(Isaiah 7: 1-9)
“If you do not stand firm in your faith you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7: 9b). The confederacy planned against Ahaz King of Judah could not succeed because the Lord emphatically had said that it would not happen; It was emphatic because He had it said it twice. Two, or three, even four against one is powerless when the Lord God is not on their side. No king is saved by the great size and power of his army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength, a horse is devoid of value for victory; neither does he deliver any by his great power. Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him, who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving kindness (Ps. 33:16-18). The Lord assured King Ahaz of his deliverance with a warning: If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all (vs.9b). Faith was the factor for King Ahaz to succeed, and it is for us today. Faith, the Word of God says, Is the victory that overcomes the world. It is the victory that overcomes any challenge that comes to us. Standing in faith is having a shield covering to protect us against the enemy. Paul admonishes us to lift up the shield of saving faith, upon which we can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. When the plans from the evil one against us are without basis, they will not succeed, for we are secured in God’s shelter.
The Word of God said, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all!” It is faith that assures us the equilibrium we need to stand firmly in place. YAHSHUA assured Peter His prayer for him, when the devil asked Him permission to sift Peter, as wheat is sifted. He said, I prayed for you that your faith will not fail. These words from YAHSHUAconnect well with the words we read above. Faith is a very important factor in our daily lives for us to see the results we are looking for. When we approach our Lord, we must approach Him in faith, believing that He exists and there is nothing impossible for Him. Faith that moves mountains does not have to be big; YAHSHUA describes it as big as a mustard seed. Faith is very powerful when exercised by the believer in his prayer. The Bible says that the earnest prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available. Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months (James 5:16b-17). Faith is an active part of the armor of God, for it is the weapon that will quench the flammable darts of the enemy. Faith makes things move in direction to God and compels Him to act in our favor. Without faith, we cannot apply the full armor of God, which is essential for us to take the first step against the enemy. And without it, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
(Daniel 6: 1-22)
The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is much more than just a children’s story. In fact, this thought obscures the meaning of the events God allowed to happen to show what will be in the future for the nation of Israel. Many events in the Old Testament have happened with a purpose to point out to the near or far future. The Word of God is unsearchable; only those who desire to have the understanding of it, to them will be given revelation of its prophetic meanings. Much is missed because of that. The book of Daniel is clearly an example of it. When we read this book is like opening the future right before our eyes. From the four Jewish youths the Bible mentions in this book, Daniel stands out, because God chose him to be his end time messenger. Daniel’s experience in the lion’s den, like that of his friends in the furnace, has a prophetic meaning directed to his nation. Daniel and his friends well represent the faithful ones in the time of the tribulation and their deliverance.
When King Darius of Persia, who was the successor of Belshazzar, took over the kingdom of Babylon he set over the kingdom 120 governors in charge of all the kingdom. He also chose three presidents over them. Daniel was chosen to be one of them. The Bible tells us that he was distinguished above all the presidents and the satraps because an excellent spirit was in him. The king then set him over the whole realm (Dan. 6:2-3). Daniel, like Joseph, was favored and placed in the right position to fulfill God’s plan. But like Joseph, Daniel had to suffer in the hands of the Gentiles for the truth to be sufficed. Jealousy abounded in the hearts of all those who worked closely to him. They desire was to find something to accuse Daniel in order to disgrace him. But Daniel was faithful to the only true God. They had to create a situation where Daniel would not bend to it. So they came up with an idea that seemed good in the eyes of the king: the establishment of a royal statute to whom all people must pray and make their request to. Upon the signing of this decree Daniel went into his house, with its windows opened toward Jerusalem, there he knelt as usual three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God (vs.5-10).
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).
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.
The words of Job spoken thousands of years ago still resonate strongly in our ears today when we read them. He desired that his words were written; that they were inscribed in a book; that with an iron pen and lead they were graven in the rock forever (Job 19: 23-24). Yes, God heard the prayer of His righteous servant, Job and years later, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Job’s words were inscribed in a book that has lasted thousands of years. They have encouraged many in their valleys and strengthened their faith because they came from a man in his suffering and not in his days of prosperity. He said, He performs [that He has] planned for me, and of many such matters He is mindful (Job 23:14). Job could see beyond all God’s faithfulness in completing in him His purpose for what He created him. He knew that God was aware and mindful of all his sufferings. We are blessed to have these words written in order to know without a doubt that God is aware and mindful of everything that happens to us, too. When God created a life, He created with a purpose. The destiny of every one is written in His book. David said, Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:16). Every human life is precious to Him; He was involved in every detail of creating us. He formed our inward parts; He knit us together in our mother’s womb… (Psalm 139:14a). After all, He gave us life. Not one single life created – born or unborn is a waste.
eating His last Passover with His disciples, YAHSHUA led them to the Gethsemane
Garden. It was night. The darkness of the night could not hide the agony
expressed in His voice saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from
Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done (Luke 22:42). What was He expressing in
that hour, fear? Hardly. He, for a
moment of His earthly life, was going to suffer as a human being in the fire of
hell, when He would break himself away from Whom He was in the holy trinity-
the Son. How hard it was going to be for
Him, Who knew no sin! We can never understand how God in three persons –
Father, Son and Holy Spirit would condemn Himself in the person of the Son to
hell. But this is for another time. My
point here however, is that even to the
point of His death His prayer remained embedded
in the will of the Father, as He had been teaching: “Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.”
Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you (First Samuel 7:5).