Thursday, February 22, 2024

Scoffers Come Scoffing

On Oct 7, 2023, a war began. No surprise there. Nothing that hasn’t happened before, right? People scoffed. It's just another outbreak of the war that never ends. Our president was quick to respond with a message of reassurance. When I heard Biden say that he, and America, will stand with Israel no matter what, my mind in silent wonderment, and without so much as a moment’s consideration, proclaimed, “Lies." 

The day brought death, and the response brought death. The Palestinians, more or less used and abused by Hamas, are portrayed on the evening news as innocents being slaughtered by the murderous Jews. The clips of injured and abandoned children are heartbreaking. But the news here in America is slanted. Why are these people in harm’s way? How many were told by Hamas not to flee the evacuated areas? How many Hamas leaders hovelled underground, and still do, directly below what should have been safe places? How many trucks of medical supplies and food have been highjacked by Hamas? I wonder, if I were a mother in Gaza hoping to save my children, if I would consider that the IDF might offer better protection. Of course, I’m watching it all from across the world.

Nevertheless, this war has indeed ushered in propaganda layered with lie upon lie. The devil is in the business of spreading lies, and his business has shown a profit these past few months. The believers of the lies are fooled by two realities. First, blindness overtakes those living in spiritual darkness. 

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT

Second, ignorance of history gives false perception to blinded eyes. They scoff at Israel's right to reasonable defense. Here is an excellent article that clears up some of the current fallacies promoted in demonstrations around the world, typically by the pseudo-educated, the woke, political leaders, the media and, at times, by leaders and members of the body of Christ. The latter should not be. Not at all.

What should be the opinion, action, and emotion of the body of Christ?

Pray for Israel. 

The nation of Israel, the war, or the signs of the approach of Day of the Lord are hardly mentioned by the Christians in my circle. I try to bring it up when opportunity arises. And I pray. I know I am not alone. Others are praying.

Pray for the enemy. 

It's hard to pray for those who are likely so blinded by desire to wipe Israel off the map that they will never be turned. But a few will believe the truth, eventually. In the meantime, I will pray for those children I see on the news. I pray they will be released by the power of the gospel from the pull to join the terrorists in their evil plotting. I pray this war will end soon. But I know there is only One who is able to save the lost ones and who will bring peace at last. 

And He’s coming.

I never realized, until lately, the depth of a verse I’ve read for years.

…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.  
2 Peter 3: 3,4 ESV

I always thought it referred to the lost, the blind, and surely it does. However, Peter was speaking of false teachers. Such members walk comfortably among the redeemed. Why would the lost and blind even consider the coming of Christ? They’re not waiting. It’s the Church that has waited and wondered these two thousand years. Is it the Church that’s now scoffing?

Praise God, there is a great and mighty hope for the body of Christ, for believers watching and waiting, and believers who question the promise. For the nation of Israel. For the lost sons of Ishmael. For the educated and enlightened who have no understanding of the Light. For all of us.

Here is the mission and purpose of the Son of God as written in the book of Isaiah, and read by Jesus in the synagogue:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
  to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor”
Luke 4: 18,19 ESV

Jesus spoke words from Isaiah up to the proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favor. He stopped mid-sentence, set the scroll aside, and sat down. He had revealed His mission to those listening, that is, the mission of His first advent. The words of Isaiah speak further of the full mission of Jesus, to the time of the second advent, and the restoration of Israel. Read the rest of the passage from Isaiah 61:2b-7…

    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

They shall build up the ancient ruins;
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
    foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
    they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
    and in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
    they shall have everlasting joy.


God never forgets His promises. Remember Israel.

Remember that our Deliverer is coming. And pray.




Monday, January 15, 2024

The Promises of Democracy

A true leader brings great hope to a nation.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 40: 3

The world changed when John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy by preparing the way of the Messiah. More recently, another man spoke the words during a time of cultural upheaval in one of the most important speeches ever delivered. During that speech, before Martin Luther King, Jr. began his eloquent revelation of a dream, he referenced the valley:

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

Then came the heart of the speech and the sharing of the dream, and this man of God included Isaiah’s prophecy. He knew of its fulfillment. And yet, he believed the words held a future hope. For Americans? For peace among the races calling themselves Americans? Most certainly. But Dr. King realized the words were written to proclaim the coming of Christ. To mark the day when the glory of the Lord would be revealed, and all flesh would see it together.

Evil shut the mouth of John the Baptist, but the prophecy rang true and the message did not end. The voice of Dr. King met evil as well. But his dream didn’t end. Great loss was suffered, and great progress made in exalting that dark and desolate valley. A servant of God, one with a vision and a voice can bring great change, raise up the lowly, flatten mountains, straighten what is crooked and smooth the rough places.

But not completely. Evil still lurks. Some claim the media is responsible for stirring the racial tension rising up in America today. In reality, Satan is behind it. And he’s got his claw in politics too. Absurd comments from this unusual crop of presidential candidates seem to result in a tangled, ridiculous waste of time. No potential leader possesses the vision and voice to lift us from the sinking wasteland, or flatten any mountain blocking a secure and united future. The new political horizon makes the setting sun of current rule seem practically tolerable.

I long for the vision of a man who was murdered when I was a child. As a southern white girl, I wasn’t raised to fully appreciate his legacy. As a Christian woman, I can see the greatness of his message and his leadership. But I have a dream that One even greater will come and rule the world with truth and justice. Thank God, the prophecy will soon be fulfilled again. He is coming.

I have a dream that I can gather with all races to worship in freedom. But it’s not a dream—not anymore. It’s reality every time we gather in my Southern Baptist Church. It would have never been this way in the past. But now, it’s not an issue to even note. We’re just family.

I have a dream that come November I can step into the voting booth and mark a reasonable choice. But not all dreams are meant to be. I know this much: God appoints leaders. Some to lead with greatness. Some, by their ungodliness, to cause a nation to turn from rebellion against God or else meet an end. I wonder what Dr. King’s prayer for our nation would be today. He might still hold firm to the promises of democracy. Hope is not yet lost. Or perhaps he would simply pray, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."