Wrath of Man

Until I experienced the massive emotional healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), anger was my intimate companion. It is a characteristic of the male gender, but females experience it, too.

Anger seems to be the character of many in the United States at present because of perceived injustices. But anger is not a positive trait and problems can be solved in ways more peacefully and efficiently by those mature enough to express their concerns adequately.

I did a short study from Scripture and Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David to get an idea of God’s view of anger or wrath. The first verse to come to my mind was Psalm 76:10 which I looked up in the Treasury of David.

Psalm 76:10  Surely the wrath of man shall praise you: the remainder of wrath shall you restrain.

The Treasury of David, Psalm 76:10 Exposition “The devil blows the fire and melts the iron, and then the Lord fashions it for his own purposes. Let men and devils rage as they may, they cannot do otherwise than subserve the divine purposes.”

Verse 10. Persecutions tend to exercise our patience, to quicken our devotion, to evidence our zeal and Christian fortitude, and to show to the whole world what love we bear to the truth, and how much we are willing to undergo for the honour of God. Till they have suffered something for it, truth is too apt to grow cheap and be less prized, even by those that are good men in the main; whereas we are apt on the contrary, never to value it at a higher rate, or to be more zealous for it, or to make better use of it, than when it is opposed and persecuted. What more truly beneficial therefore, or tending to the divine glory, than for God, who brings good out of evil, to make use also of the opposers of his truth, to rouse up his servants whom he sees growing more remiss and negligent than they should be, and to suffer such temptations to assault them, by which their drowsy minds may be spurred on into a greater love and zeal for the truth, and a deeper sense of the divine benefit in it, and in general, excited to the more diligent performance of their duty. Richard Pearson. 1684. (edited)

The wrath of wicked men impels them to many violent and forcible attempts upon the people of God to destroy them, and so gives Him occasion to manifest His power in their defense.

It makes them sometimes fit to be His instruments in correcting His people, and so He vindicates Himself from the suspicion of being a patron to sin in them that are nearest to Him, and makes them that hate holiness promote it in His people, and them that intend them the greatest hurt, to do them the greatest good.

It administers occasion to Him for the manifestation of the power of His grace in upholding the spirits of His people and the being of His church in despite of all that enemies can do against them.

It serves very much to adorn God’s most signal undertakings for His people in the world.

It serves to manifest the glory of God’s justice upon His people’s enemies in the day when He rises up to avenge Himself upon them, when He shall stand over them, lashing them with scorpions, and at every blow mind their former cruelties. Here, take that for your inhuman rage against My people at such a place, and that for your barbarous usage of them at such a time. Now see how good it is to be imprisoned, beaten, tortured, burnt, and sawn asunder. Thus the enemies themselves are often constrained to acknowledge with Adoni Bezek the righteous hand of God upon them in the day of inquisition. Condensed from John Warren’s Sermon before Parliament. 1656. (edited)  

Copyright Statement: These files are public domain. An electronic edition is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. Bibliography Information Spurgeon, Charles H. “Commentary on Psalms 76:10”. “C.H. Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David”.

This nation of cultural Christians has become very comfortable in their prosperity. They love to be at ease and enjoy sports and entertainment. But persecution reminds them that Jesus did not come to earth to bring comfort and prosperity. He came to pay the price for our sins and iniquities – a price we could not pay. A price that cost Him everything He had: His home in Heaven and the infinite love of His Father. God the Father could not look upon His Son hanging on the cross, bearing our sins. That’s why Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?!”

If persecution will bring us back to our Savior, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, then persecution is necessary. If the loss of freedoms and the difficulty in earning a daily living will bring us back to our senses, then it is far better to suffer want than to lose our ever-living souls!

Where many Christians have become careless and scorn holiness, persecution will motivate them to turn back to their God and repent and clean up their lives to reflect the purity of the One they claim as their Savior.

