Three years ago, I was awakened by a voice that said a single word – “Today.” I don’t know if it was an audible voice or just one in my mind but, it was clear and distinct. It was about three in the morning but, I was awake – wondering if this was the Day of the Lord’s return or what it could mean. My dear wife passed away the previous month, and I wondered if it might be my time as well. As I lay there thinking about it, the verses in Hebrews began flooding into my mind –
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” – Heb. 3:14, 15
You remember the story – the children of Israel had left Egypt and were wandering in the wilderness unable to go into the Promised Land because of their unbelief. They could not enter into the ‘rest’ God had promised because of their rebellion. They were plagued with complainers, with the Korahs , the Dathans, and the Abirams (Num. 16:24-32) whom the earth swallowed, until that generation perished in the wilderness. Of that generation only Joshua and Caleb were able to cross the Jordan because they held fast to their confidence and faith in God’s promises. But Joshua was not able to give them the rest that God promised –
“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” – Heb. 4:8-11
Generations of men have labored to enter that rest and finally the Pilgrims and Puritans came to this country looking for that rest, though it has been available to all throughout history. The government of the United States was founded upon the Biblical principles that would give all a chance to enter this rest.
Those principles made us free and blessed us with prosperity. But just as when God freed Israel from Egypt’s slavery, Korahs and Dathans have arisen in the United States as well. The freest form of government is that of a republic which is decentralized, but the Korahs and Dathans would lead us to socialism and communism which will give us a centralized government. They get you looking to government for your needs instead of looking to God. But many forget that a government that can give you everything can also take everything! And always does.
The story of Joseph in Egypt illustrates this. In a time of famine, the Egyptians sold themselves to Pharaoh for grain but, few ever asked, where did Pharaoh get the grain in the first place? He stole it from the people with taxation! The bigger that government, the more it steals through taxation.
And now we have the Democrats promising free immigration, free college, free food stamps, free medical treatment and whatever else they think will buy them votes. Many Republicans are just as bad, talking a good game but doing the same things. Does no one wonder who will pay for it? The answer is – you will with your freedom.
There is only one way to enter into the rest that God promises and that all men strive for and that is to go God’s way. Stop looking to the government for all your needs and turn back to t he Lord God of Heaven!
Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find grace to help in time of need. Turn away from sin, from sexual immorality, from stealing, from idolatry and turn back to Jesus. So, I urge you Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart as the Israelite’s did in the wilderness.
Just a few months ago the Fall colors were bright, the grass was still green, and the temperature was perfect. Then overhead, I began to hear the honking of geese and ducks making their way south and the leaves began to fall. Almost suddenly it seems the temperature is below freezing and snow flurries gently begin to float down. It is almost if nature is saying, “It is time to rest”.
I think this is true in our lives as well. We get so busy with the hustle and bustle of life that we tend to overlook the really important things. And the news media doesn’t help either – they are constantly stirring the emotional pot with one new emergency after another – terrorism, earthquakes and hurricanes, mass shootings, riots, and one political scandal after another.
Prophetically, there are so many things happening, it is hard to keep up with them. But it can also blind us to the really important things in our lives and our relationship with God, such as thanksgiving for all His blessing and giving Him honor and praise. Afterall, after all the turmoil of this world is concluded, those faithful to the Lord will be in heaven giving thanks and praise to God and those in the other place will wish they had spent more time also being faithful. Perhaps, we should spend more time practicing these attributes and less time worrying about things that are in God’s control anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I love prophecy because I love to watch God at work and it prepares me for the day I live in, but there are more important things to do.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” How fortunate to be adopted by a Father who cares about every detail of our lives – a perfect father who never abandons us or fails us. His restrictions in our lives are always for our protection and good. Oh, how He is to be honored and His name hallowed. As you consider all the world’s kingdoms, there are none perfect, only some less bad than others but, His kingdom is perfect in every aspect. Any wise people would want to model their governments on His as much as humanly possible. He knows our past, present, and future and He knows how to overcome the chief enemy of our souls, Satan, and He loves us! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want One with such ability to show us His will for us daily?
As we prepare for the new year 2023, let us remember that we should be thankful every day for God’s abundant goodness and favor bestowed on us daily. And let us seek to enter God’s rest by following the leading of the Holy Spirit and not leaning on our own understanding and works. Let us be faithful to follow His Word and do what He says to do.
I am finishing this article with a song named The Song of Job which reminds us of God’s works on the earth and in our lives.
(The Song of Job, written by Israel Cooley and sung by Day of Eternity)
As we struggle to understand the days we live in remember, God is still on the Throne, and He has everything under control.