“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts… I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecc. 3: 11,14). God created this universe, first thing, so – “that men should fear before Him” …. The fear of God is the basis for our building of faith.
God created this world for a certain time and the time for this world is limited. Due to the failure of Adam and Eve in their first test of obedience, which affected all of humanity, God prepared for us the new plan, the way to the next world, to the world without sin. He sent us the sacrifice, Yeshua, to bring us closer to Him and for us to learn from Him and prepare ourselves to be a clean, spotless and wrinkled bride toward the meeting with Him. The role of the tests and trials we have gone through, is – to cleanse us, to teach us to live a holy life and bring us to fear Him and especially to put Him at the center of our lives …
We live in a humanistic world (man at the center) and this is Satan’s way to stumble us believers too. We must fight against humanism with the help of the Holy Spirit, with spiritual discernment and of course do not let it enter our lives and congregations. (Unfortunately, this is already happening in some places …).
Today we are at war, but the real war is a spiritual war against us. It is stronger than the physical war, because it is a war for our eternal future. The enemy of our souls wants to prevent us, in all of his despicable ways, from reaching the kingdom of heaven. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:8-11).
The Lord will not stop the evil in this world, just as we do not stop birth pains. (Antichrist must come and after him Yeshau the Messiah, who we all are waiting for Him). The Lord wants that in all these troubles: the plagues, the wars (and according to Matthew 24 there will also be “earthquakes and famines”), He wants us to grow in faith and be strengthened with a confidence in Him, as a child trusts his father… “And said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3-4).
Self-humiliation before God, will bring us to our absolute confidence in our Father, because we cannot defend ourselves alone (physically and spiritually), only He is our protection and refuge within all the evil and wickedness around us. It is true that there is a natural fear, but as we draw closer to God (in prayer, praise and thanksgiving) we will calm down and be strengthened in faith and not lose hope. After the suffering we go through now and we will go through in the future, the Lord is the one who will do these: “But may the God of all grace…after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter5:10). The joy in Him, is our strength – “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).
At this time we must concentrate on God’s promises: “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. (Psalm 91:3-7).
At the same time, we must fight against the enemy of our souls with every (!!!) full weapon of God (and not to miss out anyone of these), according to Ephesians 6: 13-17: Walking in the absolute truth of God, in His justice (and not in our self-justification), with God’s peace in the heart (and which we spread around us), in complete and strong faith without compromise, with confidence in our salvation and with the help of the sword of the Spirit which is the holy and complete word of God (without taking it out of context and not according to our own personal interpretation).
The world is in a storm today. But when we, the believers, are in the ‘eye of the storm’ – that is, in the will of God, we are protected. If we fear that we may not be within His will, we must pray and seek the Lord’s help, which will point to the place where we are outside His will, whether we are in the wrong position, or in the wrong place, or acting in the wrong time and wrong way.
We must ask ourselves:
Do we live in fear and insecurity in God?
Are we a good witness before the unbelievers, who experience fear and anxiety in time of war?
When we are within the ‘will of God’, we live without fear and without worry. These are victorious lives in Messiah, with His grace and with His love. It is time to remember these verses daily: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39).
We must internalize these verses as well: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7). And also: “But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:18-19). The hope we have in our souls, and the love of God within our hearts, strengthen us in these times. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
Dear brothers and sisters – nothing will happen to us, if God does not allow it to happen to us … but if and when it happens to us … it is under the watchful hand of God: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Heb. 12:6-8). The reproof of the Lord (by the word of God, by brethren, or by situations in our lives), is always helpful and its role is to bring us to repentance unto salvation followed by freeing followed by joy in our Lord. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted…” (2 Cor. 7:10).
The Lord in His word encourages us also not to be afraid of people, who harm us, but to trust Him and fear Him, who alone has the judgment: “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5). And again – the ‘fear of God’ within us, is the key to strong faith, to our confidence in Him and to our strength in difficult times.
The parable of the faithful servant and the bad servant clarifies to us the issue of two types of servants in the body of Messiah: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards” (Matt. 24:45-49).
The master examined the deeds of the faithful servant and the evil servant in the times before His return. This is the time we are in now… The faithful servant cared for and provided for his household their needs and perhaps also the healthy spiritual food, while the Lord was delayed to come (as pastors are serving in God’s congregations, should take care of their flock and give them healthy spiritual food) and the servant received good reward for his good deeds.
The evil servant was busy with things related to his personal pleasure and satisfactions, while the master was delayed to come and in addition to that, he beat and hurt his fellow servants … this parable is a teaching and warning for all of us.
We who serve in the body of Messiah, must do the work of the Lord who has entrusted it to us, faithfully, steadfastly and lovingly, all the time, even though we do not know the date of His return. At the same time we must be careful not to hurt each other, out of competition, anger, jealousy, or self-honor, which come from spiritual pride and may destroy brethren, for whom Christ died: “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Gal. 5:26). And more – “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
After this parable, comes the parable of the ten virgins – five wise and five foolish (Matthew 25:1-13), and again, here too the theme of time is mentioned, which is at the center of the parable: “But while the bridegroom was delayed…” (Matthew 25: 5). The five wise virgins, waited for their master with joy and excitement, though they did not know the date of his return. They were ready all the time: they were full of spirit, they feared Him and they were within His will. The five foolish virgins, though lived their lives in the spirit, but not to the end… Actually when a long time passed and the Lord was late to come, they failed, they were busy within themselves and did not put the Lord first in their lives, they dealt with the flesh things and not the spiritual things, they were not alert to the critical times in which they lived and therefore were not prepared for the arrival of the groom.
In both passages, we read that “the groom was late to come”. Is it not the time, we live in now??? Yes, it’s the time! The Lord watches over us all the time and knows our actions. He knows our relationship with Him and also our relationship with our brothers and sisters. It’s time to put things right in this relationship. We want to be ready for the returning of the Lord…
And in conclusion: “He has made everything beautiful in its time…”, but -because the world fell into sin and people failed, God by His grace and love, through the sacrifice of His Son Yeshua, promised us a new heaven and a new earth which justice will dwell in them (2 Peter 3:13). We are all waiting for this time, but meanwhile, “…having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
Thank God, who gives us more time to prepare for the groom to come and take us to Him: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new…” (Rev. 21:3-5). Praise be to God!