Moment in the Word

Numbers 9:17-18 - And when the cloud went up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel departed; and in whatever place the cloud rested, there the children of Israel encamped. The children of Israel shall encamp by the command of the Lord, and by the command of the Lord they shall remove... (Brenton's 1851 Greek Septuagint )
After being freed from Egypt's bondage, Israel followed Moses through the wilderness of Sinai as he was led by the Almighty. When the Glorious Presence raised from off the Tabernacle, the people marched. But when the Divine Cloud settled above the Tent of Assembly, the multitude rested in that place. Either way, the nation carefully watched God and quickly responded to His movements. But in time, apathy arose and Israel became lethargic, signaling future episodes of reoccurring enslavement.
Prior to Rome's destruction of Palestine, Jesus criticized His audience for the very same reason, "To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, 'We played wedding songs, and you didn't dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn't mourn.'" Matthew 11:16-17 - If God did not move in ways the people selfishly prescribed, then they refused to cooperate with His plan. Consequently, Jesus focused on the tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes to receive His Gospel and was immediately hated by the religious elite.
Closer to home, I am amazed today at the number of "good church folk" who suspiciously deride the current revival at Kentucky's Asbury Chapel. For their own biased reasons, they undermine the possibility that the "move of God's Spirit" might grow into anything more than a localized fluke! Thus, I must ask, "Who do we disallow from possibly associating with God? What games do we play to prevent national renewal?"
Sadly, the unspoken answer goes something like this, "The revival didn't begin at my church or in my denomination first, so the event doesn't count... God is not moving today like He moved during my childhood or among the approved people that I exclusively allow, so the spiritual restoration is disannulled, aborted, stillborn from the beginning."
Much like ancient Israel, in the moment of our greatest need, we equivocate and stall. Similarly, St. Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, but Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you." Acts 24:25 However, another opportunity never came for Felix after he missed his one chance.
Likewise, time for us is running out. God is moving away from our encampment, but we still linger in our self-righteous tents of denial.
A week before His crucifixion, Jesus drew near the city of Jerusalem and wept over it, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation." Luke 19:41-44 - Ironically, Christ just as easily could have been talking to us!
While China waits to scavenge the broken pieces, America is on the verge of nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine just as Israel teetered on the edge of the Diaspora when Titus marched to destroy both Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. But now as then, the people have no clue, although the signs of apocalypse are clearly visible!
Despite our chronic reticence, God pleads, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
If America is ever going to benefit from 2 Chronicles 7:14, we must abandon all our ridiculous religious games and respond to God's call NOW because His Holy Spirit is quickly moving away!
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
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