Only The Good Die Young?

October 10, 2015

If only the good die young then I will be here a very long time because there is no good in me except for what God has done for me and the Holy Spirit who lives in me.  Other than that I’ve got nothing.

We struggle with death and come to some peace with it when people die in their 80s, 90s and even 100s.  When they die under those ages we are frustrated and confused. We wonder why an infant dies, a teen and even someone in their 40s. They are so young and had so much ahead of them. Some deaths are by disease and we cope with that a tad better than those who die by accident or murder. We may not understand how a five month old can die of cancer or heart failure, but we understand the frailty of the human body and its susceptibility to disease.

I do not know when the age of accountability kicks in.  It may be different for each individual, but I do believe that all infants go to Heaven by God’s grace though some believe that God in His foreknowledge knows which child would grow up and believe and which wouldn’t. Indeed, He does have the foreknowledge and we will see examples of that shortly, but I believe infants are innocent. Thus while abortion angers me, I see God filling up Heaven with these children.

That said, Satan and his followers will be held accountable for that innocent blood and those children will rise up as witnesses against them in the Last Judgment therefore I do not condone abortion, but rather abhor it. There is grace, salvation and forgiveness for all who may have had a part in this if they repent and come to Christ. I know many have had regrets and suffer grief from their experience. Many were lied to or forced to abort. God knows that. They can find hope in Christ who will forgive and bring healing and peace to them. There is life after this event. I pray they will come to Him for that.

God has promised long life to the righteous and in His mercy He has granted long life to some who hate Him.  He is giving them more time to be saved and thus they will not be able to say they did not have enough time to believe.  Sometimes the righteous die young for the purpose of God. Sometimes He takes a child of His home early as a reward and sometimes to spare them sorrow.  Sometimes it is because they have become too much of a stumbling block as they have become prideful and hypocritical. That is a last resort because God desires them to repent and serve here, but if not He may have to recall them to HQ for not following procedures and conduct unbecoming a child of the King. I am glad that His mercies are new every morning and that death is a last resort or I would not be here to write this.  Some jump to the conclusion, like Job’s friends, that a young person dies because of sin, but that is not always true.  Let’s look at a couple of circumstances where an early death was meant to be a blessing.

God was perfectly willing to allow Hezekiah to die young of an illness. He was not in sin at this time. Later, he showed too much of his kingdom to the wrong people and God was upset, but he was in good standing at this date. He certainly had faith. He sought God. We are not told that he violated any natural laws. It did not appear that God even wanted to glorify Himself through Hezekiah’s death.  Then why was the good going to die young?

In fact, God wanted to spare Hezekiah some sorrow, but even more so the entire kingdom. Let us reflect on Isaiah 38:1-8 and I Kings 14:13. We are not given the whole prayer of Hezekiah. An argument that he could have used was that he had reigned a very short time in comparison to others that had been wicked. Another argument could have been that he had no heir and even the wicked kings had heirs. Whatever else he may have said other than asking God to check his service record we will not know until we get to glory.

We do know his prayer was answered by fifteen years being added to his life and reign. His son, Manasseh, would be born three years later and that would be bad news for the nation. He was a very evil and wicked king and reigned for fifty-five years. Read II Kings 21 to get the full details. Had Hezekiah died, the nation of Israel would have been spared its most wicked king. In other words, one death would have spared the many much evil. Hezekiah should have died of his sickness. I believe this happened as an example to us. God knew what he was about.

In Hezekiah’s circumstance, a father was spared and brought in a son of shame. In I Kings 14:13 we see a father of shame punished and a son spared pain. The son of Jeroboam was allowed to die because God saw some GOOD in him. Therefore, his death spared him from suffering the evil of the many. God would bring judgment to the nation, but the child would not be there to share in it. If you knew your child would suffer greatly in the future because of the sin of the nation would you rather the child to die as an infant and be spared that or watch the child go through the sorrow and maybe die in front of you at 18, 28, or 38?  Going to Heaven is wonderful no matter what the age. It would grieve us but it would be a boon to the child or other loved one.  We miss the big picture because of our tears.

We see death as a part of life, but a thing to be feared. God often rewards His children with death. Death is just going home for a Christian. Paul said that death would be gain for him. He would be with the God he loved for eternity and removed from all the trials of life. David’s son and Jeroboam’s son were blessed in their early deaths.

How much pain have we endured because God answered someone’s prayer to allow a person to live? We cannot possibly know. How much good did we miss because someone did not pray? Did we lose the person who would have cured AIDs or cancer because we did not pray hard enough for their mother to not abort them?  How much have we, or the person, been spared because God did not answer the prayer? Indeed, many a mother may have wept over the corpse of a child that would have grown up to make Hitler and Stalin look like Sunday School kids. The point is to pray and trust Him for the answer.