Proverbs 27:3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them. 4a Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

An Electric Shock

This week I needed to see my doctor about severe pain caused by arthritis. My doctor has several areas of expertise which include acupuncture and acupressure. She asked if I had tried either of those to get pain relief and I said no. When I first met her I explained that I was a Christian but that didn’t seem to connect with her. I suppose she has met many Christians who didn’t mind using whatever strategy they could to get pain relief. But I would rather have the pain than to be untrue to the Lord of creation who has no limitations.

During her examination to find the source of my pain she stepped behind me and touched a point that gave a sharp shock – like an electrical shock. I know she touched me on purpose to show me her power to control pain, but I suspect she had no idea of what would happen. The Holy Spirit is a very jealous God and I suspect my doctor had no idea that He was not pleased with her presumption. Neither of us made any comment but within me my spirit was smiling broadly.

Many times the Holy One has rescued me from evil cosmic beings, allowing me to see the interactions. Because I am faithful in my commitment to Him, He often intervenes before I even realize I’m in danger. Then with a start I understand what is taking place in front of my eyes.

Elsewhere in my blog posts is this story that bears telling again here. I was teaching in a foreign university that bordered on a major highway. I had just finished writing a letter and wanted to mail it as soon as possible, so I walked to the pedestrian bridge over the 8-lane road to get to the post office on the other side. A young army soldier stopped me and asked questions, then let me pass. When I came out of the post office there were dozens of soldiers and police but I crossed the flyover and walked through the line of uniforms with no hesitation. Before returning to the university I stepped into a small shop that was crowded with uniforms, yet no one even bothered to look at me.

When I got back to my apartment I thought, “Did that really happen?” So I went back to the street and there was not one policeman or soldier! The security guard had moved on with the motorcade.

Later, I asked a foreign Christian colleague about being kept safe by being invisible and she had also experienced a similar situation. Every time I recall that incident I am filled with awe at God’s sovereignty as He protects His children. He is intimate in His watchful care and I am delighted with His subtle smile.

 

A Polished Arrow

Isaiah 49:1-3 (AMPC) 1.Listen to me, O isles and coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord has called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He has named my name. 2. And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me. 3. And [the Lord] said to me, You are My servant, Israel [you who strive with God and with men and prevail], in whom I will be glorified.

God gave me this chapter of Isaiah when I was in high school and I accepted it although I didn’t understand how it could possibly apply to me. As life has unfolded this chapter came to reveal significance, even until now.

Before I started working through the severe traumas of dissociative identity disorder (DID) I had memories of being a child in Heaven and of being asked to go to earth to a couple who were conceiving a baby. I knew God had plans for me to fulfill – a destiny – if I would receive it. So – yes, God called me from my mother’s womb.

“He has made my mouth like a sharp sword”. When He called me to China, He promised that when I spoke His words, even if I whispered, those words would rattle the windows. And that happened, sometimes to my consternation. Then it was time to come home and relax in retirement.

I have always been interested in medicine and healing of the physical body but that interest has never blossomed. Now it is becoming a much louder drum beat and I am asking the Lord why the desire to heal people has never borne fruit.

He brought me back to Isaiah 49 and the phrase in verse 2 “in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me.”

What I believe I am hearing is that my desire to heal people, and to be healed,  will be met – but in His time. This is a new season and new things are being  revealed if we stay flexible in His will. It is important to stay supple because there is more to come for each of us. He is pouring out His Spirit and He isn’t leaving out anyone who is willing to be shaped and polished (verse 2).

The shaping and polishing is necessary so that we may be utterly vulnerable to Him, so that our whole focus is on Him and not on “ministry”. As utterly submitted people we will honor Him above all else. Thus, our seeming uneventful lives are being pruned to resemble whatever pleases our loving, passionate Lord so that it is He who receives the honor and praise.

A polished arrow takes some rubbing and the heat of friction. Not pleasant. Then He hides us until its time. His time. Don’t despair or lose hope.

Isaiah 41:15-16 (AMPC) 15 Behold, I will make you to be a new, sharp, threshing instrument which has teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and shall make the hills like chaff.

