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Heart Attack

Wed, Jul 10, 2013

Featured, Hope

Heart Attack“When Ahaz… was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.  Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim [ie Israel]”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.” (Isa 7:1-2, NIV)

Quite often in the Old Testament stories it seems the war is fought more in the heart than on the battlefield.  In the above situation, King Ahaz of Judah was under attack from both the king of Aram and the king of Israel, and even though he could repel them, he started losing heart.  God came to the rescue in his inimitable style – by sending his word, in this case by Isaiah the prophet.  God’s message to Ahaz was:

“Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.  Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood – because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.” (Isa 7:4, NIV)

In war, as in life, it seems one of the most important things God warns his people against is losing heart.  He says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov 4:23, NIV)

Before the Israelites finally entered the promised land, they were reminded of what happened the first time they were there.  Back then, on hearing the bad report from ten of the twelve spies sent to scout the land, they responded:

“Where can we go?  Our brothers have made us lose heart.  They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky…” (Deut 1:28, NIV)

The Israelites lost heart, turned away from God and lost the war before it began.

In another story, Goliath taunted the Israelite army so that they were “dismayed and terrified.” (1 Sam 17:11, NIV)  But when David comes to the rescue of the Israelite army, he says to King Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (1 Sam 17:32, NIV)

What David did for the Israelites – fighting on their behalf to conquer the enemy they couldn’t – Jesus did for us.  And so we hear Jesus saying to his disciples something similar: “…In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (Jn 16:33, NIV)

So whatever it is, don’t lose heart.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Heb 12:2-3, NIV)



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    A Question of Law

    Fri, Apr 12, 2013

    3 Comments

    In a dispensation of grace, what kind of law – including penalties and punishments – should Christians apply among themselves?

    And with the separation of Church and State, what kind of law should Christians promote for their country, that would govern both Christians and non-Christians?

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