We should thank and praise Him for His omniscience and not demand anything from Him but His wisdom, love and righteousness even if it hurts us! If we seek the spiritual healing spoke of in II Chron. 7:14 we will see the power of God active in our lives. When we do this then sickness or death will fall into perspective, we will let God be God, and true healing will begin.

In the long run, long life isn’t as important to the saved as to the lost. One more minute here is one less minute in Glory for the saved whereas one more minute here is one less minute in Hell for the unsaved,  Let’s us seek to make every minute count for Christ and ask God to use us to get someone saved even if it is the last minute they have to live.  Maranatha!!!


Don’t Refuse A Hug!

October 4, 2015

Have you ever tried to hug someone that you knew needed a hug, but they would not let you or struggled to get away quickly or just would not rest in the hug so they did not receive the comfort or the blessing that was intended?  It took awhile for me to get comfortable in hugging churches because it was not in my upbringing.  Church was rather formal and a shouted Amen might have caused a 911 call if it had existed so a hug might have just been like a lightning strike and sudden death.  So it was hard to get used to and then when the ladies started with the kisses on the cheek it was another major adjustment even though it was usually older ladies with a motherly peck or younger ones with an brother/uncle one.  It was still well out of my normal functioning parameters.  Such signs of affection are often absent even among family members let alone among church folks.

Many times that is how we treat God.  He reaches out hug us and we refuse to let Him.  We may let Him put His arms around us, but we struggle to get away quickly when comfort comes by lingering in those arms.  It is like my Pentecostal friends who say Baptists leave church before the Holy Spirit shows up because we best end at noon if we are going to get to Luby’s on time.  We may stay quiet in His arms for a bit and yet our fears, guilt or lack of trust keep us from getting what He wants to give us and we need to receive.

Lord Jesus, may we submit to your hugs collapsing in tears and weakness resting there until the blessing takes complete hold of our hearts turning our tears of sorrow or despair into tears of joy that run down our face in a torrent like Gorman Falls.

Thank You for loving us and reaching out to our needs when we fail You so greatly because our faith is so small and our will is weak.  You are love. You are truth.  Let us see one arm as love and the other as truth when You hug us. It is in Your arms where the lies of this world will be silenced and all hate replaced .  Glory and honor to You, O Triune God, that was, is and is to come!  Maranatha!  Maranatha!!

Bunny Benefit

October 2, 2015

I am grateful for the rabbit in my yard.  He doesn’t know if I an going to hurt him or not.  H just sits there calmly, yet alert.  My wife puts out food for him from time to time, yet he mostly finds his own food.

It is good to see one of God’s feeble creatures to remind me of how feeble I am compared to God.  The bunny does nothing really to enhance my life, except to be himself. Being himself brings me peace and some joy as I watch him.In many ways, I am of no real benefit to God.  After all He is totally self-sufficient needing nothing or anybody. He desires my love and fellowship, but as I do not force myself on the bunny neither does He force Himself on me.  At times He watches me from afar, as I do the bunny, lest there is fear and running away.

One day, the bunny may feel secure enough to come closer to me on his own.  I can only entice him with food and move slowly.  God has to work with some people like that as well.  I would love for the bunny to let me hold him and feed him. God wants that for man as well.  The bunny may never do as I wish and that is sad.  God is also sad when people do not come to Him in trust.  After all, He has done so much to prove His love and earn their trust.

The bunny doesn’t know I am writing about him or my thoughts of him,  Sadly, many people do not know God’s thoughts of them or that He wrote the Bible with them in mind. Sometimes, many times, I forget that.  I can only imagine how many times He has had to watch me from afar because He knows if He approached me too quickly I would run away from Him rather than towards Him. Thus He waits as He feeds me, defends me, provides for me a home, a family and all the other gifts of grace.

Indeed, the bunny has just come closer to me, but will he stay if I move towards him?  Unlikely.  At times, we venture towards God, yet are ready to run at the slightest thing that He does that we do not understand or anticipate.  As I am patient and letting the bunny work out his trust issues so God, who is far more patient than me, waits in love for me to work out my trust issues.  I may never hold the bunny.  God, however, holds me in His heart and even in His everlasting arms.  I just don’t always believe it, so to me I am distant from Him and His arms.  Thankfully, His Spirit can hold me without the flesh knowing it.

One day, when I fully collapse into His arms thinking that I just arrived there I will realize that I was there all the time. All my perceptions of distance were because of my mind perceived circumstances, fear and sins as distance.  Had my heart trusted Him rather than what my mind was muddled with I would have realized that you cannot be far from an omnipresent God.  Duh!

When I learn to fully embrace His embrace my dreams and His desires will come to fruition. It is good that He is holding me even when I am not holding Him.  Thank you Lord for bunnies and your patient love! Glory!  Maranatha!!