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Jul 30
2014
Steve Marr

Forced Migrations

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Migrations have been a major part of world history, some migrations are a result of an effort to seek a brighter future, like the western migrations in the American and Canadian west. Others are the result of punishment, prisons being taken to Georgia and Australia for crimes committed.  The Bible also shows us many migrations, large and small, directed by the Lord.

The first was Cain being forced away from the family after murdering Able. Abraham, Joseph, Mosses and Joshua all led migrations. Some migrations were for a far better opportunity.  For example Pharaoh, “ …made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.” (Exodus 1:14) From slavery to the land of milk and honey was the promise. Abraham moved based on God’s promise,“…for I have made you a father of many nations.” (Genesis 17:5)

Other time migrations happened because of disobedience. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah and said, “For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land At this time, And will cause them distress, That they may be found.” (Jeremiah 10:18)

God always wants our attention. The great Hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus says:

“O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
 All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!

We know not all pain will be avoided by seeking the Lord. As the song reminds us, we will forfeit peace, and bear pain as a direct result of not taking everything to the Lord.

When Katrina devastated parts of New Orleans, I was watching people on TV on Bourbon Street laughing, almost daring the storm to come. It did.  We can easily look at New Orleans, a corrupt city and say, “They got what they deserved”. A better question for us to ask is, “Will the Lord send our way what we deserve?” I shudder if I receive everything I deserve.

The only reason the Lord would sling out the people was the people had refused every opportunity to listen, to repent, to embrace the Lord. Only when nothing else worked did the Lord expel the people, and then only for their own good.

When the news of the serious situation of Ted Haggard happened, a wise person said, “Perhaps this news, as devastating as it is,  will steer Ted to repentance, and ultimate salvation.” I believe Ted had likely passed up earlier opportunities to turn, with far less consequences. 

For me, my commitment is to ask the Lord to show me my failings, to correct me gently now, rather then needing to resort to far more painful methods in the future.

When the disaster struck Israel, when the people were forced out, the people then had an opportunity to repent, and seek His face. Later, Nehemiah  and Ezra led the way back.

CEN application:

  1. Is our nation likely to suffer as a result of our disobedience?
  2. How can we minister more effectively during the next disaster?
  3. What steps will we take individually?

What steps should you take to be ready? Start here by downloading the free Ready Christian material here: http://bit.ly/tUQEcu .

 


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