15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.16 Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Lord, we pray for those who have suffered terrible loss. We pray for those who are still suffering. Those who are hostages, those who are grieving or are lost, those loved ones. Those who are injured, those who are frightened of what’s coming. Those who are going to war, those who are in war; we bring all these people before you, both Jewish, Arab, whatever they are.
Lord, you love them. You came to give them peace. And yet they find themselves in the midst of war. Lord, have mercy. Help them. Lord, at this time, we pray in the name of your Son Jesus, our Messiah, Saviour and Lord. Amen.
Amen. Please be seated. Just before I give the talk, I want to give a reading from 2 Chronicles Chapter 15.
“Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”2 Chronicles 15.1-9
This is a prophecy given to a king at that time, but, in it, there is a message to us as well. It was Asa, a king who was turning to the Lord. And God said to him ‘be strong’, do not forsake the Lord. He will be with you. It also says that, for a long time, they have been without a teaching priest and without the Law, and without the true God. We can see that that’s the present state of things in Israel, and for us too, here in the West, and for all the nations of the world.
What they need is to hear ‘a teaching priest’, a true priest, preaching the Word of God and they need to hear the Word of God. They need to turn back to the Lord. That is the Only Way they can find the answer to the problems which are coming on the world.
The prophecy speaks about the situation at the time of Asa, but you can see it is somewhat it prophetic of our times. At the time, there was no peace for ‘the one who went out, nor to the one who came in’. There was great trouble upon all the inhabitants of the land. Nation was destroyed by nation, city by city. God troubled them with every adversity.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.Matthew 24.6-8
And we see that is what is happening in the world today, isn’t it? Nation is set against nation; peoples are rising against others and are being troubled by every adversity. And what does God say? Panic and give up? No, He says. ‘You be strong’, do not let your hands be weak for your work will be rewarded.
31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.Luke 21.31-33
There is a place where we can be strong. We can stand for the Lord, stand in His truth in these days and not let our faith waver, but continue to believe in God, believe that He is going to have the ultimate answer, which will be for good.
And, even in the midst of evil and struggle, and strife, we know that there is a hope for the future to those who call upon the Lord. And there is hope for Israel, hope for the Middle East, hope for the Western world, hope for Russia, for China, for all these nations that are now in such great turmoil.
There is hope, there is only One Hope. And that Hope is the God who made us, who redeemed us in the person of His Son. And, one day, He is going to judge the world in righteousness according to His Word. Praise the Lord.