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For Such a Time As This
(Note: Bible references are taken from the New King James Version – NKJV with the Holy Names inserted. The author for emphasis has sometimes shown parts of quotations in bold.)
When Barack Obama first decided to run for the presidency of the United States he would not have anticipated being greeted with such a phenomenal set of local and global problems on such an unprecedented scale with each demanding urgent attention. He did not choose the diverse cocktail of perplexing circumstances that loomed before him at the start of his presidency. Yet the nation and the world expect him to shoulder his responsibility adroitly and to show leadership through the minefield of obstacles just as if he had been particularly groomed all his life for such a time as this. That is what being a President is all about. He cannot walk away, however much he would have preferred an easier test. As the U.S.A. President, he has to face up to and deal with whatever comes.
     Although we may dislike the occurrences in our lives, each of us has to take action within the framework of events and challenges that present themselves daily to us. We cannot walk away from, ignore, deny or exchange the things that confront us. Each episode provides unique opportunities for us to try our best to shape and resolve them in a manner that will bring the maximum benefit.
     What applies regularly in the physical sphere finds even greater significance in the spiritual realm. In this article we shall consider and learn from Biblical examples of heroes who took the timely action required of them, when faced with specific challenges or tasks in which only they could impact the age and times in which they lived. We shall also consider the example of one person, who tried to avoid the assignment given by Yahweh. Perhaps you will then begin to see the opportunities that surround you wherever you are, and like the songwriter Wayne Watson, you will be able to say:
“For such a time as this
I was placed upon the earth
To hear the voice of [Yah]
And do His will, whatever it is.”
Esther (Please read the book of Esther)
The Jewish orphan girl Esther never planned to be the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, who at that time was the monarch of the greatest empire in the world.
     When king Ahasuerus’ wife Vashti was dethroned, the king was advised to obliterate the memory of her by replacing her with a young beautiful virgin.
     Out of the most beautiful young girls in the land, Esther was shortlisted on the top seven, and finally won the admiration of the king more than any of the other women. Her day of recognition had come, but it was not yet the precise moment for her to play the crucial unique role for which Yahweh had chosen her. She was the right person in the right place, but was unaware that she was there for an unusual purpose that would become apparent at the right time.
     Without knowledge of Esther’s origin, Haman had planned to destroy all Jews who lived in the Persian Empire. When queen Esther’s cousin Mordecai learned of this he promptly sent word to Esther, who was hesitant to approach the king about it. Mordecai replied to Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esth 4:13,14.
     Esther then decided to fast and asked Mordecai to arrange for the Jews who lived in Shushan to do the same. Afterward she would do what only she in her position as queen could do, with the fearless determination, “if I perish I perish,” Esth 4:16. She then proceeded with a carefully laid strategy that brought her before Ahasuerus and Haman where she was able to expose Haman’s plot. She managed to get the king to reverse Haman’s plan, save the lives of her people, hang Haman on the gallows he had intended for Mordecai, and destroy all of the Jews’ tormentors.
     This is a truly remarkable ‘rags to riches’ story of how one unknown woman, whose parents had come to Persia as captives, became queen of this vast country and saved the lives of the Jewish people, because she recognised the important part that only she could play, and accepted that she had “come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” She overturned the greatest threat that had faced all Jews of her day through prayer and the firm resolve to do what only she could do. There can be no doubt that the most important ‘Player’ of all had been working behind each scene to bring about such decisive and timely victory for His people. But Yahweh required a frontline human ‘actor’ to take the stage and carry out His bidding.
     Do not underestimate the significant difference you can make when you begin to see your situation not as a problem but as a challenge, and grasping the opportunity of the moment, you yield yourself totally to Yahweh and do what only you can do.
Joseph (Read Genesis 37- end)
Like Esther, Joseph was involuntarily brought to live in a foreign country. How he had come to leave his land of Canaan and be in Egypt is even more unusual than the story of Esther. Partly because of the favouritism his father had shown to him, but mainly on account of his dream that suggested he would have supremacy over his entire family, Joseph’s brothers envied him and most wanted to kill him. First they threw him in a pit, and then made money out of him by selling him to Ishmaelite traders, who in turn sold him in Egypt to Pharaoh’s captain Potiphar. That was Joseph’s passport to fame!
     Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph but after failing in her bid to induce him to have an illicit relationship with her, she secured a totally different type of pleasure with Joseph, called ‘revenge’. With the convincing ‘evidence’ of his clothes that Joseph had left behind as he fled in haste from her, she reported to her husband that that Hebrew servant Joseph had sought to rape her! Joseph was put in prison. But even there Yahweh’s invisible but almighty hand was at work. Yahweh blessed Joseph, enabled him to be the most praiseworthy prisoner, and developed Joseph’s skill of interpreting dreams. At the right moment, Joseph’s effective interpretation of his fellow prisoners’ dreams eventually paved the way for him to interpret the king’s dreams. Pharaoh was as much impressed with Joseph’s prophetic interpretation of his dream that warned of an impending famine, as with Joseph’s astute suggestions of the preparations required to meet this calamity. Pharaoh elevated Joseph to the highest position in Egypt second only to Pharaoh himself.
     The famine that Joseph had predicted came and covered the whole earth. When it became known that food was available in Egypt, Joseph’s father Jacob sent his sons to Egypt in search of food. There the fulfilment of Joseph’s earliest dreams of dominance over his family came to fruition. So neither the devious strategy of his brothers nor the sinister plot of Potiphar’s wife succeeded in derailing Yahweh’s plans that were to be accomplished through the one man Yahweh had chosen “for such a time as this.”
     At each stage of Joseph’s persistent trials he could have questioned why his path was so painful, perilous, and tortuous. He did not. He faced each phase with dignity and aplomb. Yahweh transformed each of Joseph’s hurdles into stepping-stones that led to his crowning glory. At the end when the story finally unfolded, the guileless Joseph explained to his conniving and wicked brothers: “you meant evil against me; but Yahweh meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive,” Gen 50:20.
     “Through many dangers toils and snares” Joseph was brought to the forefront by Yahweh to bring an end to the hardship of his family, feed the people of Egypt, and play a pivotal role in etching for Yahweh’s people Israel a place in history that would never be erased. Joseph had been born for such a time. Joseph the dreamer fi nally became Joseph the deliverer.
     Neither Joseph nor his brothers knew the purpose he would fulfil until the time came. In the meantime, he was being unwittingly prepared for his great moment when his dreams would become a reality.
     Joseph had put Yahweh first when he could have yielded to an adulterous temptation. Many in Joseph’s position as a handsome young man and a slave, would have been grateful for the chance to indulge their passions with nobility! For Joseph, that was neither an option nor an attraction. He could also have been spiteful towards his brothers and hateful of Potiphar’s wife, but he had no inclination for such negative and destructive feelings. Instead, as an exemplary representative of Yahweh, he faithfully did only that which was pleasing to Him. When the right time finally came, Yahweh rewarded this key man of the moment. Joseph was in the right place with the right attitude for such a time.
     Though the thorny path you tread may seem to be unending and unrewarding, hold on, keep close to Yahweh, obey Him and seize every opportunity to do His will. Who knows if you are Yahweh’s key person at this time of your life?
At a time when “The earth … was corrupt before Elohim, and … was filled with violence,” Gen 6:11, “Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh” Gen 6:8.
     Noah was the only man at the time who was willing to obey Yahweh, so Yahweh selected him with his family as the only humans in the whole earth that would be still alive, after Yahweh had cleansed the world of its wickedness.
     Yahweh told Noah He would send a flood upon the earth that would destroy all creatures except those within the ark, which Yahweh was instructing Noah to build. “According to all that Elohim commanded him, so he did,” Gen 6:22. Yahweh gave to Noah details of the creatures and Noah’s immediate family that should be kept in the ark. Once again “Noah did according to all that Yahweh commanded him,” Gen 7:5. After Noah’s immediate family and pairs of all creatures entered the ark, the promised flood came. “And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights,” Gen 7:12. But “the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days,” Gen 7:24. Yahweh “destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive,” Gen 7:23.
     The faithfulness of only one righteous man in the whole earth saved the earth from total destruction. Noah obeyed and honoured Yahweh when others did not. It takes very little imagination to visualise the jeering he must have encountered during the time that he was building this huge vessel on dry land, in anticipation of a historic flood that had never occurred before.
