Word of Encouragement – 18th Jan 2022

Night Driving, Ika, Nigeria – Oct 2014

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

The book of Revelation is John’s account of messages and visions he was given for our growth. (Revelation 1:3)

It begins with Jesus saying; “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) And concludes with Him emphasizing, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:13)

Jesus is the central point of all eternity – past, present and future.

Although it boggles our finite minds, if we accept that God is not ‘predicting’ the future – He is already there – it might help us grow in our understanding of Him as we read John’s visions. Jesus is there, in the Garden of Eden, when Satan deceives humanity into rebellion against God. And Jesus is there when Satan is dealt with.

John was shown Satan’s future from Jesus’ perspective. His descriptions of creation worshiping God are majestic and glorious, but the visions of God dealing with rebellion are terrifying; so much so, at one point, he was told not to write down what he saw. (Revelation 10:4) However, the common thread through the whole record is, “God is, was and always will be, sovereign.

After seeing Satan’s influence eradicated for all eternity, John sees, God and humanity reunited as God sees it;

He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illuminate them; and they will reign forever and ever.

Revelation 22:1-5

The angel showing John this vision said,These words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 22:6)

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong still do wrong, and the one who is filthy still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness, and the one who is holy still keep himself holy.”

Revelation 22:10-11

Don’t hide or obscure these visions and don’t be distracted by the actions of people around you. You live the way I want you to live.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost.

Revelation 22:17

The invitation is clear and to be repeated throughout the world – “Come, it’s free.” (Mark 16:15) God, who has, is and always will be, loves His creation with an unfailing, everlasting love. And that includes YOU.

El-Olam – everlasting God – Thank You for loving me and securing my future. Help me live in that security.

“Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:20

Eternal God loves You,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 17th Jan 2022

PA043 – Reflections

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

A popular passage from Revelation is found as John records what he sees after God finally deals with Satan, the deceiver of humanity;

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Revelation 21:1-5

But what about the next passage? Unless we know the true source of our salvation, the enemy can use it to plant seeds of fear and doubt into our minds;

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give water to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life, without cost. The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:6-8

Show me one person, believer or unbeliever who has never done one or more of these things! Remember, Jesus said it is not just the outward act that is the sin – hate is no better than murder. (1 John 3:15) Now look at the list again! Have you ‘overcome’ all of them? Or, like Paul, do you still, sometimes find yourself frustrated and confused?

I do not understand what I am doing; for I am not practicing what I want to do, but I do the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:15

It is a real struggle we all have, and it will continue until Satan is finally dealt with; But don’t let him deceive you. Your salvation does not depend on you overcoming sin!

But God said, “The one who overcomes will inherit these things.” (Revelation 21:7) [Other translations read “the one who is victorious,” “the conqueror,” “the one who wins the nitzachon (victory),”] etc. Yes, and that is where Satan’s lies take root;

  • “You did it again.”
  • “You can’t help yourself.”
  • “You’re not good enough.”
  • “You might as well give up trying.”

The best way to lie is to tell the truth – carefully edited truth – and Satan is the father of lies. (John 8:44) The truth is, “You can’t help yourself,” but Paul tells us, “In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Our victory is not of ourselves. Jesus secured salvation for us and we have overcome through Him.

Elohim HeChacham – Only wise God – You knew, from the beginning that I could not overcome sin on my own. Thank You for giving me the victory through Jesus. Help me become more like Him.

He will wipe away every tear from your eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;

Revelation 21:4 (personalized)

You are victorious through Him,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 16th Jan 2022

Trapped – Ika, Nigeria – Feb 2013

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

Although much of what John witnessed and recorded in the book of Revelation was about things which ‘must take place’ in the future, (Revelation 4:1) that does not mean, there aren’t important applications for us today. In fact, John began his account saying;

Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

The Greek word often translated as ‘Blessed’ is ‘makarios’, which means ‘fortunate,’ ‘happy,’ ‘enlarged,’ or ‘lengthy.’

Another word that John could have used is ‘encouraged.’ – “Encouraged is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

One of many passages I find encouraging is found toward the end of Revelation;

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he took hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Revelation 20:1-3

The passage might bring up vivid images of clashes between angels and dragons, played out across the sky, like tales we’ve read about medieval times, but what did John actually observe? He saw an angel – a messenger from God – grab Satan, like you would grab a dog that was terrorizing children, and chain it up away from the kids. No struggle; no negotiations. Simply God in total control!

Why didn’t He bind Satan in the Garden of Eden? Why ‘must’ Satan be released again? You’ll have to ask God. While suffering tremendous loss, Job said;

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.

Job 13:15

Though I trust Him, I will ask Him why He wasn’t fair.”

