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ELIJAH SERIES: PROPHET ON THE RUN

1 King 19 revealed after King Ahab shared the news of the Mount Carmel event and Elijah’s killing of all the prophets of Baal, infuriated Jezebel sent a message to Elijah. It said, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” Consequently, Elijah, the man who boldly declared a three-year drought to the king in chapter 17 and had stood alone against all the worshippers of Baal in chapter 18, became fearful of Jezebel. This man who trusted in God to feed him at the brook of Cherith, to feed him and the widow’s family in Zarephath, and to raise the widow’s son from the dead, apparently lost his confidence in God to keep him safe.

Elijah escaped from Jezreel and left his servant in Beersheba while going alone into the Negev wilderness. After traveling for a day, he found a Juniper tree and sat under it. It was there he requested to die. Tired emotionally and physically, Elijah fell asleep until he was awakened by an angel who had prepared a cake along with water for him. Elijah ate and fell back to sleep until he was awakened a second time by the angel with similar nourishments for him to consume.

Leaving there, Elijah traveled for forty days to Mount Sinai and entered a cave. It was here that God finally addressed Him with this question, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” Elijah responded, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

God told Elijah to come out of the cave, which he did not do. God passed by, and first, there was a strong wind, then an earthquake followed by fire. After the fire, God spoke in a still, small voice. Elijah responded by wrapping his face in his mantle and going and standing at the cave entrance. Again God repeated His same question to Elijah, and Elijah gave Him the same answer.

God did not reject Elijah because of his behavior or answer, but he gave him the task of anointing three men. Elijah was to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel, and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat to be his prophetic successor. Additionally, He told Elijah, “And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

Elijah left the cave with this information and went to the Jordan valley, where he found Elisha in his field plowing behind twelve oxen. Elijah cast his mantel on Elisha as he passed by him. Knowing what that meant, Elisha requested permission to say farewell to his parents before accompanying Elijah. Hence Elisha returned home, slew a yoke of oxen, and gave the meat to his people. Then he reconnected with Elijah and became his attendant and eventual successor.  

As I’ve done in the previous blog, I suggest you read 1 Kings 19 to gain detailed information about Elijah’s journey. I believe this chapter shows the frailty of man and the necessity of guarding your thoughts. Additionally, this is an excellent chapter to study when you want insight into emotional and mental health. I will not go into an in-depth analysis of Elijah’s mental status; however, I will share a few of my thoughts.

  • Fear often displaces faith when crises occur.
  • In this life, you will sometimes have mountain top victories, which lead to emotional highs, and valley failures that lead to emotional lows.
  • Like Elijah, we can be exhilarated one day about God’s anointing and supernatural move in our lives, and the next day an incident can erase the previous day’s feelings. Depression and fear because things did not turn out the way we expected is a common human experience. Undoubtedly, Elijah thought after the great display of God’s power, King Ahab, Jezebel, and Israel would be repentant and want to please and serve God. Instead, he finds he is still considered an enemy, which leads to his despair. When things appear to fall apart in your life, are you affected mentally and emotionally?
  • When you want to lose hope, remember the great things God did for you in your time of need.
  • Before giving into fear, consult with God for direction. Practice Philippians 4:6-8, Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
  • Isolation can prove detrimental to your mental health. While on the run, Elijah separated himself from human contact, which was counterproductive for his well-being. When you are going through life battles, it is wise to have people around you who can encourage and strengthen you.
  • Being physically and emotionally strained can lead to wrong decisions and a desire to die.
  • Elijah needed rest and nourishment for his journey, and so do you.
  • When you are depressed, your perception becomes blurred.
  • God can do the spectacular as well as simple things. He operates in various modes. He is not one-dimensional.
  • God doesn’t need to do the spectacular to show us He is present
  • Amid the turbulence, listen for the still small voice of God
  • Even though Obadiah, King Ahab’s governor, had told Elijah he hid one hundred prophets in a cave from Jezebel and provided for them during the drought, Elijah’s mind was fixated on the thought that there was no other prophet alive. After saying this three times, God corrected him. For us, we must realize that despite all the evil going on in this world against believers, God will always have a remnant.
  • When in error, God enlightens us with the truth.
  • God did not address Elijah’s despondency, and it is possible He may not address yours. Unlike Elijah, we have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, and God expects us to use the tools the He has provided for our success.
  • God uses who He will to bring judgment.
  • God prepares men for their assignments.

ELIJAH SERIES: HALTED BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS

In 1 Kings 18, the three-year drought prophesied to King Ahab by Elijah in 1 King 17 ended, and God instructed Elijah to go and meet with King Ahab.  