     It demands superhuman courage and faith to hold on in obedience to Yahweh’s commands and promises when all others doubt and mock you and there is no tangible or logical reason for your confidence, other than saying “this is what Yahweh has said.” Noah’s was no mean feat. It was the product of a life wholly submitted to Yahweh’s will, through whom Yahweh could do His miraculous work. Nothing is impossible in the life of anyone who obeys and trusts Yahweh implicitly and is not shaken by the most powerful opposition or deterred by the most enormous challenge.
     The whole world has moved dangerously farther from their Creator, Yahweh. Righteousness is punished while evil is vindicated. Globally, people are discouraged from preaching exactly what the Bible says. In England, an American preacher is banned from entering the country because he has publicly denounced homosexuality as a sin Yahweh hates and which will incur the wrath of Yahweh. The world wants to be able to sin peacefully and is uneasy with anyone who will not conform to its standards or participate in its rebellious ways. The forces of evil are allowed to speak with a loud voice, while the voice of truth is being silenced. This is the age in which we live, where there is no distinction between one who firmly upholds the Bible and a racist or terrorist. As in the days of Noah “The earth … [is] corrupt before Yahweh, and … is filled with violence.” The day of Yahweh’s wrath is surely coming. At such a time as this, we must be more willing to please Yahweh than to appease the deluded society in which we live.
     You can be the special person today, through whom Yahweh will bring about His unprecedented designs, when you are pliable in His hands and totally surrendered to His will. Let it be your passion and prayer that in this evil age, you, like Noah, will find grace in the eyes of Yahweh, and will be resolute in your determination to obey Yahweh completely rather than acquiesce in man’s wicked ways.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Daniel, who was of a young age, had been carried off as a captive with other Jews to Babylon. There, Daniel with his three Jewish friends remained loyal to their faith and stood their ground amidst the paganism of the Babylonian court. Daniel soon became distinguished for his interpretation of dreams and rapidly progressed to the highest ranks of the Babylonian hierarchy. But he never relinquished his firm trust in and loyalty to the One who is the “revealer of secrets.”
     Daniel’s meteoric rise to success incurred the envy of the governors and satraps within the realm.
     So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his Eloah.” So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any [deity] or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree, Dan 6:4-9.
     His conspirators, thinking they had found a way to be rid of this ‘upstart’, waited on Daniel to fall into their trap, but Daniel had been also waiting on them so that he could make his next move. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his Eloah, as was his custom since early days,” Dan 6:10.
     Daniel was fearless. He preferred to be eaten by hungry lions and to satisfy the avaricious appetites of power hungry men, than to bow before an idol in contravention of Yahweh’s law. When his enemies found he was praying to his Elohim they promptly went and told the king. The king desired to save Daniel, but was reminded by those men, that the laws of the Medes and Persians were unalterable. Daniel was thrown into the den of lions and a stone rolled at the mouth of the den. It seemed that Daniel had no way out. That night the king could not sleep because of his concern over Daniel. Early the next morning, the king in distress called out to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living Eloah, has your Eloah, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My Eloah sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you,” Dan 6:20-22.
     Yahweh had vindicated the righteousness of one man who at that time dared to defy the king and the threat of sure death at the paws of hungry lions. Daniel was taken from the lions’ den. His accusers and their family were thrown into the den and were overpowered by the lions. The king Darius acknowledged the sovereignty of Yahweh and made a decree that “in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the Eloah of Daniel. For He is the living Eloah, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end,” Dan 6:26.
     One man by his unwavering obedience to Yahweh survived a night in a den of lions, caused the law of a heathen empire to be changed, the subjects to revere Yahweh only, witnessed swift retribution on those who had plotted his downfall, and prospered in the very land where his demise seemed imminent. Daniel was that special man for the time in which he lived, who dared to defy the king’s unchangeable decree, because of his firm allegiance to Yahweh.
     Perhaps you would like to be used by Yahweh to do something special for Him in your time. Remember great victories are not won in small skirmishes, or large fish caught in the safety of the shoreline. The ultimate prize will be yours only after you have given of your best for a cause that is bigger than you and stretches you beyond your comfort zone. If you are willing to see, there are challenges here today that are reminiscent of those that Daniel had faced. The world wants you to surrender your values and live by their standards or bear the consequences. They would gladly put pressure on those who do not participate in their pernicious ways but instead honour the only sovereign of the universe. Now is not the time to walk away from your responsibility, ignore what is happening or be halfhearted in your loyalty to Yahweh. Now is the time to take your extraordinary stance in support of Yahweh and His truths, which are contrary to popular opinion. At such a time as this, it is your duty to stand firmly for what you believe even though you may be alone, for “We ought to obey Yahweh rather than men,” Acts 5:29.