When God revealed Himself to Job – “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4) – and showed His hand in all of creation, (Job 38 and 39) Job had nothing more to say – “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I say in response to You? I put my hand on my mouth.” (Job 40:4)

Trust God and ask Him the hard questions – He doesn’t mind – though I have a feeling, when we meet God in person, a lot of our questions will instantly seem insignificant!

Yahweh-HaRibbon – Lord, only sovereign – though I am often confused, thank You that You are in full control of every situation. Thank You for loving me through my doubts and questions, and for encouraging me through Your words.

Please listen, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.

Job 42:4

Be blessed knowing God is sovereign,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 15th Jan 2022

PA088 – Tropical Sunset

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

Reading John’s account of his vision of God’s final judgment of Satan, it is easy to get bogged down in the details. But remember, John is using language, he was familiar with, to describe events and scenes he had never seen before.

Satan uses John’s unfamiliarity to deceive us with details. For example, John refers to the ‘mark of the beast’ several times. How many times, in recent history, have we heard something labeled as the ‘mark of the beast’ because people disagree with it? I remember credit cards being so labeled because, the fear was, you wouldn’t be able to buy and sell without one. Recently it’s ‘masks’ and ‘vaccines!’ Obviously Satan tries to divide us in the confusion and uncertainty

I believe most prophecy is given so we can ‘recognize’ things as they happen, not so we’ll ‘know’ what is going to happen. For example; the Old Testament prophecies:

The religious leaders ‘knew’ the Messiah was going to come as a victorious leader and save His people from oppression. To them, He was going to throw off Roman control and reestablish the Nation of Israel. After His death and resurrection, we recognize that the prophecies were about a more than civil victory and salvation. We can look back at the prophecies and see clearly they were referring to spiritual victory and salvation. At the time, many rejected Jesus because He was not what they ‘knew’ He would be!

Today Satan tries to deceive us into overlooking the glory and majesty of God, that is woven throughout the book of Revelation, by focusing us on the details?

What then is the ‘mark of the beast?’ The answer is, John doesn’t tell us! And what I think doesn’t matter! Instead, look at what else John tells us;

I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
and
His name is called The Word of God

Revelation 19:11 & 13b

Where have we seen that description of Jesus before?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

John 1:1-2

And He is “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16) He is the final authority over ALL creation and He is faithful and true

Don’t let Satan deceive you with angst over the opinions of men! Trust the Faithfulness of God over all creation – He loves humanity and always will!

John wrote, the multitude in heaven declared, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let’s rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has prepared herself.” (Revelation 19:6-7) Our eternal reunion with God is assured. Trust Him!

Elohim Yishi – God of my Salvation – Thank You that my future is in Your hands and that You love me.

I have trusted in Your faithfulness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has looked after me.

Psalm 13:5-6

He is faithful and true,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 14th Jan 2022

Squaw Peak, MT – Jan 2022

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

In John’s vision, after the angel told him Satan would wage war against God and God would win, another powerful angel came down and declared;

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich from the excessive wealth of her luxury.

Revelation 16:2b-3

Who is this Babylon? Although there is a tendency to point fingers at nations, or human organizations, from the context of chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation, Babylon seems to be the sum of all the deceit Satan has used to lure humanity away from God;

  • You can be like God.” (The Garden of Eden Genesis 3:1-5)
  • Save yourself.” (The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1-4)
  • Crucify Him.” (The mob – Matthew 27:22-23)

World history is full of delusions Satan has used to divide and ensnare humans. Nations and individuals have gotten rich and powerful from the divisions, but the source has always been the deceiver. And, referring to Babylon, an angel declared;

In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.
Emphasis mine

Revelation 16:24

Satan has been the cause of every single death in history! When Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified, He overcame death; (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)

The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

1 Corinthians 15:26

Through John’s vision, we are given a glimpse of Satan’s defeat – the last chapter of that story – not so we can argue and divide over the when and how, but so we can confidently share the gospel. “God will win and, because He loves you, He has provided a way we can share that victory with Him forever!” (John 3:16)

When this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Adonai Hashem – Sovereign Lord – Thank You for Your love and wisdom. Help me share Your love with a divided humanity.

I have trusted in Your faithfulness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

Psalm 13:5

God wants YOU with Him forever,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 13th Jan 2022

PA007 – Unstoppable

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

In John’s vision of ‘things to come,’ after the seventh angel poured out his bowl of God’s wrath on the air, (Revelation 16:17-21) one of the seven angels came up to John and said, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” (Revelation 17:1-2)

Satan, the deceiver who has lured humanity into rebellion against God, will face judgment.” A final battle between good and evil – “the war to end all wars” – and John witnessed it, in the vision he was given!

Before we let our imaginations run wild with John’s attempts to record what he saw, let’s take a look at what the angel said next;

These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.

