IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: FOR THOSE BEING ASKED, WHERE IS YOUR GOD?
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”
Summary: In the light of all the events that have taken place in the past 6 years in Nigeria, we have heard the heathens ask the church “Where is your God?” From the impunity enjoyed by the jihadists and the Fulani controlled security agents as they continued to kill Christians and civilians across the length and breath of the country to the lopsided appointments and prosecutions of war on terror by BUHARI governmment, these words ring out loud and clear! “Where is your God?”
When the world asks us where God is in our dark times, there is an answer for our souls that the world will never be able to refute.
Today I want to focus only on one biblical theme: What are the answers to the biblical question “Where is God?” during calamity? I call it a biblical question because this question is in the Bible. Let these examples shape the way you answer this question.
God is in heaven, doing all that he pleases.
The psalmist asks, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” And he answers, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:2–3).
So one answer to the question that is always true is that God is reigning on his throne in heaven and doing things according to his infinitely wise and good plan. That’s why it pleases him. It is always wise and always good.
“Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.”
The people of God suffer calamity. And those who love the sovereignty of God are often taunted, “Where is your God now?” The psalmist answers, “I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” In other words, sooner or later, my God will restore my fortunes — in this life, or a million-fold in the next — and I will praise him.
God is preparing for his vengeance on those who taunt his beloved.
The psalmist Asaph gives another blunt answer of warning. “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!” (Psalm 79:10).
God often brings his loved ones into trouble for their purifying discipline (Hebrews 12:5–11). While they are in distress, the nations may say, “So much for your good and loving God! Where is he now?” The answer is, “He is preparing for a day of vengeance on those who taunt his loved ones.”
“Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!” (Psalm 79:12). (See also Micah 7:8–10.)
When things go awry in your life, the world may ask, “where is your God now that you are going through this.”
The sad part is that sometimes we feel so low that we entertain giving legitimacy to the question.
Israel had a golden age, a time of great familiarity with God, when Jehovah was very near to his people in their sufferings, and was afflicted in their affliction, when he helped them in everything they did, and the angel of his presence saved them. But after all that the Lord had done for them, there came a cold periods. The people went astray from the one living and true God. They fell into the ritualism of the golden calf. They must have something visible, something that they could see and worship. Even after they were brought into the promised land, and the Lord had wrought great wonders for them, they turned aside to false gods, till they worshipped strange deities, that were no gods; and provoked Jehovah to jealousy. “They rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.” Not that he ceased to love his chosen, but he must be just, and he could not patronize sin, so he sent their enemies against them, and they were sorely smitten, and brought very low.
And, as a blessed ending to their trials, God brought them into a place of rest: “As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord causeth him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people.” In the desert they rested a good deal; but in Canaan they rested altogether. As the cattle come down from the mountains, where they have been picking up their food, when the plains are fat with grass, and they feed to their full, and lie down and rest, so did God deal with his people, bringing them from all the mountains of their trouble into a sweet valley, a land that flowed with milk and honey, where they might rest. This is a memorial, a sketch of the past.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.”—Psalm 125:2
The changes of society may well illustrate the immutability of God. In the days of David, Jerusalem was looked upon as an impregnable fortress. It is surrounded by a natural rampart of hills; and appears to lie in the center of an amphitheatre raised purposely for its defense. By the ancient Jew it was considered to be an impregnable citadel. How changed now are the manners of war! A small troop could easily take the city, and it must indeed be a strong army that would be able to garrison it in its present condition. Yet whilst Jerusalem is changed, and the figure has become inappropriate, Jerusalem’s God remains, for with him is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Persecution has unsheathed its bloody sword, and sought to rend up the Church by its roots, or fell it with its axe. Tyrants have heated their furnaces, have prepared their racks, have erected their stakes, the martyrs of Christ have been dragged by thousands to a terrible death, the confessors have had to stand forth at the risk of their lives, protesting the gospel of God against the dominant of the times. The little flock has been scattered hither and thither, and the dogs of persecution have worried them in every corner whither they have fled. Into every nation of the earth have they wandered; in sheepskins and goatskins have they been clothed; their houses have been in the rocks and their sleeping places in the caves of the earth. Like the stag pursued by the hounds, they have not had a moment’s space for so much as to take their breath. But has the Church been subdued? Has she ever been overcome? O God, thou hast proved the invincibility of thy truth; thou hast manifested the power of thy Word, for thou hast not only preserved thy Church in the time of greatest trouble, but, blessed be thy name thou hast made the hour of her peril the hour of her greatest triumph. You will find that whenever the Church has been the most persecuted she has been the most successful. The heathen Pro-consuls wondered when they saw the many who were prepared to die. They said, “Surely a madness must have seized upon mankind, that they cannot be content to commit suicide, but are so fond of death that they must come to our bar and plead that they are lovers of Christ as if they sought to compel us to execute them.” God gave grace for the moment and in the day of persecution he braced the nerves of his people, and made them mighty to do or die, as God would have it. But, surely, had not Christ’s Church been surrounded by the mountains of God’s Omnipotence, she must have fallen a prey to her numerous enemies
You may be tempted by the world! traps may be set for you on every hand, you may be tempted by your flesh, your corruptions may have great power over you, and often stagger your faith, and make you tremble, lest you should be utterly overthrown, and the devil may set upon you with fiery darts, he may pierce you with foul insinuations, he may almost make you blaspheme, and with terrible suggestions he may drive you well-nigh to despair. But oh! remember,
“Hell and thy sins obstruct thy course,
But hell and sin are vanquished foes;
Thy Jesus nailed them to his cross
And sang the triumph when he rose.”
And now poor trembling sinner, thou that knowest thy sins, believe on Christ this morning, and thou art saved, and saved for ever. Do but this moment look to him that died upon the tree, and, my brother, my sister, give me thine hand, and let us weep for joy that thou believest, and let our joy accumulate when we remember that the pillars of the heavens may totter, the solid foundations of the earth may reel, the countenance of the heavens may be astonished, the sun may be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, but nought shall pluck thee from the strength of Israel’s hands. Thou art, thou shalt be infallibly secure. Come, O Holy Spirit, bless these words; for Jesus sake. Amen.
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