Thursday, February 03, 2011
The Vision (2/3/11): "And the LORD shall be known to Egypt..."
Isaiah 19:21: “And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.”
Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Political unrest in Egypt is dominating the headlines this week. Last Sunday we prayed for the Lord to bend these circumstances to his glory. We can continue to pray, in particular, for the evangelical Christian community (no matter how small) in that nation. No man knows how the Lord will use these circumstances. As the Lord says in the prophet Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (vv. 8-9).
I remember in my youth in the early 1980 that a young Iranian man began to attend the church to which I belonged. When the Iranian revolution took place in 1979 he had been a student in the US. Due to his family’s connections with the government he had stayed in the US rather than return home. I am not sure whether this young man ever became a believer, but it was clear that the Lord had used the unrest in his homeland to change his life and lead him to ask spiritual questions that he otherwise might not have asked. Whatever happens in Egypt will there be spiritual openings that will emerge.
From our limited human perspective we are never fully aware of how God is at work. In his little book, All Things for Good, which reflects on Romans 8:28, Thomas Watson notes that God not only works the best things for good to the godly, but also the worst! Watson observes: “God makes the saints’ maladies their medicines.”
We can always trust that God will sovereignly use all things to his glory and to the saints’ good. We can remember this when we see or read about scenes of unrest in Egypt and among the nations. We can also remember this when we face our own trials and afflictions.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
Note: Praise God that we had a second consecutive month of being “in the black” with our CRBC finances (see report inside this Vision).