DRASTIC TIMES CALL FOR DRASTIC MEASURES, 23.03.20
These are times of testing, judgment, and shaking. God is shaking everything that can, and needs to be shaken (Heb.12:27). These are times that call for unusual, and drastic measures.
Conspiracy theories abound, false prophets, individualized theories attempting to override universally recognized scientific studies based on facts by experts, not to mention those who continue to function in denial, rebelling against all common sense practices of prevention. Then there are those who believe this to be an attack of the Enemy, negating God’s own prophecies that declare judgment through plagues, wars, natural disasters, etc., all of which set the stage for the Great Tribulation (Matt.24:21).
This is not the time for such irrational and erroneous deductions. This is the time to consult and cling to God’s Word. Current events obviously fit into God’s prophetic timetable, and thus needn’t be viewed as negative, scary or troubling to believers.
There are those in denial, who simply refuse to acknowledge the reality of God’s Word being fulfilled before them. There are those believers with rebellious attitudes who choose to make their own deductions, speaking false words, promoting ideas not aligned with God’s Word. Just as Jeremiah’s advice enraged the Israelites, many people are angry and rejecting at the advice being given now. Just as then, so it is now, for “It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years” (Dan.9:1,2). We may be facing a new reality, desolate, economically. The reality is that life may never be quite the same again, economically, in standard of living expectations, etc.
Let us see how current events fit with examples from Scripture, Biblical situations indicative of how God works. For we have been warned of these things to come. Yet, somehow, in the face of known Scriptural prophecies, though frequently quoted, seem to be overlooked as that which is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Many of God’s leaders shrink back from speaking the truth. In an effort to please the masses by putting a positive spin on things, and in an effort to maintain politically correct viewpoints, there is an overriding need to put forth deductions/conclusions that are not in line with Scripture, but rather reflect what people would choose to believe, rightly or wrongly, and of course, most often wrongly. There is an irrational focus on fear, quite irrelevant to what the focus needs to be – on God’s prophetic Words being fulfilled.
If we look to God’s Word, it is not that difficult to discover somewhat parallel situations. One of the most obvious and profound ones is that of the Babylonian invasion during the time of the prophet Jeremiah, and Daniel. From words spoken by God through Jeremiah, we can find warnings applicable for God’s people now: ”This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord” (Jer.29:8,9). It is important to be cautious of the information sources ascribed to. Conspiracy theories, false doctrine, false prophets abound. It is not necessary to attend to every youtube video that provides yet another version of what some individual or group has devised and is proposing as the latest revelatory interpretation of today’s events. It is best to simply consult God’s Word and see what lines up with what is happening today.
Although it was not global, as is our current situation, when God commanded Israel’s compliance with Babylonian captivity, there were many admonishments and legal restrictions and requirements placed on the people. In the same way, our politicians and medical authorities are making recommendations and in some cases placing legal requirements/restrictions limiting peoples’ activities. When God told Jeremiah that Jerusalem would be captured by Babylon, things had not been going well. Their relationship with their God was one of rebellion and disobedience, much as it is today.
At this present time, our Government and Health authorities (and this is world-wide) appear to be entirely aligned in their overriding approach. Provincial Governments, our Federal Government, and very similarly the U.S. Government, including individual states, are all pleading with citizens to follow the guidelines of prevention which include social distancing, the avoidance of social gatherings, and to stay home unless otherwise necessary, in addition to all the hygienic requirements which have been reviewed multiples of times on all levels (unnecessary to bother repeating here). “The time is now for us to take action together” – “Health Minister Patty Hajdu is sending a warning to Canadians ignoring social distancing measures, saying it jeopardizes civil liberties and puts lives at risk. She anticipates these measures will last months, stressing ‘now is not the time to take your foot off the social distancing measures.”(March 21, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTtjqRfV5Os).
By taking all precautions outlined, the duration of this plague can be minimized; failure to do so, will extend the time, and exponentially multiply the numbers affected. Non-compliance perpetuates the self-fulfilling prophecy and becomes counterproductive, if not overtly self-destructive. As a society, we have a choice. Similarly Jeremiah was pleading with the people at that time to simply follow God’s orders – to return to Him, to follow Him, listen to Him, & do as He was instructing. If they would only do that, God told Jeremiah, He would thereafter bring justice, and Jerusalem/God’s people would prosper again.
An interesting parallel is that, very much like the present requirement to comply with Government/Health authorities and regulations, God was requiring the Israelites to cooperate with the Babylonian captivity. They were told that things would go better for them if they went to Babylon because Jerusalem was going to be destroyed:
4 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem:
5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce.
6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away!
7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again.
If they would listen, obey, follow instructions, and be patient, it would go well for them.
