In my last blog we looked at the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel to examine how people rely on themselves and their own devices instead of trusting YHVH. The Bible is packed with such illustrations for good reason. There is one true stronghold (YHVH) and one false stronghold (self) and for each person there is a lifelong battle between the two.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, evil has infested our planet and now many people agree that we are in or near the end times when evil increases (2 Tim 3:1-17). Although Yeshua clearly stated that no one knows the hour of His return except the Father, predictions and rumors (often conflicting) are more rampant than ever. Many of us feel the need to be informed and prepared, and so we should. However, we should not be concerned with the predictions and the rumors, but rather with Scripture. YHVH admonishes us to be ever vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). This verse applies to us and all the generations after Peter regardless of when the end comes. Our focus should be on the spiritual realm, not the physical realm. If we are obeying YHVH’s commands, keeping ourselves focused on Him, and doing the work that Abba has assigned us in the harvest, then we need not live in fear even if the end comes in our lifetime (Luke 12:36-48)
Many of us are racing around to prepare for any type of disaster that may befall us. We are buying up silver and gold, hoarding food and water and other necessities, and watching every move and speech in the political scenario. Why? There is no biblical mandate to do these things. In fact, the Bible clearly tells us that hoarding is wrong (Prov 11:24, Eccl 5:13, Luke 12:34, 1 Tim 6:7). We may justify our actions by saying that when things get bad, we will share with others. Right now, things are really bad for some people, so why not give to them now? Our Father has promised to take care of us and has put it in writing (Matt 6:25-34). Do we really believe what Yeshua tells us? Our actions very clearly reflect what we believe.
It is true that the Israelites left Egypt well-stocked with silver and gold and clothing. This may have been compensation for all the hard work they had done for the Egyptians. It may have been a necessity for buying what they needed from other countries as they passed through. At any rate, the gold became a god for them. If you feel that the Ruach is prompting you to collect silver or gold or to store food, just be very careful that it is the Ruach’s voice you are hearing and not some other voice. And be very careful that your hoard does not become your god.
What about the political scenario? What about human leaders? What does Scripture say about that? Insofar as we are able to without violating YHVH’s laws, we are to obey whoever YIHVH has put in charge (1 Pet 2:130-14, Mark 12:17, Col 3:22-25). When human laws would force us to violate YHVH’s laws and commands, then we must follow YHVH (Acts 5:29).
Over the years, most of us have gotten used to taking charge of ourselves and our situations. In the United States, we live in a culture that values such attitudes. We vote for our leaders and we express our opinions freely. We do what we think is best to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. These are the values of our culture, but are they the actions our Father wants us to learn? The story of the Israelites in Exodus answers our questions graphically. YHVH was teaching the Israelites how to live according to His ways. They were in a wilderness where conditions were tough and sometimes life-threatening. The Israelites had two choices. Either they could go to YHVH with their requests and rely on Him or they could grumble and complain and take matters into their own hands. Read through Exodus carefully and note when YHVH blessed the Israelites for their choices and when He punished them. We, too, are living in a wilderness of some sort especially as evil increases, and we have the same choices.
YHVH is teaching us, as He taught the Israelites, that He is in control. Can we influence His decisions at times? Moses did, but then Moses was close to YHVH because Moses was obedient to YHVH and willing to follow orders, no matter how tough the situation. We may not be leaders of people, but we can be obedient and trusting toward YHVH. We can take our concerns to YHVH and try to persuade Him through our prayers. However, we are not to take matters into our own hands and determine our outcome. This will lead to a disastrous outcome for us as it did for those who worshiped the golden calf.
What is our best course of action in these times? The same course of action that YHVH gave to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. When we meditate and pray through His words, we begin to understand His perspective. If we do not stay focused on His word, we can easily slip into a worldly perspective. The Israelites were sojourners and foreigners in other lands, just as we must be sojourners and foreigners on the earth until Yeshua’s return. We are citizens of the kingdom of YHVH and our King must be our first priority, not the happenings in this foreign land. We are answerable to Him and what a blessing that is, for He is ultimately in control and He is the only one we can truly trust.