On the way to meet the king, Elijah encounters Obadiah, the governor of Ahab’s house and worshipper of God. Obadiah told Elijah how he hid one hundred prophets in two caves and fed them when Jezebel was killing off the prophets of God, how King Ahab had searched the land for grass for his horses and mules, and searched the neighboring nations for Elijah. When told by Elijah to say to King Ahab that he was here, Obadiah was reluctant to do so for fear Elijah would disappear and then King Ahab would kill him. However, Elijah assured him that he would appear before King Ahab.  

When Elijah and King Ahab met, Ahab said, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” and Elijah responded, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” He further told Ahab to gather Israel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah that eat at Jezebel’s table, to Mount Carmel.

When the people arrived at Mount Carmel, Elijah said to them, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” After receiving no response from Israel, Elijah challenged the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. They both were to offer a bull sacrifice, pray to their God and anticipate their offering to be supernaturally consumed by fire.

The prophets of Baal went first. As the day progressed from morning to evening, Elijah taunted and mocked the prophets of Baal as they continued in their futile prayers and pleas, leaping on their altar and cutting themselves while awaiting their God to respond.

Finally, when it was time for the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah first repaired the altar of God, which Israel had allowed to go to waste. Then he made a trench about the altar and placed the wood on the altar with the cut pieces of the bull on it. He ended by having four barrels of water poured over the prepared sacrifice three times. Elijah prayed, and fire descended from the Lord, consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and the water in the trench. The people responded by bowing down and saying, ‘The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.” Hence, after irrefutable proof was displayed, those assembled were no longer halted between who was the true God. And without delay, Elijah had the people take the prophets of Baal down to the brook Kishon and execute them.

Elijah instructed King Ahab to go and eat before the heavy rain started. Meanwhile, Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel, bowed down, put his face between his knees, and prayed. He told his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” The servant went but saw nothing, to which Elijah had the servant do this seven times. On the seventh time, the servant reported he saw what appeared to be a cloud that looked like a man’s hand rising out of the sea.

Elijah sent word to King Ahab via his servant to get off Mount Carmel before the rain started. However, while King Ahab rode in his chariot back to Jezreel, the heavy rain came. The spirit of the Lord came upon Elijah, and he, on foot, outran the king in his chariot to their destination.

For a more detailed account of this chapter, I recommend reading it. From this chapter, here are my thoughts:

  • God has a set timing for events to occur.
  • Wait on God for directions concerning your next move.
  • There are those who care for the survival of their livestock more than the survival of people
  • There will be consequences when there is a failure to keep God’s covenant.
  • When leaders make the wrong decisions, people suffer.
  • You can hold a position without compromising your integrity.
  • God has people strategically planted to protect and care for the needs of His people.
  • People will label you a troublemaker when you speak the Word of the Lord.
  • It is difficult to admit you were wrong when people’s lives have been put in jeopardy.
  • To implement the change of wrongdoing, confrontation  is necessary
  • Followers of God must be monotheistic.
  • Double-mindedness is not acceptable when serving God.
  • While others are in a frenzy, you can remain calm because you know whom you trust.
  • With confidence in God, you can do the unthinkable.
  • Restore the things of God.
  • God and He alone is the giver of rain.
  • God stands behind His Word.
  • Pray until something happens.
  • God can give you supernatural abilities to overtake and outrun those depending on human strength.

If you are interested in Jezebel’s reaction to the slaying of the prophets of Baal and Elijah’s fearful response, revisit this blog next week.

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ELIJAH SERIES: THREE YEAR DROUGHT (Blog 1)

Elijah the Tishbite, who resided in Gilead, lived during the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was introduced to the readers of scripture in 1 Kings 17. He gave King Ahab this Word, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” This made him an enemy of King Ahab, who, along with Israel, was worshipping Baal, the god of Ahab’s wife. (Baal was supposedly the Phoenician fertility god of rain and bountiful harvest.)

God instructed Elijah to escape for his life, leave Samaria, and go east to the brook Cherith where he would be safe. While there, Elijah was able to drink from the brook, and he was brought bread and flesh in the morning and evening by ravens whom God commanded to do so. Eventually, the brook dried up, and God sent Elijah a hundred miles to Zarephath, which belonged to Zidon. This time God chose a Gentile widow to provide food for Elijah.

When Elijah arrived in Zarephath, he saw the woman and requested her to bring him some water, and as she went, he asked her also for a morsel of bread. She replied, “As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Nevertheless, Elijah responded, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” So, the widow acquiesced, and the meal and oil lasted throughout the drought, just as Elijah stated.

