Plaguing The Gods 1

God hates oppressions. He’s the utmost Freedom Lover consistently on the side of the oppressed masses. The Almighty shall deal ruthlessly with the oppressors. I am sent to speak clearly to the oppressors of the masses and destroyers of Christians. God the Almighty God will fight them to finish. Hello Mr. Oppressor, unless you let go your oppressed captives, God has vowed to plague your gods, raze your pride and consume you all in His hot anger.

Jacob {Israel} and the seventy souls that migrated to Egypt to join Joseph became a nation within a nation. They are God’s covenant people and thus God’s covenant promises to Abraham began to manifest upon them as a nation. The covenant was the secret of their extraordinary growth and multiplication. The people grew and multiplied in Egypt, even under bitter affliction and hard oppression. The oppression came with the reign of a king who did not know Joseph. This ‘ignorant’ king dealt treacherously with Israel and greatly oppressed them.

Israelites groaned hard under the burdens of Egypt. Life became bitter for them, day in, day out. Under the hard bondage and merciless affliction came their hash conditions. And the people had to cry out to the God of their forefathers for His supernatural intervention. Yea, and in response to their cries, God raised up Moses to set His people free. Then came Moses with God’s divine message to the strong man of the house – Pharaoh, saying: “Let My People Go That They May Serve Me”

The gods of this world must let go of the people of God. This is still God’s command to the oppressors of His people, in every nation. “Let My people go”, is a divine command, a clarion order and he who dare to disobey it shall be destroyed.

You cannot annihilate the people of Christ. We are a covenant people; a nation redeemed by the blood of God. This is God’s revolutionary command to all the gods of this world, to all terrorist groups, to all conspirators against Christ and His Kingdom, and to all oppressors of the masses – “Let My People Go”. No gods or powers can wipe out God’s covenant nation. If you are also involved in the war to wipe out Christianity, you are tragically delusive. You don’t mess with the people of covenant and go without being plagued. No one is smarter than the LORD. He will catch up even with the smartest to plague and destroy them.

God know that the oppressive gods and powers of this world are stubborn – very, very stubborn. And He knew that the best way to handle stubborn heart is to harden it. It was through a series of tough battles, characterized by ten plagues that God compelled the harden, stony hearted Pharaoh to release His covenant nation. God will use everything He has to defend and fight for His covenant people. 

When God is up to fight the gods that are holding you captive, they will be forced to let go of you. Cheer up; God is already at war against them. Cheer up! Your liberation is come.  

Don’t Call it Quit Yet

Hello friends. I have a message for you: ‘Don’t quit yet! It’s dangerous to give in now. Better days are at your doorstep. Keep moving on. Jesus is in your boat. You’ll surely hit it at the dawn’.

The Handsome Rebel

He was his father’s beloved, the King’s adored son and heir apparent to the throne.  He was so affectionately loved that he became a spoiled prince. More so, his excessive good-looking cleverly won him the heart of all the people. Yes, he was a stunning royalty, for from his long, massive flowing hairs to his sexy countenance and down to the nails on his feet, the Prince was an epitome of extraordinary elegance. Prince Absalom was the most handsome young man in the country, and he knew it.

The story of Absalom, David’s third son, goes beyond his elegant structure and attractive face. His story needs our in-depth evaluation. For beneath Absalom’s beautiful face was a dark, ugly heart of a rebel. Let’s examine the manifestations of this heart in his life:

The first manifestation of the handsome rebel is a vengeful, unforgiving spirit

We saw this in Absalom. You remember  Absalom’s involvement in the case of his sister Tamar and half-brother Amnon? Oh, you’ve got to be reminded of this sad episode. Tamar was beautiful, and Amnon lusted after her; later, he cleverly arranged to have her come to his house, where he raped her and thereafter put her out of his house in disgrace.

When Absalom heard of the shameful incidence,  he took his sister Tamar in to live with him. For the next two years, Absalom was still nursing a hatred toward his half-brother, Amnon.  Absalom later invited Amnon to his house for a party, and then, during the partying, had him killed by his servants in cold blood. This marked the beginning of the reign of the handsome rebel in the palace.

