Week 52 The Word That Lasts
October 9, 2013
The Word That Lasts
The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of God stands forever.
- Isaiah 40:8
The book of the old testament tells many of the Lord’s servants that has faithfully served him in their own different times. They each have been entrusted with a duty to fulfil and the Lord was with them every step of the way. Their stories are written and their deeds has been well accounted for by the Lord. Time can tell of the things they have gone through in obedience to God’s word. They often had their journey not so easy. The path they were in were likely to be a not so straight one as they have to endure trials along the way. They have learned to persevere with the days passing by.
The Prophet Jeremiah
In those days of old, Jeremiah was one the Lord have set to be a prophet for the people. Even before he was born, the Lord already knew him. He knew he would have to endure a lot when the time comes that he shall be in service to the Lord. He would speak to the people to turn from their evil ways and live.
On one occasion of his life, he was imprisoned and there were those who have made it happen. There were those who were seeking his downfall. Even though he have done them no wrong, they still pursue of putting him to shame. They were in opposition to what he was saying even thought it all came from the Lord. It wasn’t something they would accept lightly and so, they became hostile about it as it’s not the same to what they were going with.
The prophet Jeremiah constantly warned them. Time and time again, he was speaking for their own good but they wouldn’t listen. They became arrogant and eventually, the day came when the city would fall. Its destruction was before them. It would be a downfall already foreseen. A terrible disaster was already at its doors. In those times, the Lord have raised up another kingdom to conquer the land. It was king Nebuchadnezzar whom they were up against. He was the one Jeremiah was talking about. He was to fulfil the message the Lord had sent to the people.
When the kingdom of Israel was still under siege, Jeremiah was imprisoned. He was held captive due to his declarations. They were surrounded by the Babylonians. Everywhere they look, there was trouble everywhere. A great predicament was just right outside. No one was able to escape away from the city. They cannot go out nor was anyone allowed to go in. With such a situation, the condition inside were not so good. With every passing moment, their supply was decreasing. Their amount of food was dropping with each consumption. Their water was in a similar manner. Soon, with the inhabitants all weak, the Babylonians attack and captured the city. They held many prisoners however Jeremiah was spared. The Lord did not let the King of Babylon took him captive to be brought to their own homeland and thus set him free.
The Judge Samson
Another one by which the Lord had set to be dedicated before him was Samson. In the early days when the Israelites have settled in the land they have travelled way back from Egypt, a new generation had risen that know little about how they came to be In the place they were in. They did not recognize the goodness of the Lord the way their ancestors did. Time and again, they would go far from him by the many disobedience they would do. They would worship falsely and thus, it was so that the Lord let the other nations go against them. When the Israelites would cry out to him for help, Judges were sent and they were ones whom God had chosen to free them from their trouble and one of these was Samson by which we have known well with the story of Samson and Delilah .
Even before Samson was in his mother’s womb, the Lord had already foretold the things by which to come. He made it known to her the things she shall do while bearing him inside of her. She was given instruction by which she shall follow. The angel of the Lord told her, “Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son; and now drink no wine or strong drink neither eat any unclean thing. No razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” And soon after, she told her husband of what had happened who believed her praying that it may be answered that the angel will come once again to teach them of the things they will do. The Lord heard his request and at the bright of day, the angel appeared once again. This time the woman rush to her husband’s side telling him that he had returned. They both went for him and they both were reassured. They offered a sacrifice with its smoke ascending and soon, it goes the same for the one whom they received the message from.
With no razor ever put in his hair, Samson’s hair grew long. With this, it became a feature of him which made him more recognizable by the people. He would organize such part of him by tying them one after the other. Though it was so that his hair became a trademark for him, another one which made him known in the land was his strength. He could lift massive objects no one can and carrying stuffs bigger than him, he can put them to places others consider to be beyond their comprehension for the Lord was with him.
On one time, He came to a certain place and spent the night there. When it was known of his whereabouts, the Philistines surrounded him. It was a chance they seized of. This could be the moment they had been waiting for. Such a situation may not be before them again. They had planned to wait till dawn for him to come out. Not moving in their places, they anticipated him to be in their range by which they would strike. Hours passed that it came to be with Samson lifting the city’s gate. Such a massive structure of the city’s walls was in his shoulders. He carried it to the top of the hill holding it in two of its bars. Thus, Samson escaped from his enemies.
Soon after, he fell in love with a certain woman named Delilah. He was attracted to her but unknowingly, the Philistines came to her seeking Samson’s weakness. They were eager to know the source of his strength. They were looking for an edge they can use against him. They gave her the task anticipating she can make him tell her. With such knowledge to be handed to them by Delilah, they were setting up a price for her. Soon, it was known by which cutting his hair, Samson’s strength would soon be gone. Samson was before his enemies. With him not able to go against them, he can only remain as their captive. It was soon that he was taken to their temple. There, he was blinded and with such a weak prisoner before them, the Philistines were less concern of him. They were not worried the same way they used to.
