President Trump demonstrated meekness in calling for a restraint and not retaliation following the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. I doubt if any nation or people can withstand the lethal power of the United States. However, he chose the path of peace. In doing so, he preserved lives and demonstrated that peace is possible for those that choose it. As we move towards peace in this new year, it is important to recognize that justice is at the right side of peace. Let PEACE be.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy. They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midian. For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice. From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this”.
Isaiah 9:2-7 (NKJV)
We have just gone through the Christmas Season with all the joyous celebrations and many messages from different renditions of the Christmas story. In bringing attention to the Prophet Isaiah (vs. 2) indicating that a light had come for those walking in darkness and for those sitting in the shadow of death, the cost of war and violence in our day comes to mind and the message of the prophet becomes even more relevant in our time. There is also another picture presented that brings meaning and a sense of hope and relevance to the light. This reason to hope and rejoice is captured (vs. 3-5) in the multiplication of a nation and an increase of joy, the joy of harvest and of the division of a spoil, the breaking of a yoke and staff of burden, the breaking of the rod of oppression. In addition, the sandals of the warrior from the noisy battle and the garments soaked in blood were to be used for burning and for fire as there was no more need for the garments and sandals because of the era of peace.
In a way, that portrayal is representative of the statement by Ghana’s Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as he delivered the independence speech in 1957 and indicated, “at long last, the battle is ended”, translating into, freedom is finally here. In capturing the moment (vs 3-5), the prophet pointed out the joy of the people, the increase of a nation and the cessation of war. Why would the prophet make such profound statements about the light? Because a better alternative and a greater purpose was on offer, peace in exchange for war, joy in exchange for mourning. It is important to note that the increase of the governance of peace WILL HAVE NO END. In essence, as these words were spoken to Israel, they were speaking also to generations yet to come, to be joyful and to cease from battles for the sake of PEACE. There is no better alternative.
The new year calls for a MOVEMENT towards PEACE. Let’s get working.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Salvation for all men is God’s will and for that reason Christ died on the cross. However at the end of the book of revelation, in Revelation 22:15 we find people outside the gate to the city where the redeemed dwell, separated from the presence of God. From now until then, the echo of John 3:16 is still audible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. When anyone ends up outside the gate, it will not be because God did not care, it will be because they chose the path that ended outside the gate. May the grace of God unite with the free will of man for the salvation of man. He who has an ear let Him hear.
God deals with each person justly. No man can substitute for the other, except Christ who died in our place that through His grace we live, even though our souls have sinned. He bore our wickedness on the cross and transferred His righteousness to us. Without Christ, we will have to face God on our own merit . Who can claim to be righteous before God on their own merit? The most righteous acts according to the scriptures, are like filthy rags before Him. However by His grace, I AM righteous. That grace teaches righteous living. I trust that your soul shall live through Him who bore our transgressions.
God extends grace and He also extends justice. This makes it a very fine line to navigate. Under grace, the advocate Jesus Christ speaks on our behalf drawing from His sacrificial death on the cross to make it possible to walk that fine line. Jesus calls it the narrow road that leads to life. When there is an uprising the authorities curb it with full force. When there is a violation of human rights and the law, the perpetrators are hunted down and brought to justice. How about encouraging rebellion against the Lord Almighty? He makes the call. May we love Him, walk with Him and encourage others to come along focusing all the glory on Him. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
People scramble for power, nations go to every extend to show their strength against others. In the midst of it all is a silent but firm reminder that there is one who has command and control over all. He established the world, He stretched out the heavens, the thunder of His voice echoes through the heavens and the earth. Who is like Him? Let us be still and know that He is in charge and is calling us all to Himself. From every tribe, people, nation calling us all by name to a place of repentance and recognition of who He is. In the midst of the rage, remember that when He speaks even the storms obey. He summons the winds from every corner of the earth and there is no place to hide from His presence. The intent of the heart is bare before Him. Lord may we recognize who you are, give you the due glory and stand in compliance before you. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