The Battle Belongs to God

Today’s lesson is taken from 2 Chronicles 20: King Jehoshaphat is being faced with war against the enemy- the Moabites and the Ammonites. So starting with verse 2 let’s look at what he did to handle the situtation. “Some people came and told Jehosphaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar. (that is, En Gedi).” Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people ofJudah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him. The Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly ofJuda and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front ofthe new courtyard and said:”Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no on can withstand you. Our God did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to ou in our distress, and you will hear us.” ” But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt, so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” All of the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones stood before the Lord. Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah,the son ofJeiel, the sone of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph as he stood in the assembly. He said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” This passage is as true today as it was during the time of King Jehoshaphat. We in our simple minds believe that the battle is ours. Oh how untrue that is.We are led by the devil to believe that we are in charge of every battle and every war there is on earth. We are led to believe that we control the outcome of the virus, and the protesting, the rioting, the looting, the hate, the turning against each other, you name it. The devil leds us to believe we are in control. He uses those who are in “charge” to led us to believe they are in control. Oh how blind is he who will not see. We are no more in control of any of this than Jehoshaphat was in control of the battle that was on the horizon. Just like God was waiting for Jehoshaphat to ask for help along with all of the people not just the men or a handful of folks, but all of the people down to the wee ones, he is now waiting for us as a whole to ask for his help. For us as a nation, a world, a people to come together to ask for his help. What is wrong with us? Why do we not understand that God is in charge. God is the one we turn to – God holds it all in his hands. We are in control of nothing. Not even the air we breath. How haughty, and self serving we have become. How selfish and inward we have turned. Since folks have tried everything else from shutting down the country, to bankrupting businesses, to trying to force people to wear masks, just to name a few things, what harm will it do to cry out to God, to ask him to fix the mess we have made. To cover us in his grace and forgivness. Or are we too steeped in the Devil’s lair and too bogged down in his lies? It is time Ladies and Gentlemen to understand – we are nothing without God. We are nobody without God. We have nothing without God. It is time to put God back at the helm, not the politicans, not the medical experts,not the masses, not the people with enough opinions to sink a ship, but God the one who created the earth and all that is in it. God the one who can take it all back with a word. It is time to be like Jehoshphat and the people of Israel.Time to come together and fall down at the throne of God and beg for help. #god,#godisincharge,#wearejustmen

Greed

Today’s lesson is taken from Acts 19: 25-27. “He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says, that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
Now here is the lesson. Greed, is the glue that holds riots together. Greed is the reason that people decided to incite others to cause division and destruction. When Paul was preaching the doctrine of Christ Demetrius was not worried about the doctrine, his concern was the loss of revenue. He and his fellow tradesmen made idols and had been making a great living at this trade. Demetrius’s concern was the people changing their thought process and believing the teachings of Paul. So Demetrius very cleverly appealed to the tradesmen’s pocket book. Then he encouraged them to hide that greed behind the mask of patriotism and religious loyality. In their eyes they were the heros of the hour or the sake of the land and “their” beliefs. Now, let me translate this entire lesson into what is happening today – Politicans, and groups with an agenda have no concern for the right of the people. They disguise their greed under the blanket of many words. They incite people using some of the same words that Demetrius used. Words meant to appeal to emotions and not logic. Words meant to stir up people so they will forget the real reason for the riot in the first place. Demetrius wanted to control the money flow. Control the people because when he controled the people he controled the money. It had nothing to do with Paul’s teachings. This is proven in Demetrius’s statement, “There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the provinceof Asia and the world, will be robbed ofher divine majesty,” Doesn’t that sound like some of the verbage used today to incite riots and looting and division? The core is not about right or wrong, the core is about greed. The core is about filling cofers with money and control of people. The core had no concern for “social injustice”, or any of the other catch phrases now being used. The core is all about the core. Just like Demetrius and his plan for inciting riots. Continuing the scripture in verses 28-41 ” When they heard this,they were furious and began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians. Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. Paul, wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some the officials of the Province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. The assembly was in confussion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Fellow Ephesians, doesnt’ all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the the temple of the great Artemis and her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If, then Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settle in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of what happened today. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it. After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.”
As you see from the rest of the chapter, it did not take much for the masses to head into a fulll fledged riot ready to burn the place down and kill Paul and his friends. The sentence that hit me like a ton of bricks was this one, “Most of the people did not even know why there were there.”
This is a powerful statement that is true in the envoirment we are currently in. Most of the people do not even know why they are there. They have no clue that is greed. They, also like today, during this riot brought on by greed, not only became anti- Christian, they became anti- Jewish. Does this sound familiar? Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to put away the greed, hate, division and things of this world. The time has come to put on Christ, to understand that this world as we know it only exists because God is trying to give us every chance to come to him. To know that he is God and he is in control. Not the rioters,not the poiticans, not even the medical “experts”. God is in control and with a word, all of this can go away in the blink of an eye. Time to put down the weapons of greed, the actions of rioting and division, time to come together to become more Christlike. Time to be humble, honest and forgiving. #godsplan,#greed,#scripture