This is what the Sovereign Lord says. . . “When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused . . . I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Selections from Ez 38
Who is Gog? No one knows for sure. But this verse illustrates for us one thing we can know. God is with his people and fiercely protects them.
As I was running this morning I thought of how I have lost sight of this. When I pray, I haven’t been having the faith that God is going to work the situation out. It may be because sometimes I have felt bad physically, been tired, and haven’t been able to think clearly. When I have needed God to give me a clear head, it hasn’t always happened. God doesn’t always change our physiological circumstances.
But God’s grace has been sufficient. I have gotten through one day at a time. I am feeling somewhat better in health. I am excited that we have candidates to be permanent leaders in our church. Several of the women we have been studying with want to get baptized.
God HAS been with me, even in my weakness!!! Let me not be like the Israelites:
And he (Moses) called the place Massah and Meribahbecause the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Ex 17:7
Here is the source of my faith: If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 Nothing in my life is going to go right unless I am close to Jesus. When I embrace him throughout the day, things will work out.
Jake preached a great sermon on Sunday about seeing with eyes of faith. He used this passage from II Kings 6: And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Jake asked us, “What would you do differently if you really believed God is with you?” I have been asking myself that this week. I am not sure. But I know I don’t have the confidence I need to have.
I will give you every place where you set your foot . . . No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous… Joshua 1:3-6
Be strong. Be courageous. I second guess myself too much. I am too quick to feel defeated. Let me go out instead with boldness. I am God’s daughter, I am chosen by him, I am a part of his priesthood, his anointed. Of course He is with me! Of course He is fighting for me!
God takes it personally when His people are in distress. In Exodus, after the Amalekites attacked the Israelites and were defeated, the account tells us, “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” Ex 17:15-16
David said of Goliath, “Who is this uncircumcised philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I Sam 17:26
When people contend with us, they contend with God!
This Sunday, we are teaching the story of the 12 spies who went to investigate the Promise Land. For the craft, each child will make and decorate a pair of glasses that will be their “eyes of faith” to help them see like Joshua and Caleb, that God is bigger than whatever they fear.
Let us all put on our eyes of faith. We need to persevere and believe that God is with us, even when it seems He is not. I was talking to someone yesterday who has for years been one of just a handful of disciples where he lives. He was excited to share that finally there are plans to plant a church in his city.
I will post a picture soon of my tomato plant. I planted it in the summer from seeds. It grew and grew, but never had any tomatoes. Then, a few weeks ago, it actually started to produce fruit! Now, in cold November, I have a tomato that is red and ripe, and several more that are growing. I think and hope that this tomato plant is a symbol for my life, that sometimes it seems like nothing is working, but in time, if I keep on, the harvest will come. Amen. We will stand in awe. To God be the glory.