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Archive for June, 2009

I recently read the story of Rizpah from 2 Samuel 21. Her two sons were given to the Gibeonites to be executed for their father, King Saul’s, sin in transgressing the covenant between Israel and Gibeon. Rizpah can do no more than setup watch at the spot of execution, guarding the corpses from animal predators. But she does what she can and stands between those she loves and what would tear them in pieces. With the approach of a wild animal or bird, surely a cry must have risen up in her heart and she ran towards the offending creature – NOT MY SON! Certainly with tears and anguish of soul she maintains her post, watching continually…faithfully. Daily, their lifeless bodies were a reminder that they were dead. Yet she remained, determined to provide whatever manner of protection to them that she could. She watched over the dead – a bone yard guardian.

Rizpah, to me, models the work of the intercessor – standing between the dead and the powers that would tear them to pieces, that enemy that is seeking to devour. Like Rizpah, I am a bone yard guardian, standing watch over those I love who are dead in trespasses and sin. Continually and faithfully watching.

The Lord has given me the responsibility and privilege to stand watch. So I watch and pray and cry over the deadness of their souls. And in this verse I have hope:

“….God who gives life to all things….” 1 Timothy 6:13

He is the only one that can breathe life into those dead bones. He gives life and is Life.

Can these bones live? He knows. The God who gives life to all things….He knows.

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Asa, King of Judah, had experienced a mighty deliverance from his enemies by the intervention of the Lord.  His prayer for help is a beautifully humble cry:

“Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” 2 Chronicles 14:11

The Lord overthrew his enemies and Asa experienced rest until the 35th year of his reign, until once again an enemy arose.  This time is was Baasha, king of Israel.  And this time there is no humble cry to the Lord for help.  Instead, he plundered the treasuries of the house of the Lord to hire the Syrian army; an army that already had a alliance with Baasha, but was willing to trade allegiance for a bit of gold.

How often does this happen to us?  Some type of difficulty arises in our life and we do not seek the heavenly solution, but instead go through all sorts of conniptions to try to engage worldly resources to aid us.  How foolish to turn to the world (which by the way, cannot solve it’s own problems) when all of heaven is available to us in our time of need.  Yet we turn to the faithless, fickle world.

Asa got what he paid for – Baasha was defeated, but by pursuing worldly methods he forfeited victory over the Syrians.

“…Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.”  2 Chronicles 16:7

This is the lesson for me:  The enemy that you join yourself to is one that you will not have victory over.  Your compromise will have further reaching implications that you might at first believe.

Let us press on in faith, fully trusting the Lord to deliver us, whatever the situation.  “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”  2 Chronicles 16:9

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