16 You shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest or whirlwind shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the Lord, you shall glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Not many people would be willing to speak such sharp words as the Holy Spirit will prompt them to. But those who obey will experience the joy of the Lord as He expresses His pleasure in their obedience. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

Only Hard Treatment

On May 18th, 2020 I published a post that quoted verses in Isaiah 28 and 45, printed out below. It seemed to me that as difficult as the shelter-in-place orders were, they were nothing compared to what could possibly come about. Unfortunately, those who love to wield power have been reluctant to let it go and many small businesses have suffered with some having to declare bankruptcy. Yet, the various WordPress blogs continually post encouragement. Where are the admonitions to get right with God? Where was/is the Body of Christ in all the chaos?

Here in the senior high-rise where I live, I have been given to understand that the Bible ended when Jesus returned to Heaven. Everything we need in is the Book and God doesn’t speak to us personally. Dreams and visions, words of admonition and guidance are no longer a part of Christian life. A dead Book and an absentee God. I can’t imagine anything more hopeless than that! Unfortunately, it is my impression that the majority of American Christians have that attitude. Whatever God wants to do He will do. So they don’t vote and they take little notice of the spiritual health of their community.

God wants our attention and He will get it. How we respond is critical to the survival of our way of life as a nation and as individuals who make up the nation. If civil unrest ended this week but we were forced to live under tyranny, most people would be satisfied if they could keep their home and business. I lived in a Communist nation for more than ten years and this was their attitude. That is a chilling realization to me.

In the passage from Ezekiel, notice that the people didn’t ask what happened to the wall; they asked what happened to the whitewash!! They didn’t even seem to be aware that the wall or its builders were gone. How is that possible?!  

Ezekiel 13:10-16 10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” 13 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel/America who prophesied to Jerusalem/Americans and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’

Isaiah 5:20-21 AMPC Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent and shrewd in their own sight!

As a nation we need to bow in contrition before the amazing God of the universe and repent deeply for our love of materialism and ease. We need to repent for ignoring pedophilia that America exports to other nations. Our American tourists travel to Asian countries to trade in sex trafficking. That‘s only one aspect of filthiness that God hates. Christian pastors and leaders dare not speak against sin lest support for their ministry falls off. But please note: compromise is not a part of God’s pure and holy character!

Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

God loves us enough to bring hardship with the hope that we will turn from our wicked ways and turn to Him. He yearns for us to forsake wickedness and allow Him to clean us up and bind up our stinking wounds.

Isaiah 28:19c AMPC [only hard treatment and dispersion will make you understand God’s instruction]. 20c [all their sources of confidence will fail them].

Isaiah 45:7, 9 (AMPC) 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); Moral evil proceeds from the will of men, but physical evil proceeds from the will of God. I am the Lord, Who does all these things. 9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to Him who fashions it, What do you think You are making? or, Your work has no handles?

Dare we taunt God for our imperfections? He has given us a will because He wants mankind to freely choose Him. But a free will can also take us to eternal damnation – it’s our choice.

My Stronghold During CoVid-19

These past three months have been very difficult for me. I live in a senior high rise in a state that rivals California and New York politically and the administrator of this facility is thrilled at the additional authority he has been handed. Although we are an independent living apartment complex, we are being forced to follow the regulations for a nursing home. For example, many ladies have a small dog which they walk multiple times a day. The administrator has issued a paper telling us that we must launder our clothes every time we go outside and come back in. He even confronts residents about wearing a mask at ALL times, even out doors because everyone knows diseases can be spread in the open air. There are no exceptions for health issues such as asthma or COPD.

The front entrance is on in-house TV. The side entrances are marked as needing repairs so that residents must use the front door. Even in good times there are residents who have nothing better to do than to sit by the hour and watch people coming and going, so I make it a practice to use the side doors which are marked as out of order (but are not). I have breathing issues so the only time I wear a mask is when I’m in a store. This is taken as a challenge to the administrator’s authority.