All rebels are unforgiving by nature. They must revenge whatever offence or sin committed against them. Mark it! That your unforgiving friend might be the most dangerous rebel to walk out with. Beware of friends and partners who wouldn’t forgive when offended. Check out through the palaces of this world. It’s the same story of unforgiving and vengeance in socio-political settings in all nations of the globe.

Among the military, you see vengeance cutting through relationships and governments. You murdered his father in a coup d’etat twenty years ago, then he purposely joined the army to avenged the blood of his father! You messed up with his girlfriend in the barrack, then he mobilized rebels to get you toppled. You renegaded on contract terms or swindled his money, and he gathered rebels to overthrow your government. It’s the same spirit of unforgiving and vengeance seeking still hunt the nations, churches, organizations and even clubs.

2. The next manifestation of the handsome rebel is resentment and displeasure

You remember that Absalom, after killing his brother ran away to Geshur. Though while he was away his father’s loving heart “longed to go out to Absalom”, he stayed there for three years until Joab was able to persuade the King to bring him back. Through Joab’s intercession, the two men got back together in a little reconciliation.

Unfortunately, this peace between the king and his prince did not last because the handsome rebel was resenting his father’s hesitancy to bring him home. As a result of his resentment against King David, Absalom began to stealthily undermine his father’s rule.

David must have learned it too late that you can’t satisfy the handsome rebel, no, not even with state pardon. The rebellion heart of handsome rebels would resent any kind gestures. So it’s vain trying to satisfy and please a man whose heart is filled with its own ways. All handsome rebels are stubborn arrogant men who must go their own evil ways.

The third manifestation of the handsome rebel is conspiracy

We begin to see this in Absalom when he set himself up as judge, performing the duty of a welfare prince in Jerusalem. He shew the sharp-wittedness of conspirator when he started giving out promises of what he would do if he were king. After four years of doing this, he went to Hebron, where he had secretly arranged to have himself proclaimed king. This is the way conspirators work.

The conspiracy got stronger as Absalom’s followers grew in number. It got to a point where King David became fearful of his dear life,  gather his loyal ones and fled Jerusalem city. However, David left behind some of his concubines and a few informers such as Hushai, Zadok,  and Abiathar.

Conspiracy is the way of handsome rebels. Note it well. Be it in friendship, neighborhood, association, workplace, church, community or nation, conspirators ‘wisely’ plot against their targets. And the target, often, is the leadership. They do machinate against the leaders and the thrones that be, conniving secretly in conspiracy of silence with ‘birds of same fathers’. They plot to actualize their goal or mission of insurgency, revolt and rebellion.

Fourth is the manifestation of the handsome rebel is revolt and defiance

Absalom, the handsome rebel mobilized and led his rebel army from Hebron to Jerusalem the seat of power. Rebels in the palace? Yes, Absalom the handsome prince became a rebel leader in the royal palace of his own father, David. It was a revolutionary. revolt from a spoiled royalty.

But the Absalom rebellion had something more than a revolt – abominable defiance. For as soon as he gained entrance to the city and the palace as king, the first thing he did was to openly sleep with his father’s concubines. What could have moved him to commit such abomination? Did he sought to consolidate his position by first taking over his father’s house and sleeping with his father’s concubines? Whatever his reason be, we need to note that, in his day, this defiance was an act considered abominable and unforgiveable. No wonder, the sad end of the handsome rebel.

The fifth manifestation is insurgency or war

As soon as Absalom seated on the throne of David, he laid plans to immediately pursue and attack his forces. ‘David must died, if he I must have a lasting reign’, he must have muttered to himself. But the idea of engaging in hot pursue after David was later abandoned owing to the counsel of Hushai. This caused a little delay. Meanwhile, while Absalom army was still strategizing on how to deal with the runaway king,  David, now in wilderness, was mustering how his troops could mount a counterattack to retake the kingdom. Eventually, Absalom declared the war and led his troops against his father in the wilderness. Joab led the King’s troops to meet him at warfront.

