Why does it happen to me?
1 Samuel 31:10 -
And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.
King Saul' death was a terrible incident; he killed himself at the battle field after facing defeat. This defeat was not because he lacked the ability to fight the battle but was only because the Lord was not with him and was in fact against him.
The spirit of Samuel spoke to Saul some time before the battle and told him that he and his sons would die. Along with him disobeying the Lord one of the reasons was because Saul tried to communicate with the spirit of the dead, the very thing he knew was not allowed by the Lord and he himself had put away all those who communicated with spirits.
Today we read about persecution of Christians in many parts of the world. Sometimes even we tend to face problems in our lives as Christians. Many a times we tend to think it is persecution and continue our mistakes or wrong practices.
Jesus spoke about us facing persecution but we need to understand why and specially why during the later days?
The grace of God saves us but this grace cannot be taken for granted, the Lord had to pay a heavy price for this grace. No doubt this grace acts like a cushion to the anger of God but then we also need to understand when the glory of God is more and more manifested the more harsh and quick is His judgment. In these days many amongst us are experiencing the glory of God and it is this reason why persecution has also increased in this world.
Now the question comes why are these Christians facing persecution. Many of them have come out from religions of Islam or other religions with great faith and proclaimed fearlessly themselves as Christians yet we do not see the Hand of God supporting most of them when they are persecuted.
The persecution of the early Church also started when people started lifting Peter up and glorifying him instead of the Lord. They started treating him like god by keeping the sick in his path for his shadow to fall. This was not done even for Jesus and we need to remember it was not he alone who was healing people but also the other Apostles were healing people and doing great miracles.
In today's message the Lord is telling us a very serious message. The armour or personal protection of Saul was given up unto the House of Ashtaroth (which was named after the goddess Ashtoreth then known as the Queen of Heaven and even today goes by the same name under the disguise of a person of the New Testament. The city wall symbolizes protection to one's belonging for it protected the city. It was on the wall of Bethshan that the body of Saul was fastened. The word Bethshan means ease. It symbolizes people who take the grace of God for granted and they misuse His provision for the satisfaction of their lust of the flesh, mind and ego.
There are many who call themselves Christians. No doubt they believe in Jesus Christ but along with Him they also believe in a goddess who is not from God. They are deceived since they are not rooted in the Word nor have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. There are also others whose purpose of becoming Christian is solely to be blessed in this world. They do not pursue the treasures of Heaven but the treasures of this world. Their God is not Lord God but Gawd the god of fortune (God and Gawd are pronounced the same).
The Israelites were protected by the Lord. When they walked in His instructions even though obstructions came before them and armies came against them yet not even one soul among them was lost. But when they started to waver in the Lord's instructions they had to bare great casualties. It came to a point that their protector became their most enemy like during the times of Jeremiah, Isaiah and after Jesus died (70AD).
Today as we find more and more people coming to know God and have relationship with Him the more things change in this world. When the glory of God is there here, things cannot continue in the same way.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, Your Word shows us when there were no Men of God the people continued in sin and nothing happened. But when a Man of God took birth their lives were shaken up and things were not the same. Lord, we pray today's message wake up those who are asleep and brings light to those who are under deceit. They think they are Christians but follow other gods too like Solomon did. Lord, we pray none of your sheep become calamity and are saved...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Samuel 28:16-19
16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?
17 And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
1 Samuel 31:1-5
1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul's sons.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
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