From his birth, the hand of Yahweh was upon Moses. He was miraculously rescued from the murderous devices of Pharaoh who sought to destroy all Jewish male children at birth. Instead of being put to death, he ended up in the King’s palace as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, after being cared for by his own mother as a paid maid. Nothing in the life of Moses happened by chance. There was divine design at every stage, for Moses was to be the special man Yahweh would choose for an unusual project.
     For four hundred years generations of Israelites in Egypt had known only a life of slavery. “The children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to Elohim because of the bondage,” Exod 2:23. Yahweh heard their cry and appeared to Moses in a burning bush at Mount Horeb saying,
     “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians,” Exod 3:7, 8.
     Yahweh then gave to Moses instructions of the part he was to play so as to bring deliverance to Yahweh’s people. From a difficult and testing beginning, Moses was eventually able to fulfil the mission for which he had been called. Although Moses questioned his own ability to carry out this tough task, he was nevertheless the man who had been chosen for that particular mission at that time. No other, not even his brother Aaron, who was a more competent speaker could take his place. Through his tiresome encounters with the unyielding Pharaoh, and with Yahweh’s guiding hand, Moses eventually led the children of Israel out of captivity, then mysteriously through the Red Sea, where all their Egyptian pursuers were drowned.
     One man, by submitting himself to Yahweh’s will, extricated the captive Israelites from their Egyptian slave masters, and brought them close to the land Yahweh had promised.
     Moses’ prominent leadership went beyond the crossing of the Red Sea. He demonstrated remarkable compliance with Yahweh’s plans in building the Tabernacle, making the priesthood garments, and observing the many other commands of Yahweh regarding the Levitical priesthood and sacrificial laws. His obedience is recorded in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers in which the phrase is frequently repeated, that "Moses did as Yahweh commanded him." Lev. 8:4. When even his assistant Asron gave in to the idolatrous wishes of the rebellious Israelites, Moses held his ground in upholding the commandments of Yahweh.
     You also may be called to lead or to perform in a role that you think will stretch you beyond your capabilities. Like Moses you may think of others who seem to be more suited for the task. Remember that Yahweh equips those whom He calls. Do not make excuses or presuppose the outcome. If you are chosen by Yahweh He will be with you. Your inability will be transformed to ability, weakness to strength, fear to faith, and cowardness to courage when Yahweh goes before you. Your Pharaoh will finally yield. From your impossible cul-de-sac situation at your impassable Red Sea, a way will be found, if you will stop looking at your limitations and do that for which you have been called, positioned, and equipped. Yahweh's business was clearly Moses' prime concern even when those closest to him sided with the majority or ridiculed him. Head and shoulders above the rest by his relentless obedience and allegiance to Yahweh, Moses was the man for the time in which he lived. Who knows whether like Moses you are called from birth for such a time as this? Your unswerving willingness to obey Yahweh will use you at the right time.
     As you will now see, not everyone in the Bible responded willingly to their specific role as they might have done.
Yahweh had handpicked Jonah for the specific task of preaching to the city of Ninevah: "the word of Yahweh came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me’,” Jonah 1:1, 2. Jonah was the man Yahweh had chosen for that particular time in which he lived.
     Generally when other persons in the Bible received such clear instructions they acted promptly in accordance with Yahweh’s directive – for example Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Saul of Tarsus. Jonah was different. Immediately after receiving his commission,
     “Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh,” Jonah 1:3.
     Jonah then had to learn the hard way that no one can flee from Yahweh’s presence.
     As the psalmist David wrote: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You,” Ps 139:7-12.
     Jonah ran but could not hide from Yahweh. Yahweh chose just three weapons from His infinite armoury to get Jonah to the place to which he had been sent. Yahweh sent a boisterous wind that created such havoc on the sea that the sailors in the boat in which Jonah was travelling eventually threw Jonah overboard as Jonah had suggested. The sea became calm. Yahweh then provided a large fish that swallowed Jonah and became Jonah’s personal and fully automated submarine. Trapped and unable to stray farther, Jonah awoke from his delusion and cried unto Yahweh from the fish’s belly in his despair. Yahweh heard him and caused the fish to vomit its cargo, Jonah, on dry land.
