Monday, December 29, 2008

God's People will NOT be Shamed Part 4

The Fourth part of David Wilkerson's Prophetic Teaching on the Economic Crisis and Christians.
Parts 1-3 are below:

3. Consider the Hebrew children.Daniel and the three Hebrew children
refused to bow in worship before Nebuchadnezzar’s 90-foot gold idol.
They stood resolute even when condemned to die in a fiery furnace. As
the wicked king taunted, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out
of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15), the young men committed the Lord to his
promises: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in
this matter. [We don’t hesitate in our response.] If it be so, our
God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery
furnace… But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not
serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up”
(3:16–18). They were so confident God would honor his name, they
willingly faced certain death. Prominent leaders from throughout the
land gathered for the execution: princes, governors, judges, rulers
from surrounding provinces. And Nebuchadnezzar ordered the fire stoked
seven times hotter than usual, a heat so fierce it killed the servants
tending the furnace. The crowds were aghast, exclaiming, “These men
can’t survive. They’ll drop dead before they get near that furnace.
No God can deliver from this kind of fate.” Again, the Lord’s name
was on the line. If he didn’t intervene, his name would be defamed
throughout the nations. But the Lord never puts to shame those who
fully trust him. Scripture says Jesus himself showed up in that furnace
to protect and comfort his servants. And out of the fire walked the four
Hebrew children, without even a whiff of smoke on them.

4. Consider King Hezekiah.Scripture says Hezekiah was God-fearing: “He clave to the
Lord” (2 Kings 18:6). During Hezekiah’s reign, Jerusalem was
besieged by the Assyrians, the great world power of the day. This vast
army had already captured Samaria and the cities of Judah, and now they
surrounded Jerusalem. Their captain stood taunting, “We have
overpowered the gods of all nations. How do you expect your God to
deliver you?” Once again, the Lord himself was on trial. His
faithfulness was being questioned before the whole empire, before
Israel’s enemies, even before God’s people. What if he didn’t
act? What if, in the morning, a barrage of arrows came cascading over
the city walls? The heathen would gloat and God’s Word would be
meaningless. As the crisis mounted, Isaiah stood by watching it all. He
had received a word from the Lord, and he trusted in it fully. Now he
committed God to that word, putting the Lord’s reputation on the
line. He prayed, in essence, “God, my honor doesn’t matter. If you
don’t deliver, I can always hide in the wilderness. It’s your honor
that is at stake.” With that, Isaiah calmly told Hezekiah to tell the
Assyrian captain: “He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an
arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against
it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not
come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to
save it, for mine own sake” (2 Kings 19:32–34, my italics).

God will never let his trusting people be put to shame, and that night
he delivered a powerful miracle. Scripture says 185,000 Assyrian
soldiers died mysteriously, causing a huge panic, and the mighty army
fled. Once again, God defended his people for his own sake. 5. Consider
Peter and John in the New Testament.As the two disciples walked toward
the temple, they came upon a beggar who had been lame from birth. Peter
and John had probably passed this man many times before, but this time
they stopped. The throngs in the marketplace heard Peter tell the
beggar, “Look on us…. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise
up and walk” (Acts 3:4, 6). Peter was calling on the Lord to act,
with God’s own glory at stake. The crowds must have said to each
other, “What a foolish preacher. He’s asking a man who’s been
crippled all his life to stand up and walk.” I believe those people
were ready to laugh Peter and John to scorn. Then a strange feeling
started in the lame man’s feet. First he wiggled his ankle. Then the
feeling moved upward into his calves and his thighs. He began to
crouch, then slowly he pushed himself upright and stood. To the
crowd’s amazement, the man began to leap and dance. I ask you: what
if God hadn’t acted? That was never a concern to Peter, who gladly
committed his God to deliver. The Lord will never put those who trust
him to shame! We today are also called to place God’s honor, glory
and reputation on the line.Think about these biblical episodes. In each
one, everything that Christ came to earth and died for was at stake. Yet
all through the Old and New Testaments, God’s plan, purpose and people

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