These women had accurately aligned with the great destiny set for them

Jordan_River
River Jordan (source: commons.wikimedia.org)

Two poor widows, (at the time when the judges ruled), Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi returned across the River Jordan from Moab to Bethlehem.

The Book of Judges recorded that Eglon, king of Moab, invaded Canaan as far as Jericho and subjugated the Israelites for eighteen years before being assassinated by Ehud the Benjamite (1302-1204BC). The time of the judges displayed repeated cycles of peace and oppressions, brought about great apostasy in Israel. The nation underwent political and religious turmoil. The tribes fought among themselves. The people rebelled against God through idolatry and unbelief, and brought judgement upon themselves through foreign oppressions. God then raised up a deliverer/judge, and the people repented and turned back to God and had peace for their nation.

During a famine, Israelite Naomi left Bethlehem with her husband and two sons and migrated to their enemy’s country, Moab (c.1294BC) and stayed there for ten years. Her husband died and her two sons were killed (possibly at war between Moab and Israel). Naomi was widowed with her two Moabite daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem after the famine was over. She dissuaded them from following her. Orpah finally agreed. But Ruth persisted in her decision to follow Naomi.

Here is a quote of the related Bible verses:
Ruth 1:15 And she (Naomi) said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
18 When she (Naomi) saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.

Ruth's journey
Ruth’s journey to Bethlehem (source: thebiblejourney.org)

The journey was illustrated in the above map.

Although the war had ceased, there was still great risk for two vulnerable women to walk through difficult and dangerous terrain, during a time threatened by lawlessness, bandits and wild animals. They had to walk on uneven ground and climb slope as steep as 2000 foot. Crossing the Jordan River at the time of the first grain-Barley harvest when the river was full from snow melting at early spring was another tough challenge.

Ruth was obviously an attractive and pleasing young woman because Naomi twice expressed her confidence that Ruth could still marry to a good man and had children. There was no rational reason for Ruth to insist on following her mother-in-law to the enemy’s country and live among aliens with no other social support. Why did Ruth make this seemingly foolish (in the eyes of her countrymen) choice? We can find some answers in the Book of Ruth from her interactions with her mother-in-law and her future husband, Boaz.

Ruth’s character: a caring, loyal, trusting and obedient daughter-in-law, a hard working woman, a humble and unassuming person.
Relationship between the two women: More like mother and daughter.
Conversion and discipleship: Despite the general apostasy of her nation, Naomi had taught Ruth her religious belief and very likely had set a good example in her own faith in God.
Ruth’s faith: Most significantly, we note that Ruth really believed in the God of Israel. Her faith in God made her align with the great destiny God had prepared for her.

“And your God, my God.” Ruth declared. This is the ultimate reason why she was later exalted by God from a poor foreign widow to the highly honored and respected position as the legal wife of one of the richest men in Bethlehem and together they became the ancestors of David, from whose lineage Joseph and Mary derived.

If Ruth had followed her own race, culture and parental religion, she would have missed out her illustrious destiny. If Naomi had not kept her own religion and belief in God regardless of her circumstances, she would not have been able to influence and converted Ruth to the right belief and right way.

Naomi had a strong character. She was able to ask the right questions, analyze, size up the situation and reached the right conclusion. She took charge and made the right decisions. She instructed Ruth with authority and confidence. But if Naomi had not obeyed her husband’s decision and moved to Moab with him, stayed there for ten years until her two sons died, she would not have brought back Ruth and Ruth would not have appeared in the lineage of David, Joseph and Mary too. Naomi too would not have been instrumental in fulfilling a great destiny.

Thus, both women’s belief, faith in God and their willingness to humble and submit themselves to God, had contributed to Ruth choosing rightly and thus fulfilled God’s marvelous plan for their lives!

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Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 God’s beloved

Acts 10:34Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 shows us who are God’s beloved. Sufferings come from man and not God. The first man reacted to an inbuilt conscience of guilt and shame and started the blame culture after eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The following verses sum up what happened after the fall of Adam: denial of own failures and responsibilities by blaming others. Adam blamed his wife Eve and God for giving him a wife. Eve blamed snake who successfully lied to her and cheated her. Their eldest son Cain blamed God and parents for imagined favoritism, rebelled against parents and God and murdered his own brother Abel and left the presence of God and parents. The rebellious mankind then tried to build a name for themselves and finally became “Babel”. As quoted from an online source: “Babel, the kingdom of earth, is hell-bent on de-throning the God of the universe. It is a kingdom of pride, self-sufficiency, and defiance to the Creator.”