During his stay with the widow, her son became ill and died, which caused her to question her past sins. However, Elijah took the dead child to his room, fervently prayed to God, stretched himself upon the child three times, and God revived the child. When Elijah brought the live child back to his mother, she declared, “Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”

Here are my thoughts on this chapter:

  • The scriptures did not reveal a genealogy or any personal information on Elijah. He appeared in the scripture at a time when Israel thought they could serve the God of their forefathers and worship Baal, the chief god of the Canaanite nations. God will always have someone who will stand up for righteousness and speak to powers concerning immorality and idolatry. With this in mind, as ambassadors of God we cannot synthesize the Word, sinful practices, and popular opinions of our day and think God is pleased. Like Elijah, we are to stand up for the truth.
  • Guard against doing the popular.
  • God kept His Word. He told Israel if they committed idolatry, He would keep dew and rain from their land (Lev.26:3-4, 18-19, Deut. 11:16-17; 28:23-24). Thus, idolatry produces unfavorable consequences.
  • Believing in the prophet’s words will prepare you for the days ahead.
  • God works in miraculous ways. To accomplish His purpose, God will use anyone and anything.
  • During times of drought and famine, God provides. You can rely on God for your daily bread.
  • God gives direction as needed; He does not overload us with information.
  • God can keep you safe in enemy territory.
  • God meets the need of the believer as well as the unbeliever. Additionally, God can meet multiple conditions at the same time.
  • Prayer changes situations.
  • Undeniable miracles will cause people to believe in God.
  • Elijah’s experiences in Samaria, at the brook Cherith, and in Zarephath were to build his faith and trust in God. Small challenges are a stepping stone to bigger challenges. Remember the divine interventions of the past, for they will help you navigate your future.

WHAT ANGERED GOD

Throughout the Bible, there are scriptures and stories of the lovingkindness, long-suffering, mercy, grace, and favor of God toward humanity. There are also scriptures and stories that reveal that God does get angry, particularly with us, His creation, when we reject His commandments, fail to recognize His provisions and grumble about His care for us. One of the most significant examples of people angering God is Israel, as seen in their wilderness journey.

After being in Egypt for four hundred thirty years, God was ready to deliver Israel from their enslavement. God knew that Pharoah would not willingly release the Israelites, so He sent ten plagues on the Egyptians. These plagues displayed to the Egyptians that Israel had a great God working on their behave and reintroduced to Israel the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

After the last plague, Pharoah let Israel go, and they left Egypt and went into the wilderness as directed by God. It was during their wilderness journey that the Israelites showed God they did not trust Him. Their wilderness journey, which should have ended a little beyond the two years, lasted forty years, and Numbers 14:20-23 revealed how this transpired. Additionally, in these verses, God voices his displeasure with Israel and how He was going to penalize them for their actions.  

Israel’s lustful appetite, lack of discipline, and trust in the “I AM” resulted in everyone over the age of twenty dying in the wilderness. It was God’s plan that the tribe of Israel return to the Promise Land; sadly, that did not happen, for many needlessly died along the way. What does this say to us? God is patient with us; however, continued negative actions toward Him will eventually anger him, and it will result in us suffering the consequence of our deeds. Blog message for today, “Don’t make God angry.”

CELEBRATION OF THE RESURRECTION WITH HYMNS AND SONG

Christians have been commemorating the last week of Jesus’s life prior to His crucifixion this week. And tomorrow, Christians will be celebrating the day that He arose from the grave and accomplished why He came to the earth.

This week hymns that I learned during my childhood concerning the cross and Jesus’s victorious resurrection have flooded my memory, causing me to sing them throughout my day. So, I decided that rather than blog an article this week, I would share some verses and choruses of songs I have been singing.

At The Cross by Ralph Hudson

Alas, and did my Savior bleed and did my sovereign die
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I

At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the Light
And the burden of my heart rolled away, rolled away
It was there by Faith, I received my sight
And now I am happy all the day.

He Was Nailed To The Cross For Me by F. A. Graves

What a wonderful, wonderful Savior,
Who would die on the cross for me!
Freely shedding His precious lifeblood,
That the sinner might be made free.

He was nailed to the cross for me,
He was nailed to the cross for me;
On the cross crucified for me He died;
He was nailed to the cross for me.

