Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Reasons for Plagues

God visits plagues on people for several different reasons.

Exodus 9

13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.

The Pharaoh of Egypt was asked not to let Israel go and be a free people, but to let Israel go for a time of worship. They would return when they were done, if only he'd let them go. But the Pharaoh wanted to control Israel and saw the need to worship God as a petty thing, not worthy of his attention or permission. So, God freed the people of Israel so that they could worship any time they wanted to. A plague was just one way He did this.

The United States has recently entered into a time of petty persecutions for prayer. Schools have disallowed prayer, public events have omitted prayer out of fear of offending those who don't. Nativity sets in public places have been condemned. Bakers who choose to follow Christian guidelines have been sued. Is it surprising, then, that God would send a plague to visit us?

So, those who are on the fence should look at what has happened here as a warning. If the citizens of the United States do not turn from their sins and revere and respect God, it just might get worse.

Leviticus 26:21
“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.”

Churches in America have an important function to play: It is their job to pray for America, to intercede for those who refuse to take God seriously, and to lead God's children into righteousness, so that plagues do not affect them as a people.

It is NOT the church's job to test God and defy common sense when it comes to how to prevent the plague. Continuing to hold public services in spite of stay-at-home measures, social distancing instructions and good hygiene practices is not the way to prevent plagues.

Holding God in front of them and continuing to worship in spite of the chaos around them is.

We must remember, church is not a place you go to. Church is who you are.

Numbers 8
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary.

There is so much to be thankful for. The Lord does not like complainers. The Lord likes contentment. The Lord provides everything we need when we need it -- food, shelter, clothing. Does it matter, then, if your clothes are not name-brand? Does it cover your body sufficiently? Does it matter, then, that your home is not fancy, or that it is small and in need of painting? When the storms come, does it protect you? Does it matter that you are not eating steak or don't have the variety of food you long for? Does it keep you healthy enough to survive?

Read the 11th Chapter of Numbers
Numbers 11:33
“And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.”

When God sends you to do a mighty work, and you are too fearful to do it, it could stir His anger. God does not like the naysayer. He doesn't like those who are negative, or those who stir up fear for those who need to move forward in order to accomplish what He has set out for them to do.

Numbers 14
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.

God will not tolerate false teachers. He will not tolerate bad influences, either. Anyone who causes the children of Israel to think that sinning is more greatly to be desired than obedience is endangering the body of Christ as a whole.

Numbers 31
14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

God has given us the Bible, which contains His Word. Bible is an acronym which stands for "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". He expects us to read and meditate on His word, and to obey His commands from it!

Deuteronomy 28
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

God has said "Fear Not" 365 times in the Bible. That is one time for every day of the year. It is a command. He commands us to worship Him, and to move forward in faith, where ever we are, and whatever we are called to do.