Getting Where You’re Going
by Lary R. Hale
Whatever we are doing on a consistent basis in our lives is going to catch up with us. Now that can be really good news, or it can be really bad news, depending on what we’re really up to. On the good end we have the prophet Isaiah for an example, who felt that all the good that he was doing for God was never going to be rewarded, and that he was forgotten: “Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God” (Isa. 49:4). So even though Isaiah felt in that moment that he was forsaken, he knew at the same time that God would come through for him, because he is just to do so. Jeremiah felt the same way at times in his ministry of labor for the Lord: “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” (Jer. 15:17,18). It appeared to Jeremiah at times that God would never confirm his words that he had spoken faithfully for him, yet the Lord let him know that he was not forgotten, and that there would be a result of his faithful labor: “The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction” (Jer. 15:11). And those words of promise were in fact fulfilled at the very same time that Jeremiah’s words against Jerusalem were fulfilled by means of the king of Babylon: “And the captain of the guard [of Babylon] took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go” (Jer. 40:2-4). So everyone who refused to hear Jeremiah’s words were either killed or taken into captivity against their will, while Jeremiah was given full liberty to do as he pleased, by the captain of the Babylonian army.
On the flip side of the coin we have Absalom, the son of David who tried to usurp the kingdom from David. Holding a grudge against his father, Absalom sought for some time to gradually steal the kingdom by stealth (II Sam. 15:1-6). After procuring quite a company of people to himself, Absalom effectively ran David and those with him out of the land, and it looked as though he would be king instead of David (II Sam. 15:10-14). But though the rebellion appeared successful for a time, it was doomed because it was against the Lord and against his anointed. And even though David commanded that Absalom be taken alive in battle, it was not to be: “And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom… And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle. And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom… Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him” (II Sam. 18:5,10-12,14,15). The truth of the matter is that God is, as Abraham called him, “the Judge of all the earth;” and he does not miss anything, whether it be good or evil (Gen. 18:25; Prov. 15:3). And the Bible admonishes us thusly in both directions: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap… And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:7,9). And on the other end we have this: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). Never believe that God has forgotten you my friend, when you are applying yourself to doing good in his sight steadfastly. Neither mistake the longsuffering of the Lord to be a license to continue in anything wrong. God bless.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page March 2, 2013