     Yahweh gave Jonah a second chance. “The word of Yahweh came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you’,” Jonah 3:1, 2. Being much smarter now from the wisdom he had gained while in the fish’s belly, he did not hesitate this time. “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said: ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ So the people of Nineveh believed Yahweh, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to Yahweh; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if Yahweh will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then Yahweh saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and Yahweh relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it,” Jonah 3:3-10.
     This reluctant preacher finally delivered his message but was unhappy when the people of Nineveh heeded his warning. Although Jonah had been disobedient, Yahweh forgave him and gave him another opportunity. Nevertheless, he was resentful of Yahweh’s mercy in pardoning the sins of Nineveh and allowing them a fresh start! He did not want to preach to those who were lost, for he preferred to see them suffer for their sins.
     This is particularly relevant for us today. When we see the evil that is everywhere, it is easy to desire to see the wrath of Yahweh poured out in full measure upon the wicked and rebellious world rather than to “Tell [the] people their transgression” (Isa 58:1), and of their urgent need to repent and be ready for Yahweh’s kingdom that is at hand. Our remit is to do the will of Yahweh by teaching, preaching and leading by example. Vengeance belongs to Yahweh who alone searches the hearts and who only is just.
     The lesson from this is simple and clear. Never fail to do what only you are called to do. You do not please Yahweh by longing for the destruction of those who have gone astray, while your work of leading these people to Him remains undone. Yahweh can do His supernatural work, but He requires you to carry out the human task He asks of you. Jonah ran but could not escape from Yahweh. Neither will you. You are the unique person Yahweh is calling at this precise time, in these special circumstances to do the specific work that only you can do where you are. So do not choose Jonah’s stubborn and convoluted route to evade Yahweh’s destination. Yahweh can cause stones or a dumb donkey to speak if necessary, but He prefers to work through human beings.
No Time Like the Present
The present time is unlike anything the world has ever known. Fearless terrorists, who are willing to use their bodies as human bombs, threaten mass destruction and the demolition of every shred of democratic freedom. Established standards of morality have been eroded but neither governments nor the majority of leading denominations in Christendom are concerned, motivated or knowledgeable enough to tackle the moral decadence of their nation. Self-centredness and materialism are having full sway while people turn farther and farther from their Creator. Bible teaching in schools has been replaced with teachings about religions. Christendom has lost its way and is increasingly moving away from the unambiguous doctrines of the Bible, even allowing practicing homosexuals to hold priestly positions. By doing this they have encouraged more flagrant violation of Yahweh’s law that forbids homosexual relationships and they have prostituted the sanctity of marriage by extending marriage and legal marital rights to same-sex couples. With this type of spineless leadership, it is no wonder that the influence of the so-called ‘Christian’ religion is rapidly dwindling and is being replaced by false religions, such as Islam, whose foolhardy adherents have a definite purpose and zeal to fill the world with their domineering creeds. Most political leaders worldwide seem to be blind or totally oblivious of the political aspirations of and inroads being made into their countries by the fastest growing religious group, Islam. Tolerance of and equal rights for the destructive and morally decadent elements in our society have taken the place of reason and commonsense. Satan has blinded the minds of leaders and individuals to the extent that they “call evil good, and good evil,” Isa 5:20. Many who are concerned about the sad state of the world fail to see that it is symptomatic of the true condition of man’s heart. The main cause of the problem remains untreated so the malady worsens.
     In the wake of the moral and spiritual decline, the sudden financial disaster has become like the price mankind must pay for its spiritual neglect. It is difficult when one is travelling in the same boat as others, to escape the overpowering waves that are battering the vessel. The good as well as the bad, and the poor as well as the rich are being shaken by the global financial predicament that seems to defy the efforts of governments to resolve it. Like a stack of cards, investments of companies and individuals alike are crumbling when their support is removed or shifted.
     You may have experienced first hand or may be very concerned about experiencing the damaging brunt of the global situation in your life. In the midst of all this turmoil you could be thinking that your survival through these difficult times is what matters most to you. Perhaps because of this you no longer see the present time as presenting the opportunity to impact your environment for good, or to fulfil Yahweh’s purposes. The numbing and crippling effects of fear and anxiety can create a mental blockage that keeps you restricted within the confines of your threatening circumstances.
