About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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Listen To Your Leaders

 

It's important to pay attention to what our government leaders say, legislate, or decree.  Why?  Because our Lord listens to them.  For example, He listened to every word the king of Nineveh decreed.  "Do not let man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth.  Let everyone call urgently on God.  Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.  Who knows, God may yet relent and with compassion turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish".  (Jonah 3:6-9)

 

In today's vernacular, the king's decree was one serious piece of legislation.  Both man and animal were to fast and wear sackcloth to show that they were serious about changing their ways.  "Everyone was to call urgently on God".  The word "call" is translated from a Hebrew word meaning "a cry out in desperation".  The word "urgently" suggests there was no time to waste in the process of repenting.  Repentance must be meaningful, and it must be immediate.  

 

The words "who knows, God may " are words of hope based on the king's new found humility.  They aren't words of arrogance and pride of his political position.  The king understood his worthlessness before a holy God.  The word "relent" is translated from a Hebrew word meaning "to sigh".   In other words, the king fell to his knees and was hoping the Lord would let out a huge sigh and say, "okay, I'll have compassion on you". 

 

Note the words "fierce anger" and "perish".  A gentile king understood something God's people Israel didn't understand.  God is capable of "fierce anger", and He is capable of causing a nation to "perish". 

 

So what does all of this mean for us today?  If our Lord takes seriously what our governments say, legislate, or decrees, so should we, because He will respond accordingly.  We certainly do not want to be ignorant of His response, or caught off guard when He does respond.

 

I think you would agree, present legislation concerning abortion, redefining of marriage, separation of God from state, among others, doesn't sit well with the Lord.  These things aren't likely to change any time soon, so I suggest that we can't expect God to respond with compassion to us as He did with Nineveh. 

 

Can you imagine anyone running for political office with a platform similar to the king of Nineveh's decree.  A platform based on national repentance and a turn to the God of the Bible would be ridiculed on all fronts. The press would have a field day.  They'd turn the truths of Scripture into a comedy show.  The world is in no position to accept such a political platform.  

 

We as Christians need to be aware of what our governments legislate so we can recognize our Lord's response when it comes.  I believe His response is already underway, as seen in some of the economic, political, social, and natural upheavals in recent years.  I also believe that many Christians don't see these events as being warnings of judgment from the Lord they claim to serve.

Billy Graham often said, "if God doesn't judge America, (and I would add, the rest of the west) then He should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah". I agree with Billy Graham, but I don't see the Lord apologizing any time soon.  I see the king of Nineveh 's fears falling on us instead.

 

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