When God seems to Keep Quiet!
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt, I am mourning……Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery...” Jeremiah 8: 20 –22.
Jeremiah is mourning. As he finds the passing seasons and the continuing dreadful state of Israel, asking ‘why no recovery, why no balm, why no physician?’ Earlier also God’s people asked similar questions. When the angel of the Lord meets Gideon to call and commission him to deliver the people of Israel from Midianites, he asks, “Why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about...now the Lord has forsaken us...” Judges 6: 13.
Both Jeremiah and Gideon find their people in terrible tragedy. Even as they wait for God’s intervention, healing, and improvement, nothing is found. No change, no blessing, no progress, although the time and seasons are running out. Why is it taking place? Have the Lord forsaken us? Why no balm, no physician?
Notice similar questions made elsewhere. Cf. Psalm 10:1; 13:1; 44: 23 – 26; 89: 46. Observe one important thing; they were all concerned about the state of their community and desperately looked for a change.
As we approach another year – end it’s good to consider the change, the recovery, the improvement we can notice in our individual, family, as well as assembly life. Or do we still see the same position with all the weaknesses and infirmities that bring no fruit, no glory to God’s name? Do we feel just like the Israelites, ‘God is away’!
In connection with the work of God, the scripture reveals us that there are times, either He hesitate to get involved, or even allows undesirable experiences to take place in a believer’s life. So it is wise to seriously examine the progress we made in the past and the reasons that prevent it. Let us consider two possible reasons why God stops His work among the people of God.
1. To test and refine. Job. 23: 8 -- 10
Here we see Job in manifold afflictions trying to meet with God, but he says, “I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I can not perceive Him. When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; when He turns to the right hand, I can not see Him.” Going through untold sufferings physically, materially as well as mentally, Job very much wanted to have a meeting with God, but God is not seen! Yet, notice, Job is not discouraged, he knows the reasons for the prevailing circumstances. “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”. V. 10.
It may be one reason why we don’t find any development or healing. God in His sovereign will permits hardships, trials, adverse situations etc. He has a purpose, that is to test, to refine, to purify, to make us more like Him or to teach some valuable lesions, even to teach some one else too. There are times He allows certain kind of experiences for His chosen saint to set him as an example. Oh, there are so many reasons why God allows adversity.
Job knew this well, so he says, “He knows the way that I take… I shall come forth as gold”. We may think God is hiding, not working or even forsaken us! But the truth is He is very much aware of our steps, knowing well of the intensity of our pain and suffering, carefully watching every moment. And once He finishes His work in us, He will help us to come out triumphantly, fulfilling His purposes in our life. Till then as Job did, we ought to stay close to Him, walk in His way, value His words and patiently wait for Him. . Cf. Job. 23: 11, 12.
2. To discipline and reform. Jeremiah 8: 20 – 22 cf. 7 – 12; 11: 11 – 14. Isaiah 59: 1—3.
In the case of Jeremiah we can notice the reason behind the sad state of Israel. God was chastening them for their sins, rebellion and disobedience. Through out this book, we see various aspects of their sinful life. They refused to hear the Lord’s message, did not repent of their sins and they had no idea about the judgements of God. V. 5 – 12.
Similar condition is found during the times of Judges, it was because of their rebellion and sinful life He gave them over to various nations. Judges 6: 12, 13 cf. 3: 7, 8. In Joshua 7 we see how the consequences of sin in by one individual and how the Lord refused to stand with them in their fight against Ai. Moses did warn them about such disciplinary actions from the Lord. Cf. Deuteronomy 31: 16 – 18.
This is one area we often neglect. Because of the unique privileges one has under the New Covenant, we think we can live in any manner and enjoy the divine work and blessings. Just as the Old Testament presents plenty of examples when God stopped working for His people because of their sins, the New Testament also gives some references to such chastening hand of God.
Acts 5: 1 – 10:- God works against Ananias and Saphira who chose to speak lie.