He Lives by Alfred H. Ackley

I serve a risen Savior,
He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near

He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

Are You Washed In The Blood? by Elisha A. Hoffman

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lead Me To Calvary by Don Moen

King of my life, I crown Thee now
Thine shall the glory be
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow
Lead me to Calvary

Lest I forget Gethsemane
Lest I forget Thine agony
Lest I forget Thy love for me
Lead me to Calvary

The Cross Is Not Greater by Ballington Booth

The cross that He gave may be heavy,
But it ne’er outweighs His grace;
The storm that I feared may surround me,
But it ne’er excludes His face.

The cross is not greater than His grace,
The storm cannot hide His blessed face;
I am satisfied to know
That with Jesus here below,
I can conquer ev’ry foe.

I could not end this blog without including this last song Just for Me by Donnie McClurkin  

Well the cross will always represent the love God had for me
When the Lord of glory, heaven sent gave all on calvary
He did it just for me, just for me, Hallelujah
Jesus came and did it just for me.

Those of you who are older and grew up singing hymns, I am sure some of the hymns above are known to you. If you have not sung them recently, I pray you have been blessed just by reading the words. Additionally, I pray that not only this week or tomorrow but that we continue to celebrate in hymns what Jesus did for us long ago at calvary and that you are a partaker of the salvation that God has provided thru His Son.

GOD HAS REQUIREMENTS

This world belongs to God as stated by David in Psalms 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” God is not only the creator and owner of the earth, but He is also the king. As a king, He has requirements for the residents of His kingdom to follow. Unfortunately, not all people who live in God’s kingdom adhere to His rules because they fail to acknowledge him as the king. Hence, this scripture written thousands of years ago and found in Judges17:6b, “But every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” holds true today.

From the beginning of time, humans had difficulty following God’s requirements which can be noted in a study of the dispensations. Altogether, seven dispensations cover the period from creation to the end of the millennial reign of Jesus, but thus far, only six dispensations have taken place. So, let me share some information on dispensations to further illuminate man’s continued failure.

  1. In the first dispensation of innocence, Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but they did (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6).
  2. In the second dispensation, which was called the dispensation of conscience, the man was told to do well; however, as revealed in scripture, the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was continually evil (Genesis 6:5).
  3. In the third dispensation of human government, man was told to be fruitful and replenish the earth; however, men decided to congregate and build a city and a tower, whose top reached into heaven (Genesis 11:4).
  4. In the fourth dispensation of promise, God chose to bless Abram and his descendant and give them the land of Canaan, but they left their inheritance and went down into Egypt, where they ended up in bondage (Exodus 1).
  5. In the fifth dispensation of law, God gave Israel commandments, statutes, and laws to follow after being delivered from their bondage, but they persisted in violating them. Once again, they ended up in captivity (2 Kings 17, 25).
  6. We are now in the sixth dispensation of grace, where Jesus came and died to provide salvation to all who will acknowledge they are a sinner, repent and give their life to God. Some have done so, and many have not (Mathew 7:14, John 6:47, Acts 2:38, 2 Thessalonians 2: 7-12).  
  7. The seventh dispensation, which is the Millennial reign of Jesus on earth, is yet to occur; however, from the scriptures, we know that Satan will rally many to rebel against Jesus, which ends in the battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:7-8).

In creating man, God allowed him to have free will, and sadly many have been deceived and have chosen to reject God and His requirements. For some reason, men feel they know more than God and don’t need divine intervention and guidance in their lives. Thus, we have the turmoil in the earth, which started in the Garden of Eden and continues on, all because men neglect to obey God’s requirements.

THE JEALOUS GOD

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

From the very start, I started this blog with scriptures about the jealous God because I wanted to emphasize that God is jealous. He absolutely wants to be number one in our lives, and this has been his desire from the beginning of time.

After his harmonious relationship with Adam and Eve ended, God sought a relationship with their descendants. From the generations of Adam to Noah, the bible reveals that only Enoch and Noah found favor with Him and served Him in the manner He required. In time God chose and separated Abraham from his family. He told Abraham how He would bless him and his descendants, and Abraham believed God

God had an active relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while they were in the land of Canaan, and He was their God. Unfortunately, there was a famine in the land, and Jacob and his family went to Egypt. After the famine ended, the children of Israel did not return to Canaan but spent four hundred and thirty years there and ended in bondage to the Egyptians.

Prior to Moses going to the children of Israel in Egypt, God met with him on Mount Horeb. God said to Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:15). God made this statement to them because while in Egypt, they forsook the God of their forefathers and started worshipping the idol gods of Egypt, and God wanted them to renew their relationship with Him.

