Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Away With Death and the Grave

Hosea 13:14 - "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction. Pity is hidden from My eyes."

This blog was actually created awhile back. I never tweaked it to publish! It's now been tweaked.

I was dwelling on the story of Abraham and Sarah in my mind. I was going over the so interesting story of how through Abraham's son he would become the father of many nations, as would Sarah become the mother of many nations.

Even through Abraham and Sarah's disobedience, two nations were born...two great nations, with so many descendants. God provided, God promised and it came to be. Sarah's maid servant Hagar bore Ishmael with Abraham and Sarah and Abraham bore Isaac. A tale of two sons, two nations.

I got to thinking about Hagar. She was Egyptian. So Ishmael was part Egyptian. Then I thought about how Ishmael was disgruntled to say the least, jealous for sure, that he would not receive the inheritance as the first born. That privilege went to Isaac as Abraham and Sarah's son, the rightful God's eyes. He told Abraham and Sarah the inheritance would be through their son...not Sarah's maidservant's.

My thoughts bounced to the plagues in Egypt and how there will be plagues that will take place in the last days, imitating those of the Old Testament. 

Just like Hagar was maidservant to a Jewish household, so the Jewish people, Israel, we're enslaved in Egypt. The plagues took place to open the eyes of Egypt to an all powerful God.  But He kept hardening Pharaoh's heart until Pharaoh finally couldn't stand all the harassment and told Moses to let his people and go...get out of here and worship your God. Leave us be.

There are three things all tied together. Maybe I'm off my rocker but this is what is see:

Ishmael was in the line of descendants of the Middle Eastern people. He was the descendant of Mohammed, today's Muslims. The animosity he had toward Isaac has been passed down through the subsequent generations. There has been a recent rise in the tensions between Islam and Christianity.

At church one night we were discussing Chapter 16 in Revelation talking about the plagues that will come upon us in the last days before Christ returns. It is believed that the anti-Christ will be born out of the Middle East. There will still be animosity against Christians which will only get worse.

As an aside, being in Christ before these days will be helpful. It will help people to understand better what is in store because of the wisdom and power the Holy Spirit has in the lives of Christ followers. We will understand that our lives are secure in Christ for those last days, no matter what happens.

The plagues...Egypt. If Ishmael, a descendant of Mohammed, had jealousy and hatred for Isaac--the rightful heir AND descendant of Christ--what we are going to see in the last days is a repeat of what happened back in Exodus.

We were shown that night in Revelation that when these plagues, which will be different and by far more horrendous (if there's a word worse than horrendous, use it) occur, they will be done to again reveal God's awesome power and might. His judgment will be upon those left on earth at this time. But, like Pharaoh, these people's hearts will be hardened also against God/Jesus, despite all these plagues. They will only curse Him; His name will be blasphemed, and they will be left to their own desires...and eternal death. They still will not believe.

This time there will be no letting up. No one whose heart is hardened will survive. All believers, however, will have been exonerated and taken away.

What I see and consider is the attitudes of many, not all, Muslims for Christians and Jews. It is going to become a "my way or the highway" lifestyle, often ending in death to those who will not bow down to worship their god, Allah. Ishmael would not have anything to do with his honest heir brother then; it has not changed and will not change. The world's hatred is growing. There is more and more unrest. People want to kill people just because they don't like them...and that goes for all people in the world. What IS the matter with us? There will never be peace in this world as we would like to see it...until Jesus returns.

The question I ask is will you be ready? Can you stand against the forces of evil on your own or do you want supernatural strength? It's the whole reason Jesus take us out of harm's way, to ensure in us an everlasting life. Can you truly say you are in that place? It is an individual decision to make. Jesus provides a way. And then we will see that He will destroy the very last enemy...that of death (1Corinthians 15:26). Revelation 20 tells us this also: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

We can avoid this death. It's what it means to be saved. We shouldn't look at that word and cringe, but embrace the meaning of it. It means you are born again...from the physical birth to spiritual one. The physical will pass away but the spiritual will live on. It's a choice we make.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." John 3:16, Romans 10:9-11

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