The children of Israel received a promise from God, a land flowing with milk and honey. We have often associated this promise with prosperity and correctly so. However, I believe the most important part of this promise is a place/position carved out for Israel in God’s plan. Every blessing or prosperity they will receive is tied to their occupying this position. It is like the crucial positional play a piece on a chess board plays in the overall strategy.
We see this everytime Israel falls into sin, the land is invaded and the people taken into captivity. The wealth and the treasures associated with the land are subsequently plundered and the Israelites must start from scratch again.
The Most High always Fulfils His Promises
Deliverance comes after Slavery
We are familiar with the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery and presumed dead by his family. He suffered false accusations, imprisonment and betrayal but through it all he never gave up on God. At the right time, God placed him strategically in a key position in government through which He preserved Israel. All the wealth and prosperity that Israel would need to become a nation was already in Egypt. All they had to do was walk in there for God had prepared a table before them in the presence of their enemies (Psalm 23:5). It is important to note that I used the words ‘walk in’ which describes an active co-operation with God in contrast to a lazy sense of spiritual entitlement.
To every promise, there is a time
There was a year when I first applied to travel to Europe; I had received a school admission and had just applied for a resident visa at the embassy. Although I had this sense of expectation; I knew there was something God wanted to say to me, I just did not know what it was. The Sunday after my application, I was in a workers meeting in church when I received a word from God. Out of nowhere, a Bible passage came floating into my consciousness;
And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. – Ex 40:36-38
I got really confused at this point, what was He trying to tell me? Is it not time to go? Why was He telling me this now when most of the work was done and I was only waiting for a visa interview? But I knew without a doubt that He was telling me not to travel now. I had submitted my travel visa application, so there was really nothing else to do than to wait anyway.
Eventually, the embassy got back to me with the ‘bad’ news. My visa couldn’t be ready before the commencement of the school program.
God sees the future we are unable to
The embassy advised me to ask the school to defer my admission by a year. This would allow them to send the admission letter much earlier allowing adequate time for visa processing. Naturally I followed their advice but I had this nagging question as to why God wanted it postponed. I knew it was not simply a time issue because He could easily expedite the visa process if He wanted to.
The answer came a couple of months later. My family went through a crisis that would have resulted in an absolute disaster if I hadn’t been around. Fortunately God kept me in town to sort things out. I could then travel out to Europe for studies without the worry of my family’s security.
Wait for it, It will not lie
Consider also this passage in Habakkuk:
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. – Habakkuk 2:3
Wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise in your life. Do not be in a hurry and do not chase short cuts. God ALWAYS fulfils His Word that He has sent forth, He does not make an empty promise (Isaiah 55:11).
The earth belongs to God, and He gives it to whom He wills
Noah found grace in God’s eyes and received salvation from the floodwaters. He became the second richest man to ever live on this planet. He had the entire earth and all its fullness to himself and his family. All the wealth for which mankind had committed so much atrocities for had been reallocated into a Noah and sons private enterprise. Forget about Forbes 100 richest men, Noah owned everything. He walked where God told him to and remained faithful to his calling.
In case you wondered who was the wealthiest man ever, that has to be Adam; he shared absolute custody of the earth with his wife.
We Need to Play our Part
We have a responsibility to obey
God had made the resources available in the land. However, obedience and faithfulness to the Almighty was required for Israel to be able to tap these resources. We see more often than not how unfaithful Israel regularly chose to be. God knows what the future holds for us and He constantly works to guide us into His perfect plan. The path through which He guides us may constantly be in conflict with the path we have imagined for ourselves., It is to our advantage if we yield to His plans.
We need to stop making excuses
The Bible is full of promises that are applicable to us today. Yet for the most part, we do not even come close to living a victorious or prosperous Christian life. We find it impossible to ‘posses every land where our feet shall tread’.
We blame our failures on capitalism, racism, economics and in extreme cases even on welfare. Most if not all these factors have existed since the beginning of time. Yet, it never hindered the prophets of old.
Abraham left his home for a strange country at Gods command. Did he suffer racism or lived in an economically hostile atmosphere? You bet he did.
Twice he relocated because of famine. To avoid getting killed, he claimed that Sarai was his sister (which she was) on two occasions. Yet he prospered so much that trained his own private army. His property increased such that there wasn’t enough space on the land to accommodate him and his nephew.
God cannot change, but we can
We know the story of Cain and Abel in the fourth chapter of Genesis.Cain was upset because God accepted Abel’s offering and not his. God had a piece of advice for him:
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. – Genesis 4:7
God is not partial, He relates with us based on how we relate with Him. When we follow His set rules, we will be accepted. If we do not, He rejects us. We have the power to choose our path in life, let us therefore choose well.
Cain’s problem was himself and not Abel. All he had to do was change his own attitude and ways, not kill his brother. By killing Abel, he thought his problems would go away. Instead, they became worse. That is usually what happens when we blame others for our problems. Let us rather take responsibility for the mess we created.
We cannot force people to be what we want them to be. We can only change ourselves to be who we were born to be.
The children of Israel are the chosen people. They weren’t picked by ballot, but based on the faith of their ancestor Abraham (Genesis 22:16-18). Neither was Lucifer cast down simply because God needed someone to barbecue. He fell because he chose the path of rebellion rather than humility (Isaiah 14:12-15).
