WE NEED A MAN OF GOD!
A few weeks ago, some precious friends from NC called to ask how we need to pray in light of the election, its aftermath of violence, and the pandemic. While I’ve received such calls before, I’m always surprised. I don’t think myself competent to answer. So I ask Father the question; and if He has nothing to say, THAT MAKES TWO OF US!
Ironically, that very morning, a phrase I had heard decades ago came to mind. When we lived in Williamston, NC, a godly black lady, “Mom Scott,” moved to town. This gifted teacher of God’s Word pointed out that King Uzziah of Judah had been an incredible leader: militarily, technologically, economically, and personally; Isaiah and everyone else greatly admired him. Sadly, Uzziah arrogantly entered the temple determined to offer incense. When he spurned the priests’ correction, he was smitten with leprosy. His 52 year reign ended as a leper. So Isaiah went to the temple to pour out his grief to God; there he was abruptly catapulted into God’s throne room. Mom Scott said Isaiah loved God and served Him, but he never SAW God until Uzziah died. Then she asked, “Do you have a Uzziah?”
I, along with many evangelicals, wanted Trump to win reelection. Sadly that did not happen. Now I wonder whether we trusted in a political “Uzziah” rather than humbling ourselves, repenting, and truly seeking God’s face. Did we let “comfortable” politics lull us into moral slumber when national crises demanded REAL spiritual revival? Is It now too late for America? Are we facing inevitable chastisement?
Some people no doubt thought it was too late for Israel when Ahab brought Jezebel to Samaria as his queen (I Kings 16:29-33). Her agenda was that Baal would replace the God of Israel. She started by executing prophets. (I Kings 18:13) She and Ahab had already erected pagan altars in Samaria and were worshiping Baal and his consort Asherah (I Kings 16:30-33), including child sacrifice.
Times were tough for God’s people; the ungodly rulers thought they had driven God from the field of battle. But God scoffed at them, (Psalm 2:4) for HE is NEVER at a loss. When man has done his worst, the Almighty is only just “rolling up His sleeves.”
Suddenly out of nowhere, a hillbilly goatherd from Gilead appeared in the capital. His name was Elijah, meaning “Yahweh is God.” The Lord had been preparing this “nobody” for His purposes for years. Elijah announced that rain and dew would cease until he gave the word. Then he vanished. God had told him, “Go hide thyself,,,” (I Kings 17:2-4)
Drought began and intensified for over 3 years. Ahab’s servants unsuccessfully searched everywhere to find the prophet. Finally God told Elijah, “Go show thyself to Ahab, and I will send rain…” When the two met, Ahab called Elijah the “troubler of Israel.” Isn’t it interesting that the king who had led the rebellion against God and His commandments blamed all of Israel’s problems on a godly, obedient prophet?
Elijah boldly said that Ahab was the real problem and told the king to gather all Israel and the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. A showdown was coming!
Read I Kings 18 to review the details of one of the most dramatic chapters in all of Scripture! As I write this, I fondly recall standing on Mount Carmel near Haifa, Israel, and looking down on the brook Kishon where the false prophets were executed. The people had shouted, “The Lord, he is God.”
Elijah again ascended Carmel and crouched down to pray. A fiery sacrifice won a great victory, but the great need was rain. (I wonder if Elijah started praying when God told him to go find Ahab and promised to send rain; promises and prayer are connected.) He sent his servant to look toward the sea (the Mediterranean is easily visible west of the top of Carmel). Six times he saw nothing; but the seventh time he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand rising from the water. The sky darkened with clouds; then came a downpour! The rains refreshed the parched earth and starvation was averted. Repentance ushers in mercy!
The United States desperately needs a modern Elijah! I hope God has been preparing some hidden prophet whom He will soon reveal to call America to “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
If we turn (Old Testament word for “repent”), God promises: “…you will go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12) Let’s go for it! SELAH!
Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older. Keep me from getting talkative and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject on every occasion.
Release me from craving to try to straighten out everyone’s affairs. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details; give me wisdom and wings to come quickly to the point.
I ask for grace to listen sympathetically to the tales of others’ pains; help me to endure them with patience; but seal my lips on my own aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them becomes greater as years go by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that I occasionally may be mistaken. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, knowledge, and experience, it seems a pity not to use it all. But thou knowest, Lord, that I do want a few friends at the end. AMEN! AND AMEN!
Ruth and I thank Father God for the many friends He has given us through the years. As I (Wayne) get ready to turn 79 in April, we have had to accept that we’ll not see many of you again until we all get to heaven. But I LIKE to say that we’re stuck with each other forever!
We and all our family members are well, and we pray you’ll be kept safe from COVID and from every pestilence. Pray for us to finish well as we continue to serve the Lord.
God bless you!
Wayne and Ruth