Through all this miasma it seems a pretty small hope to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem.’ So let me remind you of a few times of many that God has intervened on behalf of his people when all seemed lost.
Over the past few weeks we have all been following the awful war in Israel that focuses on the Gaza strip – the seat of power for the Hamas terrorists. So many issues are wound up in this bigger story...
“Wicked people are killed by their own evil deeds, and if you hate God’s people you will be punished” Psalm 34:21 CEV.
Over the past few weeks we have all been following the awful war in Israel that focuses on the Gaza strip – the seat of power for the Hamas terrorists. So many issues are wound up in this bigger story: potential big players swimming like sharks at the bottom of the pool; the untold stories of suffering of Palestinians at the cruel hands of their Hamas overlords; demonically inspired anti Semitism around the world; 240 hostages hopefully still alive; boring and predicable tripe from the far left. Through all this miasma it seems a pretty small hope to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem.’ So let me remind you of a few times of many that God has intervened on behalf of his people when all seemed lost.
God told Moses that upon entering the Promised land, He would send an angel before them to defeat the enemies they would face (Exodus 33:2). After Moses’ pleas, God said He would also be with them.
Elijah was swimming upstream spiritually in the rebellious northern kingdom under Ahab and Jezebel. He alone defied the 450 prophets of Baal (read I Kings 18 and have your faith inspired) and we know how God came through in power as he prayed.
Elijah’s protégé Elisha ministered in the same climate. When the Syrians surrounded the town where he was staying (II Kings 6), God showed Elisha’s terrified servant the vision of the flaming chariots of God surrounding the little Syrian unit. No need to fear – God’s got this!
When Sennacharib the despotic king of Assyria was parked at the gates of Jerusalem, Isaiah reassured king Hezekiah that God would not allow the enemy in (II Chronicles 32). That night 185,000 Assyrian troops died and Sennacharib went home to Nineveh where he was assassinated.
And then of course the return to Israel by its people after 2000 years of diaspora and, despite the many flaws of the British plan, the re-formation of the nation. Wars in 1967 and 1973 remind us that God has not forgotten his people or his promises of the land.
With this in mind, I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem. I invite you to join me – here are some of the things I am praying these days:
-For success for Israel in eradicating this terrorist mob.
-For return of the hostages.
-That major players will be kept at bay.
-That moderate Muslims will be revolted by the cruelty and excess that has been displayed by Islamic terrorism.
-That Satan will be abased and his plans brought low as per Colossians 2:15.
-That Jesus Christ will be glorified and embraced as Messiah, Saviour, and Lord.
Oh, and one more thing. I am also praying for mercy on our own broken and spiritually rebellious country as our leaders set themselves up in the place of God and chaos ensues. Isaiah says: “Why be punished more? Why not give up your sin? Your head is badly bruised, and you are weak all over” CEV. Revival needs to start in the house of God – we His people need a fresh encounter with the Lord – as ever, He is calling us back to Himself!
Pastor Leon Throness
This Sunday is the monthly Oasis service at 3 p.m. at the church. It is a Christmas based theme and two of our Encounter leaders, Melody Froc and Mariann Courage will lead our thoughts on the Holy Spirit’s Encounter with Mary. Let’s think about this godly young woman and take her experience to heart in our own life.
Advent is coming around the corner. Perhaps you would like to prepare your heart for the Christmas season. The following are a few resources for you:
Free Advent Devo from Focus on Family
Free Gospel Coalition Advent Devotional
Melody Froc wrote a short book review of “The Most Wonderful Time of All Years, A Christmas Reader for the season of Advent”, Darrell W. Johnson
A number of years ago, feeling overwhelmed by the busyness of the Christmas season, preparations, decorating, social engagements, onslaught of consumerism, the rushing and running to and fro to capture the best the season had to offer my soul longed to get back to the basics and truly focus on the “reason for the season”. For something simpler, deeper in meaning than the next best toy of the year or must attend Christmas gathering.
I somehow came across this amazing little advent devotional by Darrell W. Johnson. It touched my soul deeply as I engaged in the daily readings which were simply written in simple English that was rich and deep in content and caused me to reflect on the message throughout the day. It helped me to see the birth of Jesus through fresh eyes and I felt as though it helped me draw closer to His heart for the world and His heart for me.
The book is divided into four parts, one for each week of advent. Beginning on Sunday with text from one of the four gospels. One the following days, a short reflection from Darrell finishing with a prayer taken from others who have studied and told the story throughout history, John Stott, Francis Schaeffer just to name a few…. Rich indeed!!
I feel confident this book will meet you deep in that place of longing, that place in our soul that keeps looking for the One who is searching for us and fill us with wonder, joy and peace that nothing else of this world can.
Discover for yourself what makes this season truly the most wonderful time of all years!!