Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 6

All Nations

July 6 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 19-21 and Psalms 6

In Isaiah 19:19-25 there is a strange but marvelous passage which reads, “In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

Here – right in the middle of all these prophecies concerning the destruction of godless nations, we find this passage of God’s vision and love for the whole world – that all nations would be invited to be His people – that judgment would cease. It is sin that causes judgment – and justice demands judgment. If a judge does not administer justice in a righteous fashion; we have no patience for him. Criminals deserve the sentence due for the crime committed – and crime is just another word for sin. When we read chapter after chapter of God’s judgment on the earth, we must realize that He is the judge of the whole earth – and when nations commit crimes, there will be judgment and punishment fitting the crimes committed.

Being a Judge is definitely part of the make-up of God but being a Father is His true heart’s desire. If nations turn from sin and run to Father-God will He not heal their wounds? When God speaks of Egypt, Assyria and Israel all serving The Lord together, we see His true design for the Earth.

Is judgment coming to the Earth? Indeed it is. Every nation – every people group – every individual who has rejected what is right and committed “crime” against God’s Holy design will be cast from His sight. Those who have turned from this rebellion and surrendered their hearts to God will be spared this judgment. How can this be? Its because Someone already paid the full price for the crime. Those who accept these terms are free to live in God’s kingdom – no expulsion – no punishment. What a deal!

I find it fascinating that at times, God seems to focus on entire people-groups at once – “the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians”. May this be true for this nation – may the nation you live in be visited by a national revelation of the Almighty – let there once again be national revivals that draw the world’s attention to the goodness and mercy of God.

Questions:

1. Give an example from Scripture that depicts the mercy and judgment of God.
2. Give another example from Scripture which clearly depicts the heart of God towards the nations of the Earth.

God Loves Nations

January 6 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 16-18 and Psalms 6

In Chapter 16 we find a powerful, historical account and foundation of many modern day “Arab” nations – people groups who are direct descendants of Abraham through their ancestral mother Hagar. I believe God has a plan for – and still holds a loving place in his heart for all the direct descendants of Ishmael. I know that at this point in history we are having a great deal of difficulty dealing with extreme Islamist groups and individuals who kill thousands with bombs and persecutions and other hate crimes. All these atrocities are committed in the name of a “god” whom they still claim to be “Beer Lahai Roi”, “the God who sees me”. Many Arabs, especially those politically governed by Islamic ideology, still “live in hostility toward all [their] brothers” – and they completely despise the “other” son of Abraham – Isaac.

Remember in Genesis17: 20 when God spoke to Abraham about the destiny of his son Ishmael? – “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him…” There is no greater “blessing” for any group of people than God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. I believe the Father desires that the entire world come to a place of true “sonship” in God through Jesus Christ – including ALL the children of Abraham. Remember that Jesus told the unbelieving Jews that they were NOT children of Abraham because they refused faith in Him. In like manner the circumcised sons of Ishmael are not true children of God without Jesus Christ. Lets continue to pray for Arab nations and the Jewish nation – God wants to add these people to the Church!

In Chapter 18, Abraham welcomes 3 “visitors” who say, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous …” In Scripture God rarely passes judgment on people before death. The few I can recall include; the flood in Noah’s time – the death of Ananias and Sapphira before Peter in Acts 5 – fire coming out from the Lord to kill Nadab and Abihu under Moses in Leviticus 10.
We use God’s judgment of Sodom as an example of how much He hates sexual sin, and so we should. Remember though, that God also judged people for false worship in Leviticus 10, for spiritual hypocrisy in Acts 5 and for widespread sin of all kinds in Genesis 7. Let us never put one particular sin ahead of another just because one sin is more “socially accepted”. All people who die in rebellion against God will face Him on the Day of Judgment and the consequence will be eternal separation from God. It will no doubt surprise us, however, that some we thought would be heaven may not be and some who we thought would never make it are wearing crowns of glory – only God knows whats really taking place in people’s hearts.

Challenge:

Christians traditionally have a hard time reaching out to Islamists and the Gay community. What attitude adjustments do we (do you) need to make so that you can see these people through Jesus’ loving eyes? Make a list of “outcast” people God may be asking you to pay attention to and begin to pray for “divine appointments” with them!

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