As God warned Cain, beware that sin is a spiritual creature that lurks at the door of our soul and seizes opportunity given by human to conquer and control human. Cain failed to be alert and turn around back to God because he persisted in believing his own deceptive prideful imagination and the lies of the devil. He could have easily turned back to God because at that time God was speaking to him and he could hear and talk back! But he chose to be consumed by defiance, envy and hatred. I believe he was unspiritual and could not believe in a spiritual God. This is still the main problem with many today. Sin is the thief that Jesus has described with the purpose to steal, kill and destroy mankind. Sin seeks to destroy a person’s peace. (Genesis 4:6; John 10:10)

But human is not left helpless and defenseless. Jesus has brought victory over sin and broken the power of death. He has brought super-abundant life to mankind. Man is not destined to be eternal slaves to sin and the power of death. Every born again believer has a new beginning in life. A born again spirit that is joined to the Lord’s Spirit. The wisdom who is Christ in us. The authority of the name of Jesus. The power in us is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This mighty power of the Holy Spirit now gives life to our mortal bodies. The children of God can rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us to live a victorious life. (Read Romans 5-8) We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) We can put on the whole armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

When we read the Bible verses we can see God’s love and mercy everywhere. He is love. He gives warning to help us not to fall into the many snares set by the devil after the first man’s fall. In ancient days (as recorded in the Old Testament) people could even hear God talking directly to them. Today we can hear Him too through listening in our heart to the Holy Spirit and reading His words.

(All Scriptures are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise indicated)

Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

Genesis 4:5-7 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Genesis 4:16 The Family of Cain 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.

Genesis 6:5 5 Then the Lord[God] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 7:1 The Great Flood: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Genesis 9:1 God’s Promise to Noah: So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

Genesis 11:1,4,6,9 The Tower of Babel 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

GOOD NEWS TO ALL MANKIND: God does not have favoritism. You can be His beloved.

God seeks reconciliation and continuing relationship with human. He found a man who was faithful, not a nation, just one individual who could hear God and responded to God positively by faith. The good news is God intends Abraham to bless all mankind and not just his own biological descendants and tribe. The same blessings that God has given to him are to be given too to the rest of the world at all time. Who can qualify and how to receive? Read on.

Genesis 12:1-4 Promises to Abram (Abraham)1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”4 :1 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Genesis 15:1,6 God’s Covenant with Abram1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4 on justification by faith: The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Galatians 3:5-9 You can have the faith of Jesus, the Son of God in you. You can have the Holy Spirit God gives to every believer as a guarantee of His blessings. Just believe and you will receive.

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? —6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Acts 10:34-36,42-44

Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. ”Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.

LOOK, GOD!

matthew 3:11Matthew 1:23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 3:2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Matthew 3:8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.

Matthew 3:11 “…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Matthew 3:16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

Matthew 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 7:13 [ The Narrow Gate ] “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.

Matthew 7:23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ Matthew 11:20 [ Judgment for the Unbelievers ] Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.

Matthew 14:33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 21:9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!” Matthew 21:15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant.

Matthew 21:43 I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.

Matthew 24:22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. Matthew 24:24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.

Matthew 26:27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:64 Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Matthew 27:54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

John 1:51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

John 3:13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. John 5:27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.

John 6:27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

John 6:62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again?

John 9:35 [ Spiritual Blindness ] When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

Acts 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

You have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name

Exodus 34:6Exodus 33-34 (excerpts)
The Command to Leave Sinai
33:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’
7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

34:5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

The Faith of Moses
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

(Scriptures quoted from New King James Version Bible)

God’s economics: today’s word from Matthew 23:23

matthew-2323I am led today (November 23) to give you a word from our Lord Jesus (as recorded in Matthew 23:23). The AMPC translation uses the word “FIDELITY” (FAITH) in addition to JUSTICE (FAIRNESS) and MERCY (COMPASSION, PITY) as THE MEASURE GOD USES TO WEIGH THE WORTH OF OUR OFFERING.

The religious leaders (authority) in Jesus’ days were rich and influential people who lived an elite lifestyle and in luxuries like many church leaders do today. HOW DO YOU WEIGH IN GOD’S SCALE? HOW DO YOU TREAT THE WEAKER (those less favorably endowed/less powerful, with less resources) in your FAMILY/the CHURCH/the SOCIETY today?

Matthew 23:23 JESUS SAYS:
AMPC
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law—right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others.”

