"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" - Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV).
Today it is common to hear of talk of "climate change"- a phenomenon often associated with change in weather patterns. If we go through Biblical history though we will find ample cases of climate change, as not something that started yesterday.
To start with one of the most pronounced episodes being the floods that spared only Noah and his family. "The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters recede" (Genesis 7:24-8:1).
Another episode of climate change was when God revealed to Joseph that a draught was coming. The story is Joseph helped Pharaoh interpret an upsetting dream. "Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them" (Gen 41:29-30). What happened thereafter throws some clues still useful for us today. For Pharaoh was not a denialist or skeptic, which is common with some the moment they hear of "climate change"!
Paraoh heeded Joseph's advice "to collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine" (Gen 3
41: 35-36). In the end Egypt was not only spared of collapse from famine but came to rescue other nations, including Joseph's family.
Times have not changed very much since. There are always good times, rainy seasons; and scarce times of draught and leanness. The difference is only the length but these are the realities of living on earth. Fortunately to us believers we know what to do. During the good times we should save and store up for the lean times, just as Joseph guided Pharaoh. In that way we would become "lenders and not borrowers" a blessing to many in need.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, from your word you have tought us the principle of saving to help carry us through lean times, and I pray to live and practice it, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!