     You are not trapped by your situation, but by your attitude to them. Esther did what she had to do; fearless of the ultimate price she may have had to pay. Joseph moved on from the pit, slavery and prison when there was no visible reason to hope, but won the admiration of others and the prize of the second highest position in Egypt. David persevered courageously with the right respectful attitude towards Saul who sought after his life. When David had an opportunity to take Saul’s life, “he said to his men, ‘Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my master, Yahweh’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of Yahweh’,” 1 Sam 24:6. David waited patiently till his time came to be king.
     Moses, when faced with the unyielding determination of Pharaoh and the incessant opposition of a disgruntled people he was trying to help, persisted in carrying out the commands of Yahweh. The Hebrew boys stood their ground in refusing to bow to an idol, even when tossed into an overheated furnace. Daniel allowed himself to be hurled into a den of lions rather than relinquish his devotion to Yahweh.
     In all these cases there was a spectacular outcome because the heroes did not stay focused upon themselves or remain restricted by the intimidating risk. There is hardly a danger you can face that will surpass any or all of these examples. If you still think your situation is worse then try comparing yourself with Yahshua who was ridiculed by His family, betrayed, denied, disbelieved, misunderstood and abandoned by His closest friends. He was also derided, stripped, beaten, spat upon, tortured, given an unjust hearing in court, and finally ignominiously and cruelly put to death instead of a murderer, for wrongs he never committed because that was His mission. By His sacrifice and perfect example He became not just a man of His times but of all ages.
     No single person designed the whirlwind of global problems and no individual can stop it or shelter himself/herself completely from its damaging effects. Your best solution at this monumental time of history cannot be ‘self-preservation’ but faith in the only One who can still the storms of life. However, never forget the Bible has predicted, “In the last days perilous times will come,” 2 Tim 3:1. Those times cannot come without menacing, frightening and inescapable events that are similar to or far greater than those we are now witnessing. These are not the times to pull down the shutters of life and stay cocooned from the rest of the world. No shelter is secure enough in this destructive typhoon that is entrapping/will entrap the whole world.
     With an unmovable faith in Yahweh, you can be untroubled by whatever happens. Stormy winds may blow but they cannot and will not destroy a faith that is securely anchored in Yahweh. You can have ‘peace in the midst of the storms’ when Yahshua is in the vessel of your life. It is imperative that you have this faith NOW before things get worse. If you lived long enough the day could come when you would look back at the ‘good old days’ of this era. The present time may be your last opportunity to deepen the roots of your faith in Yahweh, in preparation for what lies ahead. Use this precious time wisely to become less obsessed with yourself and the cares of this world. Instead, become pre occupied with Him and His plans. Only He cannot be shaken. Only in Him you will find security. Only He can quieten the deafening noises before they penetrate your heart. “Yahweh is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah,” Ps 46:1-3.
     When you are able to meet difficulties with this attitude, you will discover an inner strength that will energize you to find and fulfil your purposes for such a time as this. This must surely have been one of the secrets behind the successes of the Bible’s heroes, “who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens… and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance … still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented…They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth,” Heb 11:33-38. These all had an unstoppable, unmoveable faith in Yahweh who had stored up for them something far more illustrious than anything they had forfeited in this life. They were not looking “at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal,” 2 Cor 4:18.
     The most difficult situations we face today are merely the outer wrappers that hide the precious treasures, which will be eternally ours after we have unwrapped each of life’s knotted parcels. Therefore it is not what you are going through now that really matters, but having the right attitude and doing what only you can do, while you head for your eternal home.
What Can You Do at This Time?
You, with your specific talents, position, resources and contacts have been called for such a time as this. You are not called to be Esther, Joseph, David, Moses, John the Baptizer, the Hebrew boys, Daniel, Abraham, Noah, Samuel, Joshua, or any of the many other stalwart Biblical examples of Yahweh’s obedient servants. They had their particular role to play in their time and have passed on. They could not have been you and you cannot be them. You are called to play your unique role today in your distinctive way by taking your stand for Yahweh, opening eyes that are blind, setting the captives free and preparing mankind for the coming day of Yahweh. “Everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more,” Luke 12:48b.
