This issue considers IF ONLY…
SINCE YOU ASKED
With all the trials Israel is going through and attacks she is enduring, many of her people are fearful and without hope. Many of them came to Israel to escape persecution only to find a worse situation. If only there was someplace they could go to be safe and someone they could depend on to give them the strength and help they needed no matter what happened-even if their whole world collapsed (which seems to be not far away)-even if Israel’s mountains were driven into the sea. If only they could know that if they endure a little while longer, they would experience the peace they long for. If only Jerusalem could become the city of peace, joy, and blessing it once was.
If this is possible, it must be some time in the future because the reality on the ground is anything but peace, joy, and blessing. The whole Middle East is in turmoil. Long standing institutions and leaders are falling and Israel’s enemies are filling the voids. Masses of people are rebelling. Many nations are in chaos, and much of the anger is being directed at Israel. It seems like every nation worldwide has turned against Israel. If only someone could bring an end to all the warfare, hatred, and violence directed toward Israel. If only someone would bring madmen like Ahmadinejad to their knees.
The people of Israel are tired-tired of having to be on the alert 24/7-tired of working so hard for peace and never getting it-tired of being given empty promises, tired of unfaithful friends-tired of carrying the weight of being alone, misunderstood, and rejected. They are tired of striving with no results. If only things could be different. If only…
AS I SEE IT
What I have presented here may seem like nothing more than melancholic musings, but I assure you it is not. It is, in fact my interpretation of Psalm 46 with God removed. Get your Bible, turn to it, and compare the two. What you discover is that God is offering to be everything Israel needs. He knows exactly what she is going through, and He wants to be their help, their strength, and their refuge. He alone holds the hope Israel longs for. He alone can give them peace if only they would cease striving and know that He is God.
The application of this little exercise is not limited to Israel. Since Gentile believers have been “grafted in,” we can tap into the blessings God originally gave to Israel. The God of Israel is offering to be our source of peace, our source of help in trouble, a refuge where we can be safe no matter how much our world is being shaken. God is asking us to trust Him. He is looking for those with unwavering faith. These are the ones He can use to be part of His “solution.” What worries you these days? What consumes your thoughts? What is it that you think you must deal with yourself because, truth be told, you really don’t trust God to handle? Imagine how you would feel if a close friend told you that he or she really didn’t trust you. Now, imagine how God must feel when our actions give the same message.
It’s time to give up the worrying, run to the safety of our Lord, and stay there. Then, pray that the people of Israel will do the same.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
So did the first “Marlboro Man.”