PHILLIPS
“Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you utter frauds! For you pay your tithe on mint and aniseed and cummin, and neglect the things which carry far more weight in the Law—justice, mercy and good faith. These are the things you should have observed—without neglecting the others. You call yourselves leaders, and yet you can’t see an inch before your noses, for you filter out the mosquito and swallow the camel.”

MSG
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?”

NLV
“It is bad for you, teachers of the Law and proud religious law-keepers, you who pretend to be someone you are not! You give one-tenth part of your spices, and have not done the most important things of the Law, such as thinking what is right and wrong, and having pity and faith. These you should have done and still have done the other things also.”

VOICE
“So woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You tithe from your luxuries and your spices, giving away a tenth of your mint, your dill, and your cumin. But you have ignored the essentials of the law: justice, mercy, faithfulness. It is practice of the latter that makes sense of the former.”

NOTES-definition of the word “hypocrisy”:
Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham. It is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another. In moral psychology, it is the failure to follow one’s own expressed moral rules and principles.

Journey to see God: God’s reality-check

AAAJ watchman-blogger

God is real –The watchman discovered that, the first pertinent question a believer in God must ask is, “Is my God real?”

If you cannot get pass this question with a straight unhesitating affirmative answer without any qualification, there is no need for you to go further on this journey to see God.
God is God. He is not just anyone we can simply treat according to our mood or feeling or thought.
When you believe your God is real, you will need to ask the next question:
“How am I treating Him and His word?”
If your attitude is sometimes you believe He exists, but sometimes you do not, some words you believe as truth, while others you do not believe as truth, then your God is still not real to you.

Take one minute or five minutes (for those who cannot stop describing God) and do this…

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Hearing God: words of sorrow and comfort

hannahs-prayerAll about sorrow today. And comforting words for the right kind of sorrow.

2 Corinthians 7:10 [Full Chapter] For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

1 Samuel 1:16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” (Hannah)

IN SORROW: what sorrow awaits for some

Proverbs 23:29

Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

In Context

What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.

What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk.

What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.

What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.

What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their evil deeds in the dark! “The Lord can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!”

[ Judah’s Worthless Treaty with Egypt ] “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the Lord. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins.

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COMFORTING WORDS: for some
He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Isaiah 14:3

In that wonderful day when the Lord gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains,

Isaiah 53:3-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.

Footnotes:

  1. 53:4 Or Yet it was our sicknesses he carried; / it was our diseases.

God asks: “what will you do?”

stormyGod asks questions.what will you do?” On  ” the days of reckoning”, when adversities and adversaries engulf “like a flood, when disaster comes” and sweep everything away? For each individual, there will be only a day to make decision. For the group of people as a whole, days (of specific length). There is no option to not answer God’s questions.

What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?
The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals, on the feast days of the Lord?
The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this. Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac.
Hosea 5:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

Ephraim will be laid waste
    on the day of reckoning.
Among the tribes of Israel
    I proclaim what is certain.
10 Judah’s leaders are like those
    who move boundary stones.
I will pour out my wrath on them
    like a flood of water.

Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest snatches him away in the night.

All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.

After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.
Judah’s leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water.
[ A Prophecy Against Babylon ] A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror.
As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through.” The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.

I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the Lord have spoken.”

Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

watchman’s notes: watch and pray reality check

When the Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples about end times, He emphasized one thing: watch and pray.

The watchman has experienced this very important reality. Either we watch and pray or we miss out functioning faithfully in certain important life and death issue being progressed in the spiritual realm, which would manifest and impact the physical realm of human existence on earth.

In two recent major ‘disastrous’ events, the watchman was alerted in the spirit but due to physical tiredness (e.g. long hours of travel and without sleep), there was no alertness in the spirit. Therefore, there was no effective preventive intercession. No prayer in those crucial moments.

Please note I am not saying that we are imperative to moving all mountains or valleys. But we are called to be faithful. We are given spiritual gifts to function appropriately in our respective calling. We have committed to our Lord’s command to watch and pray. I have heard a testimony that the Lord called many to pray and intercede for one evangelist and not one responded. He died from a hornet’s sting. The son testified this after he heard from more than twenty people who told him that they heard the Lord calling them to pray for his father but they did not. They did not respond because at that time the evangelist was well and healthy and was not in danger. They presumed that they heard the Lord wrongly.

This presumptuous mistake is common among us. For example, we normally would look for signs like, is a bad storm or  earthquake looming near the horizon? When there is fine weather or no signs of anything abnormal in the natural we would assume nothing would happen and so we pray a short official prayer and go back to sleep. Most times watchmen and intercessors never know the result of their prayers as they are called to pray preventive prayers. When their prayers work, nothing would happen. So they would not know whether they have prayed correctly or not.

