LET GOD CONTEND!
The violent protests in Egypt and Libya over a US-produced film that demonstrators believe insults the Prophet Muhammad that led to the killing of the US ambassador in Libya and three other Americans and the rumoured proposed demonstrations in other Muslim-dominated areas especially in Nigeria made me changed the message that I intended to send out this week and delved into my archive to adapt this message titled "JERUB-GOD" initially sent out on May 9, 2004:
"But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, 'Are you going to plead Baal's cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.' So that day they called Gideon 'Jerub-Baal,' saying, 'Let Baal contend with him,' because he broke down Baal's altar" (Judges 6:31-32 NIV).
The people of Orphrah found their Baal altar desecrated. They discovered that Gideon, the son of Joash wreaked the havoc. They must take vengeance! They must kill Gideon. However, his father gave a classic advice: let Baal fight for himself if it is really god.
Today, many people are like the people of Orphran. They are violent against other people due to religion. They think that they can help God fight His battles. They are ready to take the lives of their fellow human beings because of religion! The Libyan incident is just one out of many instances where such people are killing and/or maiming other people and destroying their properties because they are trying to defend their religion or help their so-called God.
Can one fight for the Almighty God? Can one defend Him? Should one play God? Should we lose sight of the judgment of God? He is indeed God! No one can help Him. He fights for Himself. Read this: "When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God" (2 Samuel 6:6-7 NIV). Many Bible scholars disagree as to how "irreverent" his act was. Was he not trying to help God? Well, he paid dearly for it.
Certainly, our God is not weak. He does not need anyone to defend Him or fight for Him. He defends Himself - in His own way. Isaiah declared, "[God] put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; to the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the LORD drives" (59:17-19, NASB. See also Nahum 1:2; Romans 12:19).
Are you trying to defend God or fight for Him? He does not need that! Allow Him to do the fighting in His own way and in His own time. Only a powerless god will need his adherents to defend him or fight for him. Let God contend. Jerub-God!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message is dedicated to the slain US ambassador, J Christopher Stevens, the other three Americans and all others that were killed or maimed throughout the world by Muslims because of religion.
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