Wednesday, July 15, 2015

God is Fully In Control of the World's Confusion

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Promise of Conquest . . . Even Today
Exodus 23:27: “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.”
Here is a verse that many say is clearly Old Testament and at first glance, it certainly appears to be so. I mean what exactly is “God’s terror”?  And what ‘enemies’ are actually fleeing from us?
Well, for starters, commentator David Guzik translates the ‘terror of God’ as the “fear” that God instills in us, probably of Himself. But for the most part, commentators are silent on the topic. What we do know is that God “throws people into confusion”.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that our world is more confused now than ever before. More confused about whom they can trust and who they cannot.  The Iran Nuclear deal just signed yesterday is just one example. The value of a life lost when killed by a police officer is a crime, but aborting babies and selling their various parts for profit by the thousands daily by an organization called Planned Parenthood is not talked about or investigated. Illegal immigration is wrong but we need the illegal immigrants to fill our menial jobs. The disagreements between members of a similar political party or coalition are rampant globally (see the U.S. Republican party; or the coalition of the Prime Minister of Israel; or the Greek government coalitions). Parents are confused about how much discipline they should give their children. They also do not know when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes’.  The United States appears to be making sweet deals and coming to peace with all its enemies (even those that continue to pursue communism [Russia, Cuba, etc.], or disregard human rights [Syria], or want America abolished [Iran]) and seems to doing all it can to undermine its allies [Israel] and its own Christian citizens. We’ve stopped going to the moon and our long-term NASA projects, but we’re pursuing trips to Mars and Pluto. We spend billions in research to keep people alive on the one hand and we are trying to pass laws to end the lives of the elderly on the other. Greece, by all historical standards, should have been kicked out of the European Union and the Euro currency long ago, and especially now.  And yet, the creditors are afraid to kick her out and are handing over yet a third bailout – one they know cannot be paid back no matter what is promised.  Individuals do not know if they are male or female and some want to be both or the opposite of what they were. Confusion for sure. And I could go on. I’m sure you could as well. Some of us have witnessed that confusion in our own communities, perhaps in our churches, or even in our families.
But here’s the thing, God says “He throws people into confusion” and He does it for the purpose of working out His Plan for His people. All this that is going on around us today is being allowed or sometimes caused by God so that His Plan for us can be worked out. Yes, sometimes that is a very hard pill to swallow, no doubt – especially when it is your family or you that are suffering – economically, socially, physically, etc. But if we can just catch a glimpse of the bigger picture through a fuller knowledge of Scripture and somehow “believe on Him” we will indeed feel the conquest He has afforded to us in Him and through Him.
God says that people that come across our paths and are not His (and I dare say sometimes those that think they are His but for one reason or another do not have in them the ‘grace’ that He alone gives and the ‘hearts’ that He alone changes), these people who choose to oppose us not only in spiritual matters, but in practical ways, will be thrown into confusion by God. Have you seen that or experienced it in your life? If not, may I humbly suggest that you, like many of us at times, are not fully relying on Him and trusting Him to do that, or you are not obeying His instructions to you, or you just aren’t involved in serving Him to the extent that such service is actively opposed by the Enemy and such protection is required by God.
And then God says, He will make these people “turn their backs to you”. Other later portions of the story of Israel demonstrate to us exactly what this means – confusion, defeat by the Israelites, fleeing. God says He will do that to our spiritual enemies and to our physical enemies. I believe that as tough as things get (and they will get tougher), the true Christ-follower who depends fully on God, obeys Him totally, and serves Him unreservedly will be so protected – his/her enemies will be cast into confusion, they will be defeated by God with us (we will have a role to play) and on our behalf, and they will flee from us if not eliminated in battle.
Are you and I ready for the next stage of the working out of His Plan for mankind, for you, and for me? My hunch is that if we are not and we’re waiting for the last minute to make that preparation or decision to be on God’s side, we will, in the midst of the confusion or in the heat of the battle’s pressures, make the wrong decision; the challenge to those who are unaware of what is going on and unprepared when that climatic time hits (be it global or just our individual ‘time’s up’) will be too much to handle wisely.
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