Apples of Gold

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O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”

2 Chronicles 20 Verse 12


This text has been on my mind now for a few weeks so I thought today would be a good day to hit the keyboard. Thankfully the Lord has seen us safely through another year and “hitherto He has helped us.” Now we face the challenge of a New Year with all the uncertainties that it holds.


For many there will be great excitement as they look forward to treading pastures new. For some the end of last year closed a door of opportunity with no real guarantees for the forthcoming year. Many, like my daughter will be looking forward to marriage while some of us will be glad when its done and dusted.


I suspect however there will be many who are facing the days and months that lie ahead with fear and dread. Problems and trials are never ending and they seem like an insurmountable army coming to overwhelm us or giant mountains that we find are impossible to scale. It is not wrong dear friend to be faced with fears. King Jehoshaphat openly confessed his fears as his nation faced the wrath of an impending multitude of foes who were lining up to conquer the land of Judah and to wipe them from the face of the earth.


Fear is OK as long as we are not paralysed by it. David could say, “what time I am afraid I will trust in Thee.” Fear and faith in exercise at the same time? It sounds like a conundrum yet it is the portion for many of the Lord’s people.


King Jehoshaphat’s answer was to seek the Lord with all his heart and soul and to call his people to do likewise. Pleading with his God he reminded Him of previous deliveries and of the ultimate power and authority that He held. This was no idol god made by the hands of men, this was our Creator God who loves us with an everlasting love and cares for us with even more tenderness and compassion than a mother does for her new born child.


It wasn’t just one nation that had risen against Judah but several and it is often the case that the child of God as he or she grows in grace will face not one but multiple challenges and fears.


Unemployment is a heavy burden to carry for any man with a wife and family to support and along with not having work then other problems arise as a result such as financial worries, stress in the home and in relationships and perhaps even depression.


Unexpected illness can also bring a variety of worries. We face this ourselves as a family since my father-in-law took a stroke just before Christmas. Thankfully he is making progress yet he will inevitably require 24/7 nursing care. Those who have experienced such matters will know the difficulties we face and it is all too easy to fret away days thinking of the worst case senarios.


King Jehoshaphat’s declaration should inspire us all – “we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” What a year 2014 would be if we started each day with our eyes totally focussed upon our great God!


The Word of the Lord comes through a man called Jahaziel. We know very little about him yet it pleased the Lord to use this man to bring great tidings of deliverance and the promise of victory to the King and his people. “The battle is not yours but God’s.” I love these words and many a day I have rested upon them. Had I not then I would have been overcome by my fears. Our God can never be defeated no matter the foe.


If I could but trust my Lord with all my heart – nothing doubting – how  different my life would be. No sooner have I repented of my sins of unbelief with a determination never to doubt God again when showers of poisonous arrows of unbelief penetrate my defences. I hate myself for this and my unbelief causes me to hate this sin more than any other in my life.


What a burden must have rolled from the drooping shoulders of Jehoshaphat when he heard and believed that he and his people did not need to fight in this battle. God was going into battle on their behalf. Can you imagine what 2014 would be like if our eyes were truly focussed upon God? If when we opened our eyes each morning instead of fearing what may lie ahead of us we listened  to what God says, the battle was not ours but His.


The Lord gave them instructions to go and meet their enemy head on. They were not to go out with swords drawn, rather they were to head out in an orderly fashion with their singers at the front leading the praise with songs of holiness. They also praised the Lord for His mercy that endures forever. The Lord worked in a marvellous way as instead of Judah’s enemies fighting them they ended up fighting each other leaving the wilderness scattered with dead bodies.


The singing in our services has sounded woeful at times with no heart in the congregations for praise. Time my friends to show the world that we are more than conquerers in Christ Jesus and we should sing heartily as unto the Lord. What a boost this would give our Pastors if once again they heard the songs of Zion being sung with joy in the heart.


The Lord is more willing to do great things. Of that there can be no doubt. We on the other hand find it at times so difficult to believe that God would do anything on our behalf simply because we do not deserve anything from His hand. We did not deserve to be saved and that is the greatest gift God can bestow on any person.


We have a great tendency to view our Lord as a hard taskmaster who continues to chasten us because of our sins. Our greatest sin surely is not believing that God has actually forgiven us. I have said this before and I have no difficulty in repeating it. When first we believed it was easy for us to see and believe that all our sins were forgiven. What then has changed?


Is it because now we are sinning against Light? Sin is sin no matter when it is committed. The only way to have our sins forgiven is God’s way. We must go by way of the cross of Christ each time we seek forgiveness and an audience with God. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh died on the cross for a reason.


How can sinners like me be right with God? The only way is to believe that Jesus Christ has died for me personally. He took my sins and nailed them all to His cross. He in turn clothes me with the robe of His Righteousness. God sees me as perfect in His Son not because of anything good in me but for all that Christ accomplished on the cross. He satisfied God’s justice. He fulfilled the law on our behalf. God perfects them that are sanctified.


God gave Judah the promised victory over their enemies. Afterwards the people were three days in stripping their enemies of an abundance of riches. In Christ we also have all our enemies defeated and we are made partakers of the abundance of riches that are found only in Him.  Judah took three days gathering riches while we will be gathering handfuls of purpose throughout eternity. His riches are cannot be exhausted.


It is now 2014 and we have not passed this way before. If ever we find ourselves facing a great company and we simply do not know what to do then remember these few thoughts and may they prove an encouragement for our souls. The battle is not ours but God’s.


Wishing you God’s richest blessings in 2014. Enjoy your God.