We are forbidden to talk with one another at any time and are not to enter another person’s apartment. The activity room with jig saw puzzles, library, and exercise equipment has been locked now for three months, and we are anticipating another possible two months.

I am a single woman having never married and my siblings all live in other states, so I get very lonely. Fortunately I have a computer with Internet so I spend hours a day on the Net. Nevertheless, a computer cannot substitute for personal interaction: conversation, laughter, ability to express concerns and interests. As a person healed from emotional trauma in the last few years I sometimes distrust my perceptions and would normally look to friends just for ordinary conversation, but that has not been possible. As a result I have struggled with anxiety and have cried out to the Holy Spirit for help and stability.

In January when I asked for a verse for 2020 Jesus gave me Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

Two days later He gave me Psalm 57:2-3 I will cry to God Most High, Who [brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! He will send from heaven and save me from the slanders and reproaches of him who would trample me down or swallow me up, and He will put him to shame. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! God will send forth His mercy and loving- kindness and His truth and faithfulness.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever—forsake not the works of Your own hands.

These verses have been a comfort to me but leaning on my intimate Companion has required me to stay constantly focused on Him. I confess that that has been very difficult when there is no one to help as with praise and worship. Yes, I am finding ways to avoid confrontations with office staff and come and go with relative freedom. I do call my siblings and they encourage me but they all have spouses and homes of their own where they can visit with each other.

Now I begin to understand the cruelty of placing a prisoner in total isolation. I am reminded of Dr. Manette in Charles Dickens’ novel The Tale of Two Cities. In my need for human fellowship I have pressed desperately into my beautiful, intimate Comforter for His never ceasing love and sweet humility and self discipline in tending to my emotional needs. He is God and yet He bows down to listen to my trembling voice and wrap His arms around me so softly. He enjoys hearing me tell Him how faithful and kind He is.

Vengeance is Mine says the Lord. I fully cancel the debt of the office staff in the building where I live, and the other political authorities who have inflicted incredible mental and emotional anguish on me and many, many others. When I leave God’s business to God, it frees me up to turn my face toward Heaven and experience a Love that exceeds my ability to describe it. He is my Rock and my Stronghold. I am so thankful for Him!

Your Source of Confidence

American Christians, generally speaking, are lukewarm and love having it so. They say we have everything we need and more. We enjoy sports and entertainment. We have good schools that teach our children so we don’t have to since both of us have to work to make a living.

This is human nature and was no different in ancient Israel. Consequently, God allowed various things to happen to them as a nation to get their attention and draw them back to Himself. Their enemies were cruel and the crop failures were severe.

How did the traitors we see in office from the national level to the local level – how did these traitors get into office? They were voted in because of their elaborate promises. We are reaping what we have sowed so lavishly.

Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Isaiah 28:19c AMPC [only hard treatment and dispersion will make you understand God’s instruction]. 20c [all their sources of confidence will fail them].

Isaiah 45:7-9 (AMPC) 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); Moral evil proceeds from the will of men, but physical evil proceeds from the will of God. I am the Lord, Who does all these things.

8 Let fall in showers, you heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness [the pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities that have their foundation in the holy being of God]; let the earth open, and let them [skies and earth] sprout forth salvation, and let righteousness germinate and spring up [as plants do] together; I the Lord have created it.

9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to Him who fashions it, What do you think You are making? or, Your work has no handles?

44 DAYS OF EMERGENCY 9-1-1 PRAYER

Sunday, May 10th, 2020, Mother’s Day – An Urgent Call for 44 Days of Prayer!

Operation Outcry & Cry.Life Are Joining to Call for 44 Days of Emergency 9-1-1 Prayer For Our Nation

We believe the 22 days leading from Mother’s Day to Pentecost, and the following 22 days from Pentecost to Father’s Day, offer a historically unique (coronavirus lockdown) opportunity to corporately cry out to God in prayer. We are praying for the family, for justice, and for men, women, and children to live together in the way God intended for us to live. We need to repent of our sins, return to God, and learn to live the way God wants us to with justice, faithfulness, and mercy.