David was not allowed to fight in the counter war that eventually claimed the life of Absalom, the handsome rebel. And on how he died; it was God fighting for David the king. For while Absalom was riding under some trees, his long, massive hairs got entangled in the branches, and he was unhorsed. Joab found him suspended in mid-air and slaughtered him right there. This was the end of the road for Absalom, the handsome rebel.

Ignoble death would always be the end of all rebels – both handsome and ugly rebels. Ignoble death is the end of those who kick against God’s established authorities. It was so in the wilderness when 250 elderness rose in rebellion against Moses. They all died the death of shame as fire came down and consumed them and their families.

With the death of the handsome rebel, peace and prosperity returned to the Jerusalem palace. And David the king was great again!

We need peace in our families, prosperity in our communities, and greatness in our nations. It is when rebellion are quelled that we will have it. No palace enjoy peace and prosperity and greatness when rebels live at its gate.

When Ichabod Is The Battle

Ichabod’ is only found in 1 Samuel 4: 21 and 14: 3 but it remains the worst name to bear. Yet that exactly was the name given to the son of Phinehas by her own mother.  Ichabod was the grandson of Eli, the priest.

Israelis battle with Ichabod actually began with the two wayward sons of Eli,  Hophni and Phinehas. For it was their wayward lifestyles and their father’s indifferent attitude towards discipline them that led to the three tragedies that followed, namely; the death Hophni and Phinehas in battle of Aphek with the Philistines,  the captured of the Ark of the Covenant, and the death of Eli who fell backward off his chair and broke his neck.

Upon hearing these sad news, Phinehas’ pregnant wife went into labor and bore a son, “And she named the child Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured’” (4:21-22). The unnamed woman lamented over the departure of glory from Israel. Ichabod had become the war and the nation must be up to fight it, else she become a desolate history.  Ichabod had become a battle and the boy named Ichabod the symbol of Israel’s new war. And, is it any wonder that nothing is recorded of him in the Bible as an individual, except that his nephew Ahijah was one of those who tarried with Saul at Gibeah just before Jonathan’s brave attack upon the Philistines (1 Samuel 14: 2}

The word Ichabod means literally “inglorious”, “there is no glory,” or ‘without honor’.

The glory of Israel was connected to God’s glory that radiated in His presence. Every man’s glory is connected to God’s glory and His presence. The glory of God draws His power, favor and blessings toward us His children. This glory,  as seen in the Old Testament, is connected to God’s divine presence as evident first in “a pillar of fire and pillar of cloud” that followed the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt, and later in “the Ark of Covenant”. God’s glory resided thereon as a symbol of His presence among His people. When the Ark was therefore captured by the Philistines, the glory departed from the Israelites—Ichabod became a reality of Israel’s new war.

May I ask you the vital question: ‘where is your glory?’ Has Ichabod also becomes your battle in life? Why has your life turns inglorious? Why has honor, favor and blessing eluding your embrace all along?

How do we fight and win the war with Ichabod?

  1. Get to the root cause: It might be your sin as in the case of Hophni and Phinehas. It might also be your indifference as in the case of Eli the priest. It might even be ignorance or laxity. It might be your wicked enemies trying to incapacitate, steal, divert, murder, or bury your glory.
  2. Treat the root cause rightly and timely.
  3. Take it as war, for it is war, the real battle for destiny.Yes, when Ichabod becomes the battle, we must fight it. We must get ourselves fully armed with weapons of faith and righteousness and enter boldly into the warfront.
  4. Seek for divine guidance and Spirit’s keys to victory
  5. Let the Lord of hosts leads and fights for you. We would always have Jesus the Captain fighting for us. {You will learn what it means to be still in His presence while He fights for you}
  6. Be valiant enough not to give up or give in till the victory is totally won.
  7. Don’t forget to effectively use weapons of praises and worship in spiritual warfare.

It’s high time you woke up to the reality of your new war and brace up for a victorious warfare. Your victory is not only assured; it is sure.

 

Is This Naomi?

