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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Chastisement

Israel left the land in the days of Jeremiah and went to Egypt for safety; going totally against the word of the Prophet. They were fleeing from the king of Babylon to what they thought was safety in Egypt. Many today flee from the forces coming upon our nation in particular and the world as a whole. Where are they going? Many think that if they save enough, stuff their mattress full of money, they can ride out the economic storm. Food, drink, shelter, peace and prosperity once again as a nation?

We all have fear. Should we? NO~ In that regard, we all have come short and fallen from the totality of of the glory of God. In the midst of great turmoil we must remember that we are children of the living God. As multitudes fall on every side we have precious promises that we can claim, live by, and depend upon.

I noticed while reading today that even for those who have strayed from the narrow path that leads to a complete walk with God, there is great hope in knowing that He still will not forsake His own. As a father chastises his children when they ere, so the Father does to those that are His. Notice this passage of scripture from Jeremiah chapter 47 when Israel was in total, outright rebellion against the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah. In the middle of great judgments, there has always been and will always be a remnant whom He keeps ~

27. But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel, for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.

28. Fear thou not, O Jacob, my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee; but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

We know that there are none who were born righteous; not one. As children we are told in Hebrews 12:6 that those the LORD loves He chastens. King David said in Psalm 94:11-13 that the thoughts of man are vanity; our desire at self preservation by our wisdom and knowledge fall into that cataory. Even when we have on occasion run to Egypt and are chastened and corrected for doing that, in our chastening we know that we are still His because "blessed is the man whom God chastens, that we may learn His law". In some strange way, as only He can do, we receive rest, verse 13 says, from the day of adversity. In all situations and processes God is digging a pit for the wicked. The wicked who oppose Him, and also I believe a pit for the residue of wickedness He is working out of our hearts. Not a profane wickedness on our part but even misguided thoughts, actions and words.

We are living in a world that has fallev into great darkness. We need a daily cleansing, and sometimes a chastening or correction from God. Chastening is not only an Old Testament concept; Revelation 3:19 says, " As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. " He is not speaking to sinners here, He is speaking to a church!

Job had a clear picture of the lot of mankind when he said that we are born to trouble as sure as sparks fly upward. ( Job 5:7) It is important to remember that the chastisement of our peace was upon Christ; He knows the full effect, in every aspect, of what we are experiencing. He was not chastened in vain; we can go to Him with the full confidence that He knows what we are going through because He also went through it for us. We can boldly petition the throne of grace for strength, endurance and revelation in every situation.

When the fires start to get hot always remember who sits as the Refiner of gold and silver! God has His hands on the controls. He is in the process of preparing a Bride for His Son. We will be a clean, pure bride, without spot or wrinkle; washed in the blood of the Lamb. We know where to go for rest. There is a peace for the children of God. A remnant will be saved.

As we serve God, not in a casual sense but working out our salvation with fear and trembling may we each be like the twelve wise virgins. Lamps bright and burning, with the oil of the Holy Spirit in reserve. Not just enough oil to get us through the day, but oil to spare!

Do not fear that God has forsaken. He sees, He will save, even when we go afar off. Rest assured that we are His. He will not let us go unpunished; but He is with us and we are not forsaken in the process. Hold tight to your faith. He is making a full end of the systems of the earth, but not of His own.

On that great day, when all is said and done, those that are His will shine like the stars of heaven; not because of our strength, but as a result of our obedience in allowing His Spirit to work in us.

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