The first scripture today is one of those prophecies that has not come true at all. Ten tribes made up Israel, and the Assyrians scattered them far and wide, with the aim of destroying Manasseh and Ephraim. But Zephaniah says that God will call them out from the nations. Zechariah is a prophet of the exile. He knew that the Jews had been preserved during exile. But, to his knowledge, and to this day, the ten tribes are lost.
But he prophesied that they would return to God, for as Christ said, his flock know his voice. The world may be evil, and it may have scattered us, but it has not won, and it will not win.
God hates despair. The Bible is filled with examples of those that preached despair and the bad ends that befell them. Despair is the easy way out. Despair is the wide road to perdition. Despair is thus hell on earth and it is in your own mind. It traps you there and turns you into a soulless automaton, not just useless to our side but a net liability.
The enemy wants us to give in to despair. That alone is reason to stand firm.
What is needed now is courage from those single people, in all walks of life, in all the parts of our nations. The enemy has politicised everything so we must do the same. It is time to take a stand on everything. It is time to have quiet determination and solid courage. We must be patient and persevere, and not allow the physical and psychological weapons of the enemy to overcome us. But most of all, we must not give into despair, even when all seems lost and all hope is gone. Holding fast counts at those difficult moments, rather than when the going is easy and we have had it easy for a very long time.
So it’s time to earn those brownie points. One day at a time. The side of evil has not won. The battle is only just beginning.
I was talking to the son on the phone while Kea schooled the daughter by reading out a post where real experience overwhelmed the Pravda our PM is shoveling out. Kiwis are doing something we are very good at. When the laws are unfair and unjust, we ignore them.
And mock, relentlessly, those who are deeply offended we do not continue to support their neurosis. Have faith. If God can bring back ten tribes who have been lost before the exile to Babylon, so he can rescue us from the madness of the woke.
10 Ask rain from the Lord
in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.
2 For the household gods utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger is hot against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
4 From him shall come the cornerstone,
from him the tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
from him every ruler—all of them together.
5 They shall be like mighty men in battle,
trampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight because the Lord is with them,
and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.
6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah,
and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
7 Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and be glad;
their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.
8 “I will whistle for them and gather them in,
for I have redeemed them,
and they shall be as many as they were before.
9 Though I scattered them among the nations,
yet in far countries they shall remember me,
and with their children they shall live and return.
10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
and gather them from Assyria,
and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
till there is no room for them.
11 He shall pass through the sea of troubles
and strike down the waves of the sea,
and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will make them strong in the Lord,
and they shall walk in his name,”
declares the Lord.
In this, we need to recall that God is calling us out because we were lost. Our priests and prophets went woke, and the people tried to found succour in the false spirituality they preached. The priests, the leaders, the politicians and those who promote the debasement of all will be held to account, be they called public relations professionals or pornographers.
The scars are obvious to anyone who still can see. You look in their eyes: you do not see the light of the soul. Despair has taken them.
And those who promote debasement and despair need to repent, in tears, for there are consequences to that in the life to come: their power may protect them now, but God’s justice is terrible for it is true.
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
There are those who look at the current situation and… give up. Such men are destroying the young. I have seen them take the confidence a young man or young woman should have and leave nothing but ashes. They want us inverted, debased and in despair. They delight in making beauty ugly, and will not teach the skills it takes that would allow a young person to read old things, and find the truth.
For in that other country, the past, truth mattered.
So for those who promote despair, be silent. I have no time for wormtounges. Yes, in love there is risk, so it is in raising children, or starting a business. Almost everything worthwhile is risky and hard.
It is not a matter of losing or failing. We all fail: at times we fall.
It is that we do not despair. We get up. And we fight on.
Pain goes away. Scars fade. And to God alone be the glory.