Naomi went out full but returned empty. She had bitterly experienced the other side of life. It all happened in just a decade, and those who have known her before couldn’t recognize her again. Her ten years’ afflictions had negatively ‘transformed’ her outlook that people were surprise at her appearance.

Those ten years lived in the city of Moab brought tears to Naomi’s noble cheeks, sorrows to her lively spirit {Heart} and weariness to her able body. Just in ten years, Naomi lost her beloved spouse and their two sons to death. Just in ten years, the once prosperous Naomi moved from plenty to become a pauper. Just in ten years, she lost her joys, her fullness, her glories. It was  such a noticeable tragedy that her townmates felt sorry for her.

Had Mara caught up with Naomi and became her new name? She said so by her own mouth: “And she said unto them, call me no Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me”. So it is a reality of life that when a man falls from utopia  to valley, all things about him change to the negative – his outlook, name, emotion and personality, among others. Life turned against Naomi, in its hostility and dragged her down the dark valley where she came to know the pains, the bitterness, and the oppression of the downtrodden.

Then with her decade of bitter sorrowing and aging came the unfriendly wrinkles on her brow and choking weariness on her body. She seemed to have backslidden from grace to grass as she laid bitter complaint and accusation against the LORD GOD for all her troubles.  Yes, she must have fallen so low to boldly accused God for her horrible predicament, even right in the public.

But could it be that her backslidden heart had made her blind to the truth? The truth that in spite all of her troubles the Lord was still with her; that in spite her decade of sorrowing the Lord had been good to her; the truth that even in her emptiness and bitterness, the Lord has not left her; and that the good God brought her back home, with Ruth by her side, at the beginning of barley harvest to open a new and glorious chapter in her life.

My dear reader, are you also a Naomi? Has life also cast at you the burning stones it thrown at Naomi? Come on, God is still with you to give you the new beginning. It’s the beginning of barley harvest in your life. Cheer up! Better days are here for you. Cheer up and sing aloud His praise.

John B. Joseph

Who Murdered Your Joy?

Your MURDERED JOY

Who murdered your joy? Perhaps, if Naomi was asked this question, I wonder what her answer would have been.

Elimelech took Naomi his beautiful wife and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion and left Bethlehem Judah for a greener pasture. They emigrated to the country of Moab because they were fed-up with the ravaging famine in their native land of Bethlehem Judah. Because it was hard in the covenant city Elimelech decided to ‘check out’ with his wife and two sons.

He was of the royal covenant tribe of Judah, yet he left for Moab without first considering God’s promises for His covenant people in the days of famine. He was a man of wealth and fame, but he left for Moab when the merciless famine seemed to be threatening his great possessions. He was a man with a great and beautiful name , yet he left for the forbidden land of Moab without considering the sovereignty of God the King. He was in search for a greener pasture.

Elimelech name means ‘My God is King’. But it is one thing to have a good name, and a different thing to have a life corresponding to that name. He ought to have lived up to his name, God is King, an expressive name given him by his godly parents but alas, he didn’t. Elimelech belied the name he bore. For had he truly believed that God was King, he wouldn’t have left Bethlehem without clear instruction from God the King. The truth is: ‘in spite of the prevailing famine in the land, God would have still met his needs and those of his family members’.

Humanly speaking, it was a wise for him to have left a famine-stricken Bethlehem Judah for a land of plenty of food, to save his family. Surely that was a journey any father would undertake to save his dear ones from starvation. But Elimelech was a Jew and as such had the promise, “In the days of famine ye shall be satisfied.” Had he firmly believed in the sovereignty of God, Elimelech would have remained in Bethlehem, knowing that need can never throttle

Alas, Elimelech did not live up to his wonderful name! In going down to Moab, he stepped out of the will of God, who had forbidden His people to have any association with the Moabites. In Moab, Elimelech and his two sons found graves. Yet such a wrong move was overruled by God, for as the result of it, Ruth the Moabitess returned to Bethlehem with Naomi, who was to become the ancestress of our blessed Lord.
So who murdered the joy of Naomi by taking away his husband and children? Satan, Elimelech or who? Brethren, your contributions are needed here. Be blessed as you do so.

John B. Joseph