However, Samson, in his last moments prayed standing between the two columns supporting the temple. He humbly asked that his request may be answered. He cannot see anything for he was blinded and was only sensing his surrounding by touch. The Lord heard him and soon Samson pushed the columns and brought the structure down to its ruins.
The Prophet Elijah
Along also with many servants of the Lord in those old times, considered as a bold prophet was Elijah. He was one who performed many miracles. He did things considered impossible for others. He lived in a time when idolatry was spread in the land. The Israelites were worshipping falsely. They looked upon not to the Lord. They were accompanying themselves on something which was not true. One that cannot hear or assert to their request was what they were clinging to. They were relying on their Baal and the one who was making them for such an unworthy act was the wife of the king who was Jezebel. She was setting up the way for them to walk in disobedience to the Lord. Few in those times were putting their faith true. Many were commanded by those on top to walk not to what was right. Thus, only a small group was seeking God’s word and including in these was Elijah.
By God’s command, Elijah went to the king. He was to give him a message and it was something in response to their unlawful act. In his presence, he declared what the Lord has to say. In the next few years, there would be no rain. There would be drought. Not a drop of water would fall from the sky. The land would be dry. Dew was to be not something they would see as the people In the land stay in their homes trying not to be wet. It would be so that way until he would say there will be rain again. With such words into open, it was not accepted lightly by the king. Soon after, Elijah fled into the wilderness away from the people who wants to make him pay for this.
Everywhere Elijah would go, the Lord was constantly watching him. He was aware of the things he was going through by the moment. It was not an easy path, he had to walk through. He did not let his condition deteriorate with regard to his health. Though, food was not something he can buy in the surrounding, the Lord has his ways in regards to this. He can’t easily go to any place where supply of food can be but God had already had this in mind. With trees all around, it would not be easy for one to find his way in the early times of his dwelling. By morning, he was provided with meat and bread and it was also the same in the evening. It was the ravens that the Lord commanded to do such actions. To drink, he would go to a brook. It was how he lived for some time when the Lord told him to go to a certain place named Zarephath.
Before, Elijah came to the place, the Lord had already revealed what will be. He made it known to him how he shall meet a widow in the gate of the city. It was someone who shall turn to his aid. When he finally arrived, he approached the woman asking that she may prepare for him something he can eat. The journey have drained him energy that eating may satisfy his hunger. The woman appears to be a good person and one he shall approved of soon. She gave him a reply reflecting his current situation. She was true to his word making it known to Elijah how she was gathering some wood to bring home by where a short supply was only available. They would not last long with what they had and it was only a matter of time before they had nothing sufficient to give. But Elijah reassured her saying to do as she says by first making something for him to eat and also for her and her son. The Lord was with Elijah that the jar of oil and the jug of oil did not went empty since until the day there will to be rain in the land. What he said came to be. (1 King 17:14) For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’
Such were some of the things of how the Lord was looking to Elijah with favour. He did not let him fall in the hands of those seeking his downfall. Events which are definitely a wonder of a sight were to come even when he was still with the widow and her son. Truly, he performed more miracles in the remainder of his life. His successor was named Elisha. He was his company on the things he had done since he called him out to his side.
When the time came when he shall leave the world, he walked alongside Elisha into a place on the other side of the river. It was already revealed unto others that it was a day when a farewell would happen. It may be the last time a great prophet and his successor would see each other in the land they had walk with and they would not see each other again until they had been reunited in heaven. When they were to walk in the river, the Lord had caused the current to stop and make way. In the right and In the left, there were walls of water. They were heading to the next side dry just like when the time when the Israelites crossed the red sea. When they were in the place they intended to, a chariot of fire came down from above. It was sent for Elijah. There, the bold prophet was taken from the world. He was headed to where the Lord is granting the request Elijah his successor had asked from him.
Though all of the Lord’s servants of old times had lived in different times, they all had the Lord as their refuge. They eventually left the world they resided. They died with Elijah as an exception. The length of time they walked with in the world were not the same. Such a matter definitely vary with things to consider. Some lived longer and others had probably had their days less. Though, it was in such a matter of time they had lived in the world, the word of the Lord is not the same likewise. Things in the world may only be present for the time being, but the word of our God stands forever. It is not bounded by time. With the things there are now and tomorrow nowhere to be seen, it can be a reassuring to see that the Lord’s word surely lasts.