Lord, Make Me Your Remnant

LordMakeMeYourRemnant

Throughout the Old Testament, God gives example after example of His power to save us. His power comes into play whether the people cry out to Him or not. But it follows the people needing saving. Whether in battle or tribulation or sin or disease or disaster, the people are unable to save themselves; God saves them.

So many lessons of people trying to save themselves, to get themselves out of their predicaments, trying to avoid tribulations. They end in despair. The people are brought low. And then they cry out to God.

2 Chronicles 20.15, 17 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. … 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

God destroys the evil. Sometimes the evil is without, sometimes the evil is within, sometimes the evil is among.

When God destroys, He always saves a remnant. Look at His example in 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19. Elijah stood strong for the Lord and stood against Ahab and Jezebel. On Mount Carmel, Elijah slew all the prophets of Baal. When Jezebel heard of it, she sought to kill him, so Elijah fled. He hid and became discouraged. See how God comforts him:

1 Kings 19. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, 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. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because 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.

But God assures him in verse 18: 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.

Think of the great flood, where God saved Noah and his family. They were the remnant.

See how God saved David from all his enemies. Read Psalms 34.

Isaiah and Jeremiah were among the great prophets, warning the people, trying to turn them back to their True King. God saved them as a remnant while He destroyed the evil among them.

Look at the New Testament, when Saul was persecuting the Christians. They had fled, and were in hiding. But God saved a remnant and scattered them; the Gospel spread. Ananias ministered to Saul / Paul at the direction of God, and God used Paul mightily to preach and teach in His name.

We live in such times now. God is shaking us. He is using His Word to bring His people to Himself, to bring us to our knees as we cry out to Him.

For what do we cry?

For His justice?

For His mercy and grace?

How long, oh Lord, how long will you allow us to wallow in our miry pit as we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into our sin?

Jeremiah 10.10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

Psalms 107 applies to us today:

Psalms 107. 17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

39 Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

42 The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Pray with me:

Lord, as You shake us and sift us, as you allow our own works to consume us, we fall on our knees before You. Lord God, I pray that I may be found faithful. Secure my heart to You, oh Lord; make me Your remnant. Strengthen me that I may ever stand strong for you.

 

In Whom We Trust

In Whom We Trust

Disillusionment and distrust of the government has always existed among fringe groups, but in the 1930s, ‘40s, and most of the ‘50s, the majority of Americans trusted their government. Many still do.

But in the 1960s, things changed. It started in the late ‘50s, with new and daring music, pulling at teens who were already pulling away from parents. In the ‘60s, the Vietnam War was the breaking point. Draft-aged young men and their families had a notion that this war was somehow not right – nothing they could put their finger on, snippets from here and there we couldn’t quite put together; but the notion was spreading like wildfire. We now know the government lied to the American people for the sake of saving their own faces and for power.

The government had long been split over the issue of treatment of people of color. God says that He created us as equals. Our very Constitution states that we are equal. But too many in leadership worked to soften the edges, for fear of the people. Few stood up to do the right thing, fearing re-election time.

The disillusionment of authority and government wracked the youth. Who could they turn to, if all their authorities lied to them, could not be trusted?

This instability has grown and tilted. We question everything. No one can tell us what to do. Right and Wrong is in the eye of the beholder: the people do what is right in their own eyes. Daily we hear of yet another politician or celebrity or religious leader (or group) who has been lying to us all along, keeping secret sins.

“My God,” people say, “If we can’t trust the government, who can we trust? They control everything – they control our lives, in one form or another.”

The answer is in that very question: My God.

Sadly, many people think that what they see of God, what they sense in the people around them, is who God really is; the Catholic Church, who has been abusing children, and protecting themselves; the Bible-toting old auntie who scolds harshly for running in with muddy feet; the pastor daddy who beats them; the never-miss-a-Sunday momma who keeps her vodka in the locked cupboard. The list is endless, of course, because all of us, even the most devoted followers, are a sinful people.

No wonder we as a nation, a culture, a world, have turned away from whatever calls itself an authority. We learn we must make our own rules, follow what’s best for us, cut ties to anything perceived as unhealthy or not nurturing. We huddle together with like-minded friends until they, too, betray us.

But God.

In God we trust. In God we can trust. In God we must trust.

No one else can be a final authority. No one else has the power to determine the destiny of a person, a community, a nation, a world. No other entity is perfect, perfectly loving, and perfectly just.

It is God who allows or disallows a government. It is God who puts us in families, Who determines who our father and mother will be. It is God Who is the authority and Who establishes authority.

Proverbs 21.1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Matthew 22.21 Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Titus 3.1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work

Romans 13.1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God

And it is God Who loves us.

Psalm 86.15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

And it is God Who provides a remnant. There is always a remnant. That’s us, you know – you and me, my friends. Let us be the ones to show others Who God is, what He wants for us all.

Joel 2.13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

2 Chronicles 7.14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.