Jesus they were led by the Spirit of God to come out of the Jewish Church and thus gave birth to the Christian Church. That makes Jesus the first protestant and His disciples all protestants. The Jews thought they were following the Church which the Lord set through Abraham but were not doing so.
Today if we want peace and if we are amongst a congregation that compromises on the Word of God to the extent of exalting people over God, or people's word above God's Word, or making us to bow to idols and break God's Commandments, we have a decision to take. If we are strong as Jesus in our understanding of scriptures and we have a very close relationship with the Holy Spirit, then we can continue where we are, provided we speak out against their doings like Jesus did. Or else like His disciples let us come out from amongst them and be with those like minds like us.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You alone are provider of peace and without You man will not be able to exist. It is only when we are with You that we experience peace. It is not that there will be no problem, but in between crises your glory will shine on us and the world will know You are with us. Lord, we pray that boldness and understanding come into your people and that they always remember what Lord Jesus said again and again many time 'do not fear' when You are with us...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
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