You can join us for the special opening prayer May 10, (this coming Sunday evening) from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Central Time. Please join us on Facebook Operation Outcry Official – or on millionvoices.org.

All mothers that desire to record a one minute Cry for Life, for the ending of abortion, and the healing of our nation can do so by going to the following link:  Cry.Life. Please follow the instructions given on the website to record your cry.  “Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:14 NASB. The definition of “cry” according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is “To utter a loud voice; to speak, call or exclaim with vehemence; in a very general sense.”

After that, we will see how the corporate prayer develops, with possible weekly group prayer. We are encouraging other groups to pray with us and separately about these issues at the same time.

You can download the women’s and men’s special prayer guide prepared by an intercessor who has thought and prayed about these issues often.  It may be helpful to you over these times of prayer. Permission is also given to download, print, transfer to ibooks, or share with others this women’s and men’s special prayer guide for this time. It may be helpful to you as a springboard to go deeper.

During the first 22 days women will be leading the prayers, while men support the women through their prayers. During the second 22 days men will be leading the prayer, while women support the men through their prayers.

If praying about abortion, or remembering abortion in your past, is bothering you, please call the Concepts of Truth International Helpline for Abortion Recovery at 1-866-482-LIFE (United States), available 24/7. The free helpline is answered by compassionate women and men healed from abortion who can help you through the pain, pray for you, and refer you to free local abortion recovery programs.

Advancing Life, Liberty, & Justice in Him,

Allan E. Parker, President

The Justice Foundation

http://www.operationoutcry.org

  

Mighty Man of Valor

The Holy Spirit has a delightful personality. Each of the three Persons of the Triune Godhead are different in personality although they all three are in perfect agreement. All three are very respectful of human freedom to make choices because that is the basis of their relationships with us as mankind.

I was reading in the Book of Judges and it struck me how kind and respectful the Holy Spirit was to Gideon. In the Old Testament He was often called the Angel of the Lord. At the bottom of my post I have included the Scripture story of Gideon meeting the Angel of the Lord for the first time, and their subsequent conversations.

Notice how the Holy Spirit greeted Gideon – with courtesy. In the Sunday School where I grew up, the teacher/pastor always pointed out how fearful Gideon was. He was a coward. As I read this story, I was delighted to realize that the Angel of the Lord called Gideon what He wanted him to be – courageous. When it finally occurred to Gideon Who he was talking to, he asked the Holy One to wait and Gideon ran to prepare an offering to Him. The Angel of the Lord agreed and waited for Gideon to return with his offering. Gideon asked for a sign and the Angel of the Lord caused fire to rise from the rock to burn the offering. Awesome.

From then on the Angel of the Lord spoke to Gideon without materializing, but He spoke clearly in detail so that Gideon wouldn’t misunderstand. And He knew Gideon was afraid so He sent him with his personal servant to the enemy camp to hear the dream of one of the enemy soldiers. Gideon’s heart was encouraged when the enemy soldier related that a barley cake rolled down the hill and tossed over the tent of the enemy. Barley flour was only used by the very poor so Gideon knew it was him and his rag-tag army the enemy soldier saw in his dream. The Angel of the Lord knew just what Gideon needed to take his focus off himself and place it on the Lord.

How the Angel of the Lord spoke to Gideon is how the Holy Spirit speaks to all of us. He calls us what He wants us to be. He is always patient and respectful of us and does not scorn or belittle us. Even when we make a bad decision He maintains gentleness and allows us to regain balance.

Enjoy this wonderful historical event and marvel at the kindness of the Angel of the Lord/Holy Spirit to a very simple, humble peasant man who obeyed God and rescued his nation.

 Judges 6:1-27 (NKJV) Midianites Oppress Israel

1. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. 3 So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. 6 So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.

7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, 8 that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; 9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’ ”

11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”

19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.

