The death of John the Baptist, lead YAHSHUA to withdraw to a solitary place by Himself. It was a time of reflection; a time alone with the Father, not because He did not know John’s future, but to consider His position in the world without his forerunner, who openly declared that him to be the Messiah. The timing for all to happen was perfect, as His ministry reached out with healings to all who needed them; not only physical healing, but also spiritual. It was a busy time for YAHSHUA and His disciples. The news about Him had reached far into Israel, as well into other countries at the time of John’s death. It was a solemn hour for Him, nevertheless, enough to want to spend a time alone. YAHSHUA must have spent the entire night praying, as it was His custom to do. The crowds came in the morning and stayed with Him all day until the day was over. He satisfied them all with healings and with food in a miraculous way. They counted about 5,000 men without the women and children. That was the perfect timing, indeed for Him to manifest Himself as the Messiah through the supernatural happenings that only He as the Son of God could do. When the crowds heard where He had gone, they followed Him on foot. That in itself confirmed the importance of His ministry. He looked at the crowds with His heart and He was full of compassion. He saw the matter of the hearts of those who were there anxiously waiting for their healing.
(Mark 10: 13-16)
What was the reason for YAHSHUA’S indignation at that time? Why did He get so upset? What was so important to Him? It was against the disciples who were prohibiting the parents from bringing their children to be blessed by Him. It was in defense of the children’s right to be blessed, as it was the Jewish custom. We read in Mark ten that “they kept bringing young children to Him (YAHSHUA) that He might touch them (but) the disciples were reproving them [for it]. Although YAHSHUA was surrounded by so many people, by so much noise, even those interruptions did not keep Him from noticing the disciples’ reaction against the children’s coming to Him to be blessed. And when He saw what was happening, He took a stand against such behavior and said, Allow the children to come to Me – do not forbid or prevent or hinder them- for such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child positively does not enter it at all; and taking them [one by one] in His arms He invoked a blessing, placing His hands upon them(Mark 10:14-16). When YAHSHUA stood to defend the children, He valued them with the standard which an adult must take in order to enter the kingdom of God. The example of a child’s humbleness is essential for a person to receive salvation.
It is well known about weapons in the spiritual realm ready to be used against the believer. It is a reality we must realize every time we are struck by temptations. The armor of God is given us to put on and keep it on, for we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against the powers against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere (Ephesians 6:12). That’s the only way we will be able to resist and stand our ground on the evil days. Wicked forces are real; and they are under the control of Satan. These are fallen angels called demons. Peter warns us to be well balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of ours the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are appointed to our brotherhood throughout the world (I Peter 5:8-9). We can resist the weapon formed against us by prayer. Prayer is a very important part of God’s armor to fight Satan’s weapon coming against us. Praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (Ephesians 6:18). Praying constantly in the language of the Spirit, imploring God with enduring faith and persistence, with intercession for those of the God’s family, until our prayers reach the throne of our Lord.
A virtuous woman who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls (Proverbs 31).
Hanna was one of the wives of Elkanah from Ephraim; Peninnah, the other wife, had children, but Hanna was childless. This weighted heavily in her heart. Every year they would go up to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord at Shiloh. Hanna deeply in her sorrow would go pray to the Lord for a child. She made a vow to the Lord saying, Lord of Hosts if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut (I Sam. 1). So it was that the Lord heard her prayer and she became the mother of Samuel. As she vowed to the Lord, she gave him back to Him and Samuel grew in the temple serving the Lord all his life. He became a prophet and judge in Israel; the Lord let none of his words fall to the ground; and all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord (I Sa.3:19-21).
Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away; for, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance; The time of the singing has come! (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)
Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him (Prov. 29:5). Life is most uncertain when we walk in our own understanding, without regarding God as part of the equation of our life’s plan. The Psalmist asks the question, What would have becoming of me…had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living? (Psalm 27:13)
What would the result be for my life if I disregarded God’s sovereignty over me? Do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:6-7). A sure future of hope and blessings waits those who fear and acknowledge God in all their doings. Although Israel for a long time in the reign of kings were without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law, the Lord God in His mercy was always ready to save them in their distress when they sought Him with all their heart. King Asa started as a good and successful king; however, when he forsook the Lord to walk in his own way, even in his illness he did not seek the Lord, he was ripped of blessings and died in his rebellion. What became of him was the result of his own foolish action to forsake the Lord.
In the school of life, suffering is very much a part of it. Because we were born in sin and born of sinful parents, suffering will follow us until death, in one way or another. When sin entered the Garden of Eden, then the curse entered with it. Therefore, suffering, generally speaking, is a result of sin. David confessed it this way when he was found guilty of adultery and homicide: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me (Psalm 51:5-6). The Apostle Paul confirms: therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death as a result of sin, so death spread to all men, because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12). And we were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation (Eph. 2:3b). The Prophet Jeremiah puts all in perspective: Why does a living man sigh [ and why does] a man complain for the punishment of his sin? Let us test and examine our ways and let us return to the Lord; let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven (Lam. 3: 39-41).