Revelation 17:14

Satan wants us to think that what John meant by “locusts with tails like scorpions,” “the mark of the beast,” “unclean spirits like frogs,” etc. is somehow important; and we divide over whose opinion is ‘closer’ to John’s descriptions. But, what is truly important is the running thread, throughout John’s vision – “God wins!” If we can grasp that, we are ‘blessed’ – makarios; fortunate, happy, enlarged, lengthy; (Revelation 1:3) Our view of life is ‘enlarged.’

Life is more than just the time we spend on earth. It is a thread in the eternal tapestry of God’s plan for creation!

“I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Melech HaMelachim – King of kings – Help us see Satan for who he is – the deceiver – and trust Your plans for the future.

In the Lord I take refuge

Psalm 11:1

God’s love wins,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 12th Jan 2022

Grandfather Lizard, Ankpa, Nigeria – Feb 2013

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord handed them over to Midian for seven years.

Judges 6:1

At the end of the seven years, when Israel cried out to God for relief, an angel appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” (Judges 6:12)

Gideon’s response is not unexpected in the situation, “If God is with us, why is this happening to us? Where are all His miracles that our fathers told us about? God has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

When God insisted he go save Israel, Gideon replied; “O Lord, how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15)

But God said, “I will certainly be with you, and you will defeat Midian as one man.”(Judges 6:16)

We could stop there, with the encouragement that, if God tells us to do something, He will do it through us! We may hesitate, feeling inadequate, but God declares us adequate, – “Valiant warrior” – for every task He assigns us! But there is more!

Gideon mustered up an army of thirty-two thousand men to go against Midian, but God said, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to hand Midian over to them, otherwise Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2)

So He had Gideon announce that anyone who was afraid or worried, should go home, and twenty-two thousand of them left. Then, as if loosing almost one third of your support wasn’t enough, God said, “The people are still too many,” (Judges 7:4) and He reduced the army down to three hundred men! That very night, he told Gideon, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have handed it over to you.” (Judges 7:9)

How would we feel if we lost 99% of our support? But God understood how Gideon must have been feeling and He said, “But if you are afraid…” and He gave Gideon a sign that boosted his courage so that he went back to the three hundred men and announced. “Arise, for the Lord has handed over to you the camp of Midian!” (Judges 7:15)

God doesn’t just tell us to do what He wants us to do and leave us to sink or swim. He knows when we are afraid, or worried, or tired, or whatever might make us hesitate; and He encourages us along the way! Do we recognize it? Gideon’s confidence was infectious as he led the three hundred to route the army of Midian.

HaShem my Madrikh – Lord my Guide – when I am hesitant, help me recognize your signs of encouragement and increase my confidence to follow Your lead.

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will make Your ear attentive

Psalm 10:17

Arise, He has given you the victory,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 11th Jan 2022

Re-Birth – Circa 1976

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

Do we focus too much, on John’s descriptions of the devastation he observed, in a vision, when God showed him things that inevitably must happen (Revelation 4:1) – The horsemen, terror, martyrs, famine, earthquakes, etc. Without doubt, what John observed was horrific. So terrifying, he struggled to find the words to describe it to us! – “A beast with ten horns and seven heads, like a leopard, with feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion; His power came from the dragon.” (Revelation 13:1-2) – The imagery of that description grabs our imagination!

But do we miss the thread of hope running through John’s descriptions? Chapter 15 begins;

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.

Revelation 15:1

‘Seven more plagues!’ Haven’t we heard enough to be ‘scared straight?’

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:31

And yet, over and over God says “Do not be afraid.

Inspired by God, John began writing about his visions by saying;

Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3

Blessed’ not ‘fearful’! The Greek word often translated as ‘Blessed’ is makarios, which means ‘fortunate,’ ‘happy,’ ‘enlarged,’ or ‘lengthy.’ What ‘happiness’ can be derived from reading about God’s wrath? Read that first verse again;

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.

Revelation 15:1

The wrath of God is finished.” That phrase is a beacon of hope for humanity!

God is holy, sovereign and righteous, so, rebellion stirs up a divine wrath – rebellion must be dealt with or God is neither sovereign, holy or righteous! The source of all rebellion is “The great dragon…, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9)

A subplot of the Book of Revelation is God’s final dealings with Satan. I say “subplot,” because God’s wrath has an end. With the seven plagues, “the wrath of God is finished.” Rebellion is dealt with, but the love of God continues unchanged!

Look at the song John heard the multitude in heaven singing;

Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.

Revelation 15:3d-4

Instead of letting Satan deceive us with fear, worship God for who He is – Love, eternal and unchangeable!

Elohei Kedem – Eternal God – Thank You that You remain the same from eternity to eternity.

He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples fairly.

