Who does not like peace more than war? Who likes waking up every day and hearing the rhetoric being discussed between the Liberals and the Conservatives, day after day?
Who wants to see buildings and whole communities destroyed to rubble?
Who wants to watch a mother’s grief as she sees her daughter on a news broadcast, being held as a hostage by terrorists?
Who wants to watch funeral processions of people carrying coffins down streets, where they once walked as families and lovers? (Think of it… hands that once held their children’s tiny hands, now carrying those they loved over their heads with tears of sorrow running down their faces).
Their cries are not cries for peace, but cries of death to all Israelites and their allies. These are cries of dissention and they are getting louder and longer. There is a call for climate change when there needs to be a cry for a change in call. A call along this line; a call for a climate of real peace which will only come when the Prince of Peace comes back to earth again. It is as though the United Nations, which was set up to broker peace, has little (if no) influence on the world stage. Surely as Christians we realize the peace is a moral and spiritual issue and only God can touch the core of the need at hand.
The conflicts at hand remind me of the spirit of Jezebel in 1st Kings 21. Here is what she had to say to Ahab. “Do you now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise now and eat bread and let your heart be merry: I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” It is like the mob violence that we now see breaking out across America and around the world. As I write this letter, big lies, infiltration, and atrocities are taking place even when the blood of the slaughtered has not dried. Mankind is standing on tiptoe with bated breath as things unfold in the Middle East.
Paul prayed for God’s Chosen people like this in Romans 10:
1-4 “My brothers, from the bottom of my heart I long and pray to God that Israel may be saved! I know from experience what a passion for God they have, but alas, it is not a passion based on knowledge. They do not know God’s righteousness, and all the time they are going about trying to prove their own righteousness they have the wrong attitude to receive his righteousness. Christ means the end of the struggle for righteousness-by-the-Law for everyone who believes in him.”
(They were caught in a religious trap.)
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armed forces, then you will know that the time of her devastation has arrived. Then is the time for those who are in Judea to fly to the hills. And those who are in the city itself must get out of it, and those who are already in the country must not try to get into the city. These are the days of vengeance, when all that the scriptures have said will come true. Alas for those who are pregnant and those who have tiny babies in those days! For there will be bitter misery in the land and great anger against this people. They will die by the sword. They will be taken off as prisoners into all nations; the heathen shall trample Israel under foot, until the heathen’s day is over. There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth, there will be dismay among the nations and bewilderment at the roar of the surging sea. Men’s courage will fail completely as they realize what is threatening the world, for the very powers of heaven will be shaken. Then men will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great power and splendor! But when these things begin to happen, look up, hold your heads high, for you will soon be free.”
I want to leave you today with something to think about. Think about the word Time:
Due measure. A measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time,
A fixed and definite time,
The time when things are brought to crisis,
The decisive epoch waited for opportune or seasonable time.
The right time, a limited period of time.
To what time brings, the state of the times, the things, and events of time.
Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draws near: go ye not therefore after them.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (What is implied is like when you fill up a gas tank and it is so full there is NO MORE ROOM.)
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:8, 24, 34
With all that is taking place, it could be important for us to read Ezekiel 38 and 39 once again considering today’s news. Russia, Turkey, and Iran have recently met together, and the subject of their meeting has never been disclosed.
I believe in you,
Pastor Cleddie Keith