Hebrews 12: 4 –11:- Hebrew Christians are reminded of the chastening of God, that we may be partakers of His Holiness.
James 4: 1—6: - God does not answer to the prayers of these saints, because of their selfishness, worldliness and pride. James says, ‘God resists the proud’.
Revelation 2: 1 – 7. The risen Lord warns the active and conservative local assembly at Ephesus. He will not hesitate to remove the testimony if not repented.
Revelation 3: 1 – 7:- Local Assembly at Sardis is about to die. God is not at work because of their imperfect work.
Therefore, we need to examine the reasons why we see an absence of divine work and blessings in our life. Why does He keep quite or allows undesirable events or experiences in our life. Is He against us? Is He really pleased in us and our activities? What prevents God from working on our behalf? Why there is no balm, no physician?
Whether it is under the Old Covenant or New, God can not compromise with evil, injustice, disobedience and rebellion. Let us examine now. As we have come to the end of another year it is the best opportunity to make a sincere self-examination, even pleading with the Lord to search and try us, and show us the right path. Cf. Psalm 139: 23, 24.
Praise be God, we have a merciful and gracious God who is more than willing to cleanse us from all uncleanness and unrighteousness by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We only need to acknowledge our sins, repent and turn to Him. Cf. 1John 1: 7 – 9. 2Chronicles 7: 13, 14; Isaiah 1: 18, 19. Then the coming New Year 2014 will be a wonderful and joyful one for us.
May the Lord God Almighty make this New Year a blessed and happy year for all of us, with more blessings, more healing and more fruit for His glory.
Spiritual Maladies and their Remedies
Bad temper. Psalm 34:1
Evil speaking. Psalm 35:28
Boasting. Psalm 44: 8
Melancholy Psalm 70:4
Scandal Psalm 71: 8
Self-righteousness. Psalm 71: 15
Fear Psalm 71:24
Evil thoughts Psalm 119: 9.
Envy Pro 23: 17
Neglecting the Treatment
There was a man who grew so heavy that he had to have a special chair to hold. Being a Chinese, he counted his fatness as good fortune, and he took pride in his enormous size. He considered being so overweight that he was a happy man. One day a foreign doctor happened to meet him and observing his abnormal size, at once suspected a diseased condition.
The doctor closely questioned the man and when he learned that the man had a poor appetite he was sure about the disease. He urged the man to come to his hospital assuring him of the possibility of a cure. The man laughed at the idea. The physician further told him that now was the time to heal his condition and that if he waited further, recovery would be impossible.
Two years later that fat man’s appetite lost completely and his body was seized with great sufferings. He immediately thought of what the missionary doctor had told and he sent his son to find the medical doctor. After a long search the doctor was found. The doctor asked for a description of the sick man. The son described his father’s condition and the doctor could remember him. Immediately he declared that his father waited too long and there’s no treatment available now.
Study note -
A New Beginning
“If only I can begin all over again” many lament, recalling the past failures and unfavorable experiences. No need to be depressed, no need to think time and opportunity is over. We can start all over again. But we need the help of the Almighty to really experience a New Beginning.
He is the creator who brought everything out of nothing, out confusion. He makes no mistake. He begins with our inside – heart – the seat of all emotion, will etc. He will cleanse our heart by the precious blood of His Son Jesus Chris. He will do it daily. Even the whole creation is waiting for such a renewal by the creator, yes a New Beginning. You too can start all over again..
News & Views: -
Universe to Collapse
According to a news report appeared in the Hindustan Times on 16/12/13 the universe may one day collapse and everything in it, including the Earth, will be compressed into a small, super hot, hard ball. New calculations from physicists at the University of Southern Denmark confirm the earlier predictions by the physicists, suggesting sooner or later ......More
“Discipline is the midwife of liberty.”
_____________________ Author Unknown
“Thank God, every morning you get up and find you have something to do that must be done, whether you feel like doing it or not. This builds character. “
_________ Ralph Waldo Emerson