We speak about the fact that we are in the last days, and signs that show this are on this program frequently. In those last days the prophecies such as Ezekiel 38 give us a clear picture of a great northern confederacy of nations hostile to Israel. In the same prophecy, we have a picture of a southern alliance of nations including Tarshish (Britain) and her young lions, or national offspring, standing alongside Sheba and Dedan (the southern Gulf nations). For this reason, I was born and raised to expect the day when Britain would leave Europe as Bible prophecy put her on the other side. Maybe most importantly, prophecy after prophecy, after prophecy was clear, the Jews would be coming home.
The barren hills are full of life waiting for Messiah. May this be the time.
Today Russia has become expansionist already having moved into Georgia, Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, and has been invited into Syria. Britain is in the process of removing herself from Europe even though it has been a wild battle that is still not over yet. And again, most importantly the Jews are back in the promised land living on the mountains of Israel. A barren wasteland has been brought back to life. Lifeless hills and valleys are now producing wine, dates and all manner of fruits. The Jewish people that have wandered for millennia are rebuilding the waste cities. You can visit the village on Mt Gerizim, and Beth-el, Shiloh, and Hebron.
What else are we going to see come to pass before the Lord Jesus Christ returns as Acts 1:11 and 3:19-21 and many other passages say that he will? Will we see the northern confederacy of nations led by Russia along with the Vatican come further together? Will we see Britain and the United States be brought even more into the southern Gulf? Will we see the temporary peace come to Israel? We may, or may not. One thing that is for certain; we are in the last days. That we are in the last days makes the events surrounding the current crisis even more intriguing. There is no doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ, with whom all power has been given is at work.
Psalm 9:17 is clear, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Our whole world has not just forgotten God, they have turned against his word and become morally Sodom and Gomorrah. Make no mistake, judgment will come."
The truth is our world is sick, morally, spiritually and physically. For most us, unless we are in health care or a position of essential work, for a time, we do not know how long, are being taken out of this world. Not only that but during this time the pollution of the world is being held back. Literally the skies above many major cities are now almost as clear as the time before the industrial revolution. In Venice, Italy the canals are flowing crystal clear. And pollution of sin is also being held back with the closing of clubs, theaters, bars, casinos and the like. And for this time we are being brought into the quietness of our homes with time to think, read, and consider.
There have been other times in scripture that God’s people have been hidden away. The first example we will mention was at the time of the great flood. Noah had done all he could to warn the world but they simply rejected his message. When the time had come Noah and his family went into the ship and God closed the door. Inside a refuge was provided and our God was saving a small remnant while his judgments poured forth, literally.
The next time is very interesting, it is in Exodus 11. The time of the great exodus of God’s people from Egypt, and specifically the night of the Passover. After nine previous devastating plagues “the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterward he will let you go hence.” That last plague was to be the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, and in verse 6 God tells Moses “there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.”
On the night of the Passover, we find in Exodus 12:21 what Moses from God instructed the children of Israel -
“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”
That night the children of Israel were in lockdown, but were safe in their homes, hidden away, and covered by the sprinkled blood of the Lamb. In the quietness of those homes, they would share a meal with their coats, their coverings, on, but outside God’s judgments went forth and the cry of Egypt went up. In that night, the children of Israel were led out of Egypt into the wilderness south of Israel. It was for the people a night of redemption.
Deuteronomy 7:8 - “But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
And here we find ourselves all home as the world grinds to a halt. What is our God doing?
Is this the beginning of Almighty God’s judgments? Is it possible that God is preparing to take his people away? It is a lovely thought, but it may be that we have to be in the world for a longer time. Regardless, in the time we have left, and in this especially unique time we have in our homes, how are we using the time?
During the time of the Passover, the children of Israel were to use the time to teach their children, that night was to be a night of learning - Exodus 12:24-27
“And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever.
And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.
And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.”
It was not a night of Netflix, a night of YouTube video after YouTube video. It was a time to reflect, to remember the salvation of the God of Israel, it was an opportunity.
May I suggest that this time is an opportunity for every one of us to be brought closer to our God. To be gathered around his word, and to fill our homes with praise to him. And I know it is easy to get lost in the world of YouTube but as the natural world is getting a break from some of the pollutions of man, let's purpose to keep out the pollution of man from our homes.
And for any mums out there that have always wondered what homeschooling is like, now may be your chance to give it a whirl! In Ontario here the government is rolling out a homeschooling program for all kids right from kindergarten all the way up to grade 12. I say, if the opportunity presents let's give it a try. Many families think it is just not something they can tackle. Well, pray to God to give you the strength and look into it. I promise it’s not as bad and as difficult as you may think. It is a huge sacrifice, but I can tell you that in our family we love it. Some people think they don't want to raise their children in a bubble - well my brother Daniel recently commented that it's not raising them in a bubble but in a greenhouse. And regardless, right now all of us get the opportunity to make our homes greenhouses.
Turn to Isaiah 26. This was a passage that my brother Dave recently commented on, and also I heard a Jewish commentator refer to it as well. It really is amazing, all over the world different ones are turning to their scriptures, and they are the same passages that God’s faithful have poured over for thousands of years.
It is a beautiful chapter, and in fact it is a song, a song for God’s people, the redeemed.
“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
This is the purpose of God, that when his judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. May this be the beginning of that time.
But verse 10 actually says -
“Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” And I believe that. This world is now so far removed from God that they are blind to his hand. It is going to take a lot.
Verse 11 continues - “Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.” In the end they will see, but it will only be through terrible judgments and open divine intervention.
But come to verse 20 and 21 -
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
Dave brought out last week that Israel has been closed off from the world. This week many of us are also being closed off from the world. This is without a doubt the Lord’s doing.
Whatever God has in store for us, and whatever comes of this plague lets use the time we have to draw near to Him, through reading and study of our scriptures, prayer, and reaching out to each other. May this be the time when the Lord, Yahweh “shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.”