“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 11 Peter 3:9
We have the great privilege to be God’s children and to know Him. God does not have any limit. He does not know who to lie. It is human when people who enjoy breaking their promises surround you.
Also, people often do not have the patient to endure others. In the moment of anger, they can destroy anyone that comes in their ways. They may never forgive those who offend them even if these people ask for forgiveness.
The good news is God is not the same. He is not human like you and I. He is God and He never fail with His promises. This is just ONE REASON why you must depend 100% on God to live your life. You cannot do without Him. If you rely on the help of human, you will discover that they don’t live to their promises.
So, are you going to rely on God’s promises or not?
“All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him; for he alone of Jeroboam’s family shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.” 1 kings 14:13
If you read the entire chapter 14 of 1 kings, you will discover how Abijah, son of Jeroboam fell sick, and Jeroboam instructed his wife to disguise herself and go to Prophet Ahijah to inquire about the health of their son, and how the Prophet revealed the woman’s true identity even before she stepped into the prophet’s house.
Then this was followed by Prophet Ahijah’s prediction concerning Jeroboam and his family. God granted Abijah a honourable death, and burial and memorial mourning, which all Israel did for him.
The bible says, none of Jeroboam’s family will die naturally because of his numerous sins BUT God remembered Abijah and there is no doubt here that among all the family members of Jeroboam, Abijah must have followed God with his entire heart.
Yes, the boy died but he did not die mercilessly like the rest of his family. He died normally, and was buried and all Israel mourned him.
If you read the verse again, you will notice this precious words; “…. because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel…” That means Abijah served God throughout his life!
He died, not paying for the sins of his father. I bet God removed the boy earlier on away from his family so that he would not experience any of the punishments set out for Jeroboam, who failed to serve God but worship false gods, burnt incense, bow down to lifeless images, which he believed would save him.
Many of us Christians do not see the emergency when it comes to us teaching our children about God. I would like to understand this, and that is, Christianity is not just meant for you and you alone. It involves your family members too. If you are a parent, then you have the emergency responsibility to lead your children in the ways of the Lord.
Apart from this, do not be so indulge in your sinful ways and by this influence your children as well. You are hold responsible for what happen to them. You are in charge of their wellbeing and for this, you must show them the ways of God. Tell them about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Make them know that God exists and teach them about the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jeroboam was a bad parent, yet his son, Abijah, chose not to follow his father’s footstep. The boy must have been shown God’s instructions right from when he was young and he lived by it until his death.
I still remind you, nothing is of emergency responsibility to you presently than to raise your children in the ways of God. You may never know the effect of this at the moment until generation after generation of yours exist years on that the effect of what you teach them would show.
Do not be a bad parent like Jeroboam; instead, make it your profound duty to nurture your children with love, and divine laws of our Lord.
“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might deny ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and cavalry to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king that the hand of our God is gracious to all who seek him, but his power and his wrath are against all who forsake him. So we fasted and petitioned our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” Ezra 8:21-23
We have focused so much on the meaning of fasting to be just for the purpose of acquiring something from God, but fasting is more than that.
In this verse, Ezra’s faith was tested to the core. For he and his entourage to get to where they were going, they prayed, and fasted for God’s protection even over their children. It means we can fast also to ask God to protect us, and not to give us something.
Fasting is very powerful. I can tell you this, and please, I want you to believe me, that faster has higher degree than prayer! You can pray all the time, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening or in the night, but when it comes to fasting, you have time usually set for this.
You can fast in until noon, or three in the afternoon, or till 6pm. And this is not all! Do you know there are different types of fasting? I will not go fully into that here because it is for another post but here are few,
— Day Fasting – this you fast within a day or more, from specific hour to another.
— White Fasting – to go on this, you can drink water but no food, no salt. Some believers prefer to carry on this fasting with juice.
— Dry fasting – when you go for this, you don’t drink or eat. You stay on fasting without any.
Back to Ezra, there was no doubt he and his people were scared of their journey, I mean they themselves, alone, and perhaps it was such a long journey that required tight security. But because Ezra was known to be a man of faith, and to his king, Ezra’s God is sufficient to protect him. Thus, the king did not bother giving out security men as guards for Ezra and his people, and Ezra himself did not dare ask the king.
If he did, he would be contradicting his faith in God, and if initially the king is on the verge of converting, he (King) may withdraw, believing that after all, Ezra’s God is not worth going with.
Due to the shame, Ezra withdrew his demands, then he and his people prayed and fasted. You know what? This is faith! And it is such a powerful faith that took them safely throughout their long journey till they reached their destination.
They never used the king’s soldiers, or cavalry, all they used were their faith and their trust in God. And the Lord protected them, no harm came to them, nothing happened to their children, the enemy did not attacked them.
Often, we rely so hard on the security men, the men of the law, the Police or whoever to protect us, but I want you to know that all these people are mere human like you. They have their limits. In fact, there is little they can do for you.
What if you are in dire need of help and you are there calling 911, or 18, have you ever pause to think of this? You may have gotten into big mess before the help you called would come. This is because their distance to you at that time is not near, or they are busy elsewhere, or there is miscommunication during the call.
They cannot bring help to you immediately but with God, this is instant! You don’t know to pick a phone to call God to come and rescue you. He is right there by your side. You only need to gear up your sleeping faith to see Him. Fast, pray and hold on to your faith.
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