     The knowledge and gifts you have are not merely for your individual benefit, while the world is staggering and languishing like a drunkard from their intoxicating ignorance, arrogance, and deception, caused by their rejection of their Creator.
     Now is your time to be strong, bold and fearless for Yahweh’s cause and to encourage others to be the same. It is your time to speak out and warn the nations of what lies ahead. It is your duty to declare in your own way the truths of Yahweh. “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand,” Ezek 33:6. You will not want to meet your Saviour with the blood of those who you could have rescued on your hands.
     Lies are being propagated while the truth is concealed. Those who disobey Yahweh still claim to have the truth for “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,” Prov 21:2. With the truths of Yahweh being ignored or despised by the majority of this world’s inhabitants, there has never been a better time than the present, for you to declare boldly: “thus says Yahweh,” and to stand firmly for that which you know is right. You cannot afford to be silent. There is no point in praying “Your kingdom come, your will be done” (Matt 6:10) and then hide your light. Darkness is simply the absence of light. The world is dark because the lights of truth are not shining where they ought, but instead are lighting up the meeting halls of religious clubs where they are superfluous and least effective. It is time to vacate the cloistered, whitewashed and ineffective sepulchres of organized religions that conceal the darkness and rottenness within them, and instead go forth in resurrection power, as shining representatives of the true Light, dispelling darkness by your message and example. You are in no position to speak of the evil that is in the world if all you do is support and meet in your weekly, cozy, socioreligious friendly society. Yahshua said He did not come to call the righteous but sinners. Now is your time to show to sinners the narrow way that will leads to eternal life.
     No one had a choice in the timing of his/her birth and no person is totally to blame for all that is happening on our planet today. Nevertheless we all enter upon the stage of life with the opportunity to make an impact for good, and to please our heavenly Father. You are not here to make yourself comfortable or to set up permanent residence in this old and tattered globe. You are here to prepare yourself and others to meet Yahweh. This is your day to be “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of Yahweh; Make His paths straight’,” Mark 1:3.
Yahshua repeatedly said that His purpose was to do the will of the Father who sent Him. He lived by this motto throughout His lifetime, and so provided a model for us to follow.
     All of the Bible’s heroes who dramatically impacted the times in which they lived, did so because their first priority was certainly not fame or comfort, but simply to please Yahweh. You will not be effective in meeting the challenges of your times, until you have put self-interest to death and you are energized and motivated by the one goal of pleasing your Heavenly Father at all times. Now is your moment to take on the Yah-centred attitude, which was characteristic of the outstanding personalities in Biblical times, and to be used powerfully by Yahweh in the way He chooses. Only one agenda is paramount, and that is Yahweh’s. Pleasing yourself cannot be an option as you draw nearer to the time when you shall meet your Saviour face to face.
     William Penn wrote: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
     Only you can make the deliberate and consistent effort to do what you know is right. Only you, with Yahweh’s help, can effectively carry out your specific mission for the times in which you live. Only you can defer or neglect to carry out your particular responsibility.
     Like the seasons, the times and circumstances will change to usher in the next stage. You do not know what will be the ensuing phase or where you will be. You only have the present. Use it carefully and prayerfully. Seek at all times to obey Yahweh. Look to Him for guidance, and have a steadfast faith in Him as His servants of old had done. At every step He will reveal to you your specific duties and purposes, as He did to those before you. Faithfully follow His lead for it will bring you to the next juncture where He will unfold to you even more of the part you must play. Do not run ahead of Him, or run away from Him. Stay close to Him and continue to do His will. Yield yourself fully to Him as His human instrument, and He will use you in ways you had never expected.
     You may be unsure of the particular task Yahweh requires of you, but you can be certain that there is much work for everyone in His harvest field. “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35) Do not shirk your work by claiming you do not know what you must do. Look up to Yahweh, and then out at the fields at the evil and ignorance in your society. Search the motives and attitudes of your heart. Prayerfully consider what you can do to take your firm stand in obedience and allegiance to Yahweh. Then with the assurance of the work you must do, and Yahweh’s unfailing help, confidently face the task. Do not run from it. Grasp it. The time to act decisively is NOW! You are the unique person with a distinctive and irreplaceable assignment from Yahweh “for such a time as this.” Do not defer or neglect to do what He requires of you NOW, “for [you] shall not pass this way again.”
-Elder Buel Hallpike

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