We must remove the brick in our own eyes
Christians often marvel at how rebellious Israel was, we conveniently overlook how stiff-necked the Church is today. We criticize biblical Israel for idolatry but ignore the idols we erect in our closets at home. When confronted with how idolatrous our generation truly is, we express ‘righteous anger’.
We scoff at Muslims, Atheists and other religions while we ignore all the pagan worship in the church. Christians condemn Muslims as being violent anarchists and enemies of progressiveness. We conveniently forget that the Church taught the Muslims violence when Pope Urban II launched the crusades in 1095 AD. The church only agreed to peace when King Richard of England realized that he could not overrun the Islamic forces in Jerusalem.
A new strategy was adopted that eventually led to the creation of the state of Israel ruled by non-Muslims today.
We live comfortable lives; we do not experience the harsh life of the prophets of old yet we are weaker spiritually and physically.
Instead of tending to our own issues, we sneer at the mistakes of others. We ridicule others for being weak while we lie paralyzed on the floor. Let us first remove the brick in our own eyes before we point fingers at non Christians.
We must leave Christian flavored Baal worship
I am often amazed at how we condemn the Israelites for intermittent Baal worship. Many don’t even realize that nearly all Christians today routinely do the same.
We celebrate Christmas even though we know that the Good shepherd of Bethlehem was not born on December 25th. The pagan god Tammuz however was. By bringing Christ into Christmas, we practice the worship of Tammuz with its accompanying 12 days of gifting.
Ever heard of the 12 days of Christmas song? That is a Tammuz worship ritual.
Don’t even get me started on the Christmas tree and lights. Read Jeremiah 10 about the place of decorated trees in idol worship. Even God was amazed about that one.
Easter is commonly associated with the Hebrew Passover ceremony.But what does Easter rabbits and eggs have to do with deliverance from slavery in Egypt? Well, nothing actually. Those were the pagan worship rituals of the German pagan dawn godess Oestre which interestingly was also celebrated in April. Easter does sound like Ishtar (Mesopotamian godess of love) and Oestre.
Easter and Passover are not the same. Christians have been conned into Baal worship with the aid of an endless list of holidays.
I won’t even go into prayer to the saints or celebration of different saint’s days. Those are blatant in-God’s-face idolatry practiced by professing Christians.
Stop calling upon the name of Baal
Have you ever wondered whose name we call upon when we pray? The common names used by various groups to identify God include Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah, Yah, and Lord among others. The Almighty apparently has many names.
I will only analyze some of these names.
Commonly used as meaning God or Lord and often used interchangeably with Jah. It is quite common among Hebrew Israelite communities. The meaning according to Strong’s concordance is however interesting. Strong’s concordance #3050 describes it as the name of the God of Israel. A check up on the reference for Bali (Strong’s #1180) indicates that ‘My Baal’ is symbolically used for both Yah and Jehovah!
I doubt many believers suspect that by calling that name, they are invoking the spirit of Baal.
This commonly used name for God can be broken down into 2 parts. The first is Yeh/Yah which I have described above. The second part is Hovah/Hovaw which has a fascinating meaning. Strong’s # 1943 defines Hovah as ruin, disaster or mischief (huh?) See the screenshot below for yourself.
That would literally translate Jehovah to mean Lord of disaster. As we have seen above, it is a name that is often interchanged with Baal. I don’t think that Lord of disaster is the description of the God I want to serve.
Perhaps you are wondering why I would be quick to believe this ‘nonsense’ about names I outlined above? Well, consider this passage in Hosea
And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. – Hosea 2:16-17
When God restores His people, they will no longer call Him Baal, but Ishi (meaning salvation). At that time, Baal’s name will forever be blotted out. That restoration has not yet taken place. So, that means that God’s people are presently calling Him by the name of Baalim
Where is our Light?
Considering the depth of paganism we practice in church, are we really better than the non-Christian? Do we not live similar lifestyles chasing the same goals in life? Is the Church not packed with paedophiles like the rest of the world? I know some like to argue that is mostly the catholic church’s doing. Do you think the world knows the difference between the denominations? The world has better things to do than to navigate the murky denominational differences in Christiandom.
Where is the light that was supposed to shine from the hilltop? Where is the salt that is meant to season and preserve this world? We debate deep theological and mystical philosophies while our worship services are packed with idolatry and pagan rituals.
Perhaps you are wondering that idolatry is something that others do, not us. Then consider this:
Anything in our lives that we would refuse to let go of if God asked us to do so is our idol.
That can be anything from loved ones to material possessions.
It is time to seek The Most High
More grace has been made available to our generation than any other. Yet we experience but a mere fraction of God’s power compared to the early church. It is time to turn around; we need a revival, a turning to God and a hunger for His Presence. There is a need to return to that first love, that point when we were doers of His Word and not trying to reason our way out of obedience.
Job 29:6 indicates that when we wash our steps in butter, the Rock will pour us out rivers of oil. Butter is made from churning milk and spiritual milk is derived from the Word of God. Meditating in the Word of God releases a deep understanding that illuminates our life and walk with God.
Walking in the light of His Word releases His presence and power to overcome in this life. Studying and obeying his word will cause us to walk into God’s perfect plan in time and place for our lives; a prerequisite for an overcoming Christian lifestyle.