Before leaving Egypt, God proved himself to them by many miracles, and when he delivered them, they went into the wilderness. It was here that God gave them His commandments, and the first ones that He spoke to them found in Exodus 20:3-5 said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

Moses shared this with them at the beginning of their wilderness experience and reiterated this commandment at the end of their forty-year wilderness journey. Before his death, Joshua, who led the children of Israel back into Canaan, reminded them of this commandment.

I believe the believer’s remedy for not making God jealous was first shared by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and reiterated by Jesus during His earthly ministry. If believers obey the Words of Jesus and Moses, we will not commit idolatry, and God will not be jealous for our attention. Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 10:29-30). Nothing is lacking when we give it our all, and we can be assured we have not made God jealous.

A TIME OF PEACE

Presently we are living in a tumultuous time. According to the World Population Review, twenty-three countries are currently engaged in wars. Daily, we hear of wars, and with things escalating between Russia and Ukraine, there are rumors of a possible World War III happening. Besides the wars, senseless killings are also taking place. The World Report on Violence and Health reports that over 1.6 million people lost their lives to violence last year.

These events can be very disheartening for the inhabitant of this earth; however, for believers, we have an assurance of a time of peace that we will enjoy on this earth during the millennial reign of Jesus. His reign is set to take place after the war of Armageddon, the placement of Satan in the bottomless pit, and the casting of the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the lake of fire. (These two will spend more time in the lake of fire than every other being).

Jesus’ headquarters will be in Jerusalem. Isaiah 2:3-4 states, “And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up their sword against nations, neither shall they learn war any more.”  Yes, the world will not be perfect, for the scriptures reveal that Jesus will be ruling with a rod of iron, but under His rule, we know justice will prevail.

After enduring all of the climate changes that are presently affecting the earth, plus the twenty-one judgments that occur during the tribulation, the earth will also welcome and experience rest, restoration, and peace during the millennial reign of Jesus.

I am sharing this information with you because of the stress and pressures that people are voicing. I want you to be encouraged and know that things will change for the better. There will be peace on this earth and no destruction, and if you are a believer, you will be experiencing it with our Lord and King. Oh, what a great time that will be; I am anxiously looking forward to it, and I pray you are doing the same.

UNLEARNED GENERATION

While Israel was under his leadership, Moses adhered to God’s instructions for them, “Put a difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken unto them” (Leviticus 10:10-11). Furthermore, as their forty years, wilderness journey was coming to an end, Moses included these words in his final speech to Israel, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children” (Deuteronomy 4:9-10). Also, “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). Lastly, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth ” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21). Moses wanted the people to know teaching the children was vital, so he repeated this thought several times in his closing remarks.

After the death of Moses and Joshua, the second leader of the Israelites, the elders dropped the ball with the younger generation for the scriptures in Judges 2:8 -12 revealed. “And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.” Unfortunately, their unlearnedness could be one of the reasons they ended in captivity.

In his writing to Timothy, Paul states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (Timothy 3:16-17). The Living Bible reads it like this, “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone. And The Message Bible reads,” Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

God gave us his Word to assist us in functioning effectively in this world. He desires that we all live a godly life, and none old or young should perish, which is accomplished by applying the Word to our lives.

Those of us who are elders have a daunting responsibility of sharing the Word with the younger generation. Though many may not want to listen, we must seek the wisdom of God for a strategy to reach them. The enemy of their souls employs all kinds of methods to distract them and draw them away from God, but with God’s help, we will carry out our assignment. And I declare our unlearned generation will hear the Gospel of Jesus and become a servant of the living God.

SWEET SLEEP

Psalms 3:1-8 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Today I want to encourage you amid all the painful and troublous circumstances you may be presently experiencing. I want you to know that God hears your cry. He will strengthen and support you both physically and mentally, resulting in you having a sweet sleep.

In Psalm 3, King David is fleeing from Jerusalem due to the impending attack from his son Absalom. David had fought against many enemies, but he had never fought against a family member. Knowing his son wanted to kill him weighed heavily on David’s mind, causing mental anguish. Added to that fact was the realization that people whom he considered supporters and colleagues had turned against him and joined Absalom’s treasonous group.

As seen in Psalms 3, David’s lifeline was knowing God was his protection, he could cry unto him, and God would hear him. Though he was not in the palace where he could sleep comfortably in his bed but out in the rugged countryside, David was able to go to sleep having submitted all of his cares to God

Having slept, David awakens refreshed, knowing he did not have to be fearful for God handled all of his enemies. King David ends this Psalms in gratitude, acknowledging God saves and blesses His people

You can have the same sweet sleep as David by surrendering your mind, soul, and body to God. And when you awaken, don’t forget to thank Him.