Of course those who pray for the much needed rain and suitable weather and or other natural resources to be provided can see their results. However, like Elijah, many have to pray many times before the rain comes, or seeing the symptoms of sickness gone completely. They can never be sure of whether such positive outcomes are attributable to their fervent prayers.

So, being a watchman and intercessor is not an enviable profession. No one pays us. No one rewards us. Not many believe we are called.

On the other hand, the called and faithful one always knows. It is like salvation. The one saved by faith hears the Gospel of Jesus, believes, and knows he or she is saved. Likewise, the Bible says those born again are born of the Holy Spirit. How do we know we have the Holy Spirit? The Bible says so. We believe the Word of God. We walk by faith and not by sight. We are led by the Spirit and not by flesh. Watchman too.

Sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. The watchmen are required to walk further steps of faith by more focused listening and seeing spiritual reality and act accordingly. Watching and praying in the Spirit. Interceding according to the Word of God as revealed to us at particular moments. Praying and reading the Word until the morning star dawns in our hearts.

The Lord always gives us prompting and confirmation from His words. He does not go against His words. So we always align what we hear with the Bible. What is the will of God? What is God’s nature? What does God really says? Jesus’ ministry on earth showed us how a watchman and intercessor should function. In the New testament, prior to the birth of Jesus, there were two solid examples: Simeon and Anna, a man and a woman, both watching and praying for the prophesied arrival of the Messiah. They knew when He arrived. They saw and discerned among all the thousands of babies this particular One was the One. Prior to Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist was another solid example of watchman and intercessor.

Watchman must hear, see and discern spiritually. A deaf, blind and dull in heart ‘watchman’ will be of no use in this realm. Let us remind ourselves what Jesus had urged everyone, Mark 13:9 “But watch out for yourselves…37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

(for those interested to know how a watchman was called and what a watchman did and how he was equipped…please read the book of Ezekiel. You will marvel at how the Lord’s Spirit enabled and empowered him to see, hear, understand and act upon God’s instructions faithfully in great details and accuracy! )

like Jesus - watchman and pray
like Jesus – watchman and pray

Journey to see God: a self-test to check on your God-reality

God is real –The watchman discovered that, the first pertinent question a believer in God must ask is, “Is my God real?”

If you cannot get pass this question with a straight unhesitating affirmative answer without any qualification, there is no need for you to go further on this journey to see God.
God is God. He is not just anyone we can simply treat according to our mood or feeling or thought.
When you believe your God is real, you will need to ask the next question:
“How am I treating Him and His word?”
If your attitude is sometimes you believe He exists, but sometimes you do not, some words you believe as truth, while others you do not believe as truth, then your God is still not real to you.

Take one minute or five minutes (for those who cannot stop describing God) and do this test yourself: 

The rules: without repetition or hesitation.  
The act: describe Who God is to you.
First review: check the quantity (how much or how little) you have written down or spoken about the God you know.
Second review: see the description’s quality. Are you describing a lot of self-centered stuff or are you describing God-centered qualities?

After you have discovered how little and how poorly your God is to you, the next step: confess and repent and take actions to set aside more time to know God, through coming into His presence daily, reading His word, praying and talking to Him, listening to Him talking to you.

Learn from KING DAVID, A MAN AFTER GOD’S HEART
Psalm 42:2 (NKJV)My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 63:1 (NKJV) Joy in the Fellowship of God (A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) 63 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. Psalm 143:6 (NKJV) I spread out my hands to You;My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah

For those who have not run out words (in quantity and quality) to describe God, you would want to take a further step of faith, climbing up further on your God’s mountain. Moses was asked to climb higher and higher to meet with God Who was ready to reveal to him more and more of Himself!

THE LORD ACTUALLY ASKS FOR MORE!
Song of Solomon 4:8 (NKJV)
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
With me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
From the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions’ dens,
From the mountains of the leopards.
God Himself can teach us how to drink from Him, how to pray and how to commune with Him. Jesus has also affirmed this truth!
 Isaiah 55:1 (NKJV) An Invitation to Abundant Life
55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;

And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
John 7:37-38 (NKJV) The Promise of the Holy Spirit

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

God wants us be real with His reality in our lives. There is no option. 
A word of warning from Jesus to the worldly non-committed church:

Revelation 3:15-16 (NKJV)

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[a] I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Footnotes:Revelation 3:16 NU-Text and M-Text read hot nor cold.