The Old Testament texts used in Parts I and II teach several important lessons. This blog mentions the first: God’s greatest desire versus the human response that prevents its execution. As he said through both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, he longed to smile on his people, to show them compassion, to forgive their sins, to express sympathy in their pain.
Consider three New Testament texts that embody that message. Read each, then the truth emphasized. Jude 3-4: when he wanted to teach privilege to Christians, he had to preach repentance. Galatians 4:19: when Paul wanted to change his tone with Christians, but their lack of spiritual growth kept his language severe. Luke 19:41: when Jesus wanted to protect Israel from wandering among the nations, their rejection of him activated God’s sentence.
In each case, sin in God’s people prevented God’s mercy and brought God’s judgment. Which reminds us of the title of this blog and the single truth it embodies: we can claim God’s help in any personal or national sorrow only by living in obedience to his will. Our obedience, proving loyalty to Christ’s Deity, every teaching he offered, and every claim he made, instantly envelopes us in God’s protective presence. The trouble may continue, but God’s personal peace will not desert us to it. We may find ourselves in as much difficulty as the unsaved, but we’ll never react to it with their anxiety, uncertainty and dread.
Christ’s promise in Philippians 4:6-7 assures us: the peace of God, which garrisons our soul as soldiers on guard duty protect their sleeping comrades, will keep our minds free from the worry that enervates and our hearts from surfacing the emotions our minds assure us we no longer need to fear!
Indeed, in the peace God gives, all distractions in life fade—to weak, to non-existent, to irrelevant, to...INVISIBLE. The peace of GOD is the Gift of God to all obedient Christians.
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It is not the state of America today. And it will not be until far worse tribulations occur in our society. Remember the words of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:37, “And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Yes, God is able. The king knew by personal experience.
The egotism the king expressed is alive in American culture, and warns us of a coming humiliation on America, western culture and the nations that, in retrospect, will see the COVID-19 and social tensions as but the beginning chapters of a larger volume. America and western culture because we’ve turned FROM God in Christ. And the nations because they have never turned TO God in Christ.
God will not be mocked, either by the arrogance of the former or ignorance of the latter. End Part III