21 Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

 Judges 7 (NKJV) Gideon’s Valiant Three Hundred

7 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

2 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.

4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” 6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. 7 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” 8 So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

9 It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp. 12 Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.

13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”

14 Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” 21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

Isolation

I have been pretty depressed from strict isolation. In my spirit I feel that the crisis is over and sense some relief. Isolation has been a very terrible experience for me – and for millions of others, too, I’m sure. God created us as social creatures and this social isolation has been against everything we were created to be. It concerns me that some of the freedoms we have lost will not be restored. How could any official in his right mind deny church meetings when honoring the distancing guidelines?! How could he/she threaten to “close” a church?! How could a policeman arrest someone for driving, alone, during this pandemic?! I’ve been horrified at the lack of respect those in authority have shown for our freedoms. We’ve come so far from the founding of our nation; and our schools no longer teach American history. Too many of those with authority have no idea how to respect others. And, fortunately, I know I am not alone in my dismay.

The Holy Spirit has been especially close and I am so grateful for Him. What a privilege it is to know the Creator of the universe. He is awesome in His sacred intimacy. I am spending so much intimate time with the Triune God that my spirit/heart is very tender. A friend lost his two dogs to drowning recently and I could feel the grief in him keenly and felt so sorry for him.

Yesterday as I took a walk I told the Holy Spirit how much I loved and appreciated Him. When I returned to my highrise I sat alone in the gazebo and let the tears roll as I worshiped Him.  He has stayed very close and makes Himself known constantly. I guess He is aware of the mental and spiritual suffering this isolation is bringing.

I believe “shelter-in-place” is forcing families to realize how far they’ve drifted from all that is good and morally right – a start toward Jesus. I pray their start toward the Lord will not be as quickly extinguished as a burning match, but will be touched to a candle and grow stronger with genuine commitment. Actually, our American churches need evangelizing (see link below). Supporting abortion and moral depravity as well as the sweet  encouragement that ignores the presence of sin may bring about serious consequences both for those in leadership and those in the pews.

Romans 1:32 AMPC Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who are saturated with every kind of iniquity deserve to die, they not only do those things themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them, as well (Romans 1:32 AMPC).

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Ezekiel 3:17-27 (NIV) 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

The Comforter

John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7 refer to the Comforter as the Holy Spirit. All four references use the same Greek word for Comforter – Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Concordance and Dictionary of the Bible.

John 14:16 (AMPC) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—

Comforter is G3875 Transliteration: paraklētos   Pronunciation: pä-rä’-klā-tos Part of Speech: masculine noun; a root word The KJV translates Strong’s G3875 in the following manner: comforter (4x; all four times are in the Book of John), advocate (1x) (Strong’s Definitions Legend) παράκλητος paráklētos, par-ak’-lay-tos; an intercessor, consoler:—advocate, comforter.

I like to use Roget’s Thesaurus for synonyms because the subtle differences in words can make the meaning clearer. For example a comforter encourages, reassures, and is supportive.

The Holy Spirit is a wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). That means He can be both an advisor and a lawyer.

The Holy Spirit is my Helper, i.e. He is an assistant or facilitator. He makes things easier.

The precious Holy Spirit is an Intercessor. He acts as a lawyer or mediator. What a comfort that is when I’m in serious need of help! He stands before the Almighty Father pleading for me! He goes with me as my lawyer before the Judge in the Court of Heaven when I need a judgment against the enemy.

The Holy Spirit is my Advocate. He is my defender and my lawyer, He is my friend and supporter. There’s that word lawyer again! But I learned early in our walk together that He is violently jealous when Satan comes to do me harm, and He protects me with passion!

The Holy Spirit is my Strengthener. He is my advocate, my stay, my Rock, my crutch. There are times when I’ve had to put my whole weight on Him and He loves to carry me.

The Holy Spirit is my Standby. He is always near, in fact, He comes to live inside the person who makes Him welcome. He is more intimate than words can describe in a very sacred Presence. He is my Treasure.

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.