The need of the hour
Up until a few months ago, shortage of an essential product had never entered our minds. We lived in a country with plenty and multiple kinds of almost anything we needed or wanted.
Then, like vultures that swoop down to devour, we were overtaken by a deadly enzyme, a foreign source about which we knew little. Along with that, we had a shortage of essential needs. Before summer, American ingenuity and producers were busy working on our behalf and we relaxed, or tried to. We were unaware the road ahead was filled with spikes to puncture the wheels on which we were riding out the COVID storm. The political battle became ominous. Turmoil and destruction, suspicion and fear charged in, bringing greater concerns, feelings of insecurity and panic. We soon realized the need for safety. What to do?
My shortage of faith led me to my Bible, first to the books of Kings and Chronicles. Old history is profitable, because history repeats itself. About 2,700 years ago, the Jewish people were divided into two groups, Israel with 10 tribes, and Judah with two. Both groups were living the good life, with little concern about the God Who had made it possible. They were not expecting an attack from a foreign source. The cruel and mighty Assyrian army attacked Israel and took their land and the people into captivity. They could not run to the temple as some had done in the past because the temple was destroyed, its gold and valuable ornaments all taken away. God would not fight for them, because they had turned away from Him and worshiped idols.
Judah saw the destruction and repented, but only for a short while. The Babylonians had been successful in conquering Assyria and then came for Judah. Psalm 137 is a brief lament about how the people were marched out of their land.
Where was God in all this? The prophets had signaled strong warnings, but the people had not listened. Isaiah 43:10 reminded the people there was no God formed before Him and there will be none after Him. He was still there for them. The books of Daniel and Esther record some of what took place in Persia, modern-day Iran. God was still in control. He was not silent.
All this is interesting, but there is nothing about our own country’s future. For that we must turn to modern history, where we learn our country was founded by people who believed the Old Testament and founded America on principles like the Ten Commandments, how to live with each other. We hear little of that now. Instead we hear the complaining, the anger, the hostility.
God allowed all the evil to come upon His people because they had become “wearied” of Him, choosing to serve idols (Micah 6:3). If we are “wearied” with the daily news, let’s examine our hearts and make sure we have not become wearied of God, that there is no shortage of our faith in Him.
The Old Testament ends with Malachi’s follow-up promise. He did not know 400 years would pass before his prophetic words were understood. God is not in a hurry; only humans are. The coming of John and his message were real events, foretold and realized. Four hundred years of silence, but today we have the New Testament and the “new thing” promised in Isaiah 43:19.
History moves forward at God’s pace, and the promised Savior Jesus Christ came, God among us, in the form of a person like us. He is not only omnipotent and omniscient, He is omnipresent. He said that He would live in the life and heart of the repentant sinner. If He lives in me, I am living with a Conqueror. I will not put my trust in political ideology which seems so often to fail. I will rest assured He controls the future. My shortage in faith is filled up, made complete when I study His Word, remember Who He is and trust His care for me.
Myrtle V. Thompson, 92, is an educator, retired missionary, Bible teacher and writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.