Summary: Memories of God's soldiers tried in the fire of their hearts, while, here, on earth, who stood the test of time.
Trying Times: A Time Of Peace
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (8/8/2013)
“The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot...And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and olive-yards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness" (Proverbs 10:7; Nehemiah 9:25, King James Version [Moral virtues and contrary vices; The Levites' Confession]).
Greetings In The Holy Name Of Christ Jesus,
My sisters and brothers, how many of you confess your sins while you are in your blessings, from God----while you rejoice over the wealth that you did not work to get but received nonetheless possibly through inheritance or God giving you the power to get wealth and while you rejoice over your bounteous harvest that you did not plant, nevertheless you received from those who struggled in their faith before you. I remember a woman asked me why I worked so hard because all that I worked hard for, others, also would enjoy. I thought about what she said but it did not make me work any less toward the vision I saw before me----doing all that I could do each day, pulling out the weeds, planting the seeds, watering the plants, preparing them and helping them to make it through the winter months, praying that they would stay, those plants, animals, and household goods that made it through the stormy rains of springtime and the dreaded rage of heat in the summer months, for the nourishment of our bodies and the beautification of the fields, hoping for the next year's spring time to reveal the saving grace of God---even for the plants, the animals, and the household---to sustain us through not one winter but all the winters to come---the winters that our children would suffer through in the years to come. I felt the power of grace yet I looked where a plant used to be but no longer stood bowing in the heat of day to God and spreading out its leaves widely out in the shade of the day and at night to worship God---where was it, did it not make it through the harsh winter, did the winter in its harshness destroy the roots of the sprig trying to make it---was it stolen by the forces of darkness by day or by night---it was gone---and I remembered all the quiet moments I spent with that little one trying to help it make it through the winter and the years ahead but it was gone.
Most importantly, do you remember when Israel received their promised land---oh, what joyous days, for them to receive from their kin, the Canaanites, who were not chosen by God to be the royal priesthood---Jews---with a share in the inheritance of Christ Jesus. “So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and olive-yards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness (Nehemiah 9:25, KJV [The Levites' confession]). Most people would think their joy would continue on beyond the deaths of their leaders and the leadership of the days they lived but their flesh was weak and as soon as their leaders died---passed on or left them for any length of time---they slipped back into disobedience, turned against their prophets, killed many throughout history. Do you remember how many prophets Queen Jezebel---a Canaanite of Zidon or Sidon (Ham) killed after her husband Ahab, the King of Israel in Samaria (Shem) was killed in war; and, what about the beheading of John the Baptist, what about Christ Jesus, and what about the disciples and apostles, and evangelists? [”Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations” (Nehemiah 9:26, KJV)].
Yet, God delivered them into the hands of those who oppressed and killed them, taking the remnants after over 400 years of slavery---bondage in Egypt, after 40 years in the wilderness of the valley of
Mount Sinai eating manna rained down to them each day from God, after more than half-a-century captivity in bondage in Babylon, and the wars and rumors of wars of their future generations. My sisters and brothers, it is hard for me not to think of African-Americans in the land of the United States of America, during the post-slavery years---in the abundance of God, overcoming the oppression that kept them bound, from the 18th century to the 19th century, only to become victims of local Jim Crow and Jane Crow, Black-Coded laws that took as much of the wealth God gave to African-Americans as the laws could in the corruption of the laws, breaking the newly-built system with injustice and the wheels of the machine of corruption just kept turning with too many run away trains of injustice carrying another free man back into the bondage that once held him in slavery time. I know that this vicious cycle---cyclical as the seasons turn---is still in its wake as it was prevalent during the time of the fathers of old and during the time of Christ Jesus and God is still seated on the throne, with Christ Jesus seated at his right hand. How easy for you is it to deny the will of God and how easy for you is it to deny the salvation plan of God through Christ Jesus?