Revelation 9:8

God is eternally unchangeable,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 10th Jan 2022

Sunrise in the Fog – This Morning

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.
Emphasis mine

2 Timothy 3:16-17

But what about….. Do we find ourselves picking and choosing what parts of scripture apply to us and what applies to others? Do we excuse our actions by saying, “That prohibition was written for that culture” or “That command was given for that particular situation?”

When Elisha told Naaman to go wash himself seven times in the Jordan River to heal his leprosy, after first refusing, he went, did what he was told and was cured. (2 Kings 5:9-14) Does that mean the cure for leprosy is in the Jordan River? Our initial response would be, “Of course not!BUT the benefit for ‘teaching, rebuke, correction and training’ is there. If God tells you to dip yourself in the Jordan River, DO IT!

So how are we supposed to determine what applies to us and what applies to others?

First; Dispel the notion that we determine what applies to others!

Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Romans 14:4

Second; We are not the final authority – God is!

Teaching His followers, Jesus would say things like, “You have heard it saidbut I say…” Was He saying the Law was wrong? No! (Matthew 5:17) He was saying, “This is how you are to apply the Law.” YOU! Not them; “I will take care of telling them how they are to apply it.

[Note: Sometimes, God uses us to teach others, (Matthew 28:20) but the authority is His.]

Third; Jesus will tell you exactly what applies to you and how to apply it!

When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 16:13

When Jesus returned physically into heaven, He gave us His Spirit to guide us. If you have questions, ask Him! (James 1:5) God is the final authority.

Reading John’s vision of ‘things to come’ recorded for us in Revelation, it is easy to dismiss it as ‘applying to the future’ or use it as a club to scare/threaten others. But remember “All Scripture is inspired by God…” so we must each ask the Holy Spirit, “What is the teaching, rebuke, correction, and/or training for me in each passage?”

Today, reading John’s vision of ‘the mark of the beast,’ (Revelation 14:9-11) this verse stood out:

Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

Revelation 14:12

The general understanding of that verse, among the various translations, is summed up in the NIV;

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

Revelation 14:12 NIV

The Spirit’s application for me is, “Whatever happens to me – past, present and future – I am called to patiently endure.” “Keep trusting God and obey.

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

God is training me through every experience.

El De’ot – God who intensively knows – Keep me from reading Your word with an attitude of ‘what applies’ and give me an attitude of ‘what are You saying to me.’

What is man that You think of him, and a son of man that You are concerned about him?

Psalm 8:4

Ask God,

-=john & nancy=-

Word of Encouragement – 9th Jan 2022

Today’s Sunrise – Missoula, MT

Grace, Hope & Peace, Friend;

In Judges we read, “The sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.” (Judges 2:11) Then, like a chorus to a familiar song, we hear, “The sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord.” (Judges 3:12, 4:1, 10:6 & 13:1) Each time, God would use one or more of the surrounding nations to discipline them until they repented and returned to Him. Then, God would raise up a leader to guide them back to Himself.

In Chapter 4, it was Jabin, king of Canaan, and the commander of his army, Sisera, who oppressed Israel severely for twenty years. Then, “The sons of Israel cried out to the Lord;” (Twenty years? Are we sometimes that stubborn?)

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Judges 4:4

She summoned Barak and gave him this message from God; “Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon, and I will hand him over to you.” (Judges 4:6-7)

Simple enough – “Go face the enemy and I will deal with them.” In light of who our real enemy is, Satan, that might not seem like a simple task, but God has given us the armor to stand up to him and resist him. (Ephesians 6:10-17)

After Deborah relayed God’s instructions, Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” (Judges 4:8)

Do we sometimes hesitate to do what God clearly tells us to do because we don’t want to go ‘alone?’ Isn’t it enough that we are never alone? Jesus said, “Go… I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Deborah replied to Barak, “I will certainly go with you; however, the fame shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” (Judges 4:9) And she went with him.

Yes, God defeated Sisera, his nine hundred iron chariots and his whole army, but it was Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, who became famous for offering to hide Sisera in her tent, and slaying him, as he slept, by pining him to the ground with a tent peg through his temple!

There are several things we can take from this passage, whatever our present circumstances;

  1. God’s purpose in every trial we experience is to draw us back to Him or closer to Him.
  2. No matter how long we take to repent, God is patient.
  3. When God says “Go,” know that He will go with you and He is the one who will get things done.

So God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan on that day before the sons of Israel.

Judges 4:23

In the middle of describing two ‘beasts’ warring against the ‘saints,’ John wrote, “God will do what He has planned, this requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints.” (Revelation 13:10 Summarized)

Do we have the faith to endure?

HaShem is ahavah – God is Love – I may not always understand what You are doing. Give me the faith to persevere.

I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 7:17

Trust His love,

-=john & nancy=-