25TH August 2011
Six months ago at this time, Sharon and I were in the United Arab Emirates waiting for a flight to Bahrain. As a result of a tiff between the Canadian and United Arab Emirates politicians, we were stopped from entering Bahrain for a ministry trip. However, the very night we were due to land, the Bahrain riots broke out and more than sixty people died in Manama. We thus spent a few days with my brother, who is a civil engineer based in Dubai. While there, on the 22nd of February, we got to hear Gaddafi’s full speech televised by Al-Jazeera, where he vowed to hunt down the ‘traitors’ among his people like rats from street to street; house to house, until he had rid his land of all the vermin. Today, six months later, it is those very revolutionary rebel ‘rats’ who are going from street to street ridding their Libya of the madman who effectively pronounced the death sentence on them.
I was in a state of shock, not at this speech, but at the events occurring over the once well controlled Mid-Orient. The social revolution had begun!
The lesson perhaps being learned again is that God does not overlook the innocent; the poor, and the downtrodden. Their cries do ascend up to heaven. He is not forever silent in the theatres of their tears! “Zenga by zenga” (“Inch by inch” – song written by an Israelite – inspired by the Gaddafi tirade) God’s purposes do arrive on time at the gates of our edifices and abuses! Did we not also see the Berlin Wall, and the abuses carried out by the ideologies that undergirded it, dismantled piece by piece (that story is not yet over)?
We were discussing as a family what are the options that a Canadian has if he or she were to choose any political party in our country. Someone suggested that there is the option of “spoiling the vote”, but is that any better than putting our ‘sign’ on any candidate or party that supports the murder of the unborn? These are all invidious choices! For us to affirm any of it (I am not advocating passivism), may be no better a wisdom than the foolishness of a young Quebecer girl who sought employment in the government only to get the opportunity to display a placard protesting the leadership of this land while parliament sat in session (actual event occurring at the beginning of the year).
What are our choices? We should ask: Is Western behavior more acceptable simply because we agree democratically? Clearly, agreement was never a guarantee of peace. We could agree to kill and think ourselves at peace, but God sees everything, and will not be silent, though many, as God’s words warns, will ask scornfully, “where is your silent God now?” But as we have seen, God will be as ‘silent’ in the Mid-Orient as he was ‘silent’ at Russian abuses. God will be as ‘silent’ as he was in Egypt, when he used a Joseph to rescue the nations of his day from famine. God will be as ‘silent’ as when he used a Daniel to turn the mighty Babylonian empire literally on its head.
We should seriously consider the possibility that God means what he says, when he states that “that all things that can be shaken will be shaken” (Hebrews 12). In addressing Job’s self-righteousness, Elihu, referring to God, said, “But if he remains silent, who can condemn him? If he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he is over man and nation alike” (Job 34:29). Even now, there are countless millions who are crying out as David did, “O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord” (Psalm 35:22)
Isaiah, one of the greatest books outlining God’s strategies for the world from its inception to its conclusion is a most worthy read and study. I consider it great wisdom for every person who desires leadership at any level to make a rigorous study of it. Buy a commentary of Isaiah, such as that of Barry Webb’s, and ask God to reveal his eternal purposes as you marinate in its verses! Indelibly etched in every verse are two things, first, that mankind is sinful and undeserving, and second, that despite it, God has chosen not to be angry by providing a solution through his grace and mercy to the world: Jesus Christ!
When Isaiah writes that God will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch (62:1), he is foretelling the truth that in the last days “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2).
One night God spoke to Paul in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent” (Acts 18:19).Paul had obtained his mandate through God’s glory. We should ask: how are we making our stand in love? How do I let go? How do I go deeper in bible study? What is Christianity to me? What is the meaning of life? What is God’s grace to me? What is God’s power to me and through me? How do I serve? Is Jesus real to me? Is he a friend? Has his love for me produced in me a love for others? What is life? How is my family? Am I fighting the battles God gives me faithfully? What is prayer to me? What is generosity to me? Am I building a destiny that others will be able to build on, or am I self-centered? What is God’s forgiveness to me? What is God’s peace to me?
So take heart, brothers and sisters, there are fights to fight, that only each of us can engage, as there is a particular mantle for every born again person who turns their face to God. Whether it is to fight for the murdered unborn, or to reach out a hand to a poor neighbor, there is no difference or distinction to God – the two things he sees are, first, do we believe in Jesus Christ, and second, have we been obedient to love others as he has loved us, and soon enough, Jesus Christ will return as the Bible promises! The Spirit is here to take each of us forward one step at a time into greater and greater expressions of God’s glory!
Keep on. Loys