Daniel, one of God’s great prophets and faithful followers, who complied with God’s commands, did very well while in captivity, while continuing to intercede for his people:
3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.
4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.
5 But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.
6 We have refused to listen to your servants the prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land.
7 “Lord, you are in the right; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel, scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you.
8 O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.
9 But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
10 We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets.
11 All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice.
“So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin.
12 You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned. Never has there been such a disaster as happened in Jerusalem. 13 Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.
14 Therefore, the Lord has brought upon us the disaster he prepared. The Lord our God was right to do all of these things, for we did not obey him.
15 “O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness.
16 In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.
17 “O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary.
18 “O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.
19 “O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name.”
In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing
In accordance with God’s Word spoken through Jeremiah and Daniel, God was only asking for two things: (1) Repent, turn back to following His Ways, and (2) Accept what was happening; go into captivity to Babylon, accepting the consequences of their rebellious and unfaithful ways, trusting that, if they would do this, God would ultimately deal with Babylon, bring justice and prosperity for Jerusalem/Israel.
That is not so different from what is happening right now. God is shaking up His people, calling them on their lukewarm, idolatrous walk, calling believers to make the alterations needed in order to make themselves right before Him; and secondly, He is calling His people to comply with Governing bodies and Health authorities, and things will be restored for a time, during which there will be a period of preparation for the the full-scale consequences of the Great Tribulation. The extra advantage we have beyond that which was had in Jeremiah’s day, is that this is a temporary situation of likely much shorter duration than was theirs. In the interim, just as both Jeremiah and Daniel, God’s people who are walking the walk, can certainly be interceding for their own people, on household, community, municipal, provincial/state, and/or national, and even international levels.
11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.
12 “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord. “I will make the country of the Babylonians a wasteland forever.
13 I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations.
14 Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.”
1 Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.
13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
This is a WARNING for ALL God’s people – Just as when God spoke through Jeremiah, we also now have a warning: (a) of what is to come, and (b) what our best line of action is.
What God is requiring of Jeremiah to get across to His people is that it will go much better for them if they cooperate. If they remain in Jerusalem things will not go well for them:
He promises them there will be deliverance in the end, for His people. There are promises for us as well. The Lord has so much more for His people.
Now we are called to comply with the Government/Health authorities. For now, we comply. In the interim, we prepare for the next test . . . . the “Mark of the Beast” – that is when God’s people, if we are still here, must pass the ultimate test, and not bow to the rule of the Antichrist. In Jeremiah’s day, God promised deliverance from the Babylonian captivity. In this present time, there will be ultimate deliverance when our Saviour/Lord/King returns as the Lion of Judah to settle every score on this earth, and bring His own home to Him.
Today, in Canada, our own Health Minister, Patty Hajdu stated, in response to a question as to whether these social restrictions were an “order” or a “recommendation”: “I am asking, and I am recommending that people abide by these regulations, so that we won’t have to issue them as an “order.”” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaTkVIdzfQ0 , March 22, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu. “Let me be perfectly clear; we will use every tool in our toolbox to ensure compliance . . . . If we need to use stronger measures, we will.” It behooves us all to comply and not cause the very thing so many are worried about. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy of causing our citizens to lose our own civil liberties by failure to comply. The Lord is saying it will go better for us if we comply, for the time of this storm may be shortened. The immediate gain will be a period of time for more intense preparation. Needless to say, the ultimate reward that believers can look forward to (regardless of when the expected rapture is to occur) is the second coming of Messiah and our return with Him to our eternal home.
Unprecedented demands on Government and other essential services are ongoing. Expectations and demands on health supplies and testing are overwhelming. The demand and strain on each nation’s economy are unprecedented. There will no doubt be far-reaching consequences, including unanticipated spin-offs. People whose jobs will not be there for them, Government monies which can not meet all needs, businesses which will no longer exist, etc. It may very well be the case that life will never be the same again in any one of our countries. And what should God’s people do in the face of this? “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls” (Jer.6:16).
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
That is the answer. Jesus/Yeshua holds the answer to all things. For those who truly believe, abide in, and walk in, it’s really quite simple; if we just allow Him, He will provide all our needs; for He is our all in all (Eph.1:23; 1 Cor.12:6; 1 Cor. 15:28). “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt.24:24,25). “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”(Lk.21:28). We have been told to expect these events; so why is everyone so fearful and dismayed, and uncertain when what God said would come, occurs? Could it be that just as when Jesus/Yeshua warned the disciples of His death on the Cross, but also told them He would be resurrected, yet they did not believe? Beloved friends, it is no different now. We’ve been told. We know; yet we choose not to believe.
1 Cor. 15:28
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaTkVIdzfQ0 , March 22, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu
© 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.