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Help From Above,


MARCH 14, 2019

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Theme:   Help From Above, Ps. 121:1-2

 

Man is certainly in need of help. He is dependent on his environment, whatever atheists may say. Indeed some of these godless people recant in the face of death when their total and irreversible helplessness hits them in the face, Ps. 14:1. So for the vast majority of people living in various communities worldwide some kind of god or another, provides them a support-base- at least so they believe.  In ancient Israel it was the Living God, or one of those gods, the most prominent of which was Baal, I Kings 18:21-22.

 

In the contest that followed Baal and his prophets lost out woefully and so did those who depended on it. The Living God proved Himself not just as the source and author of life but also as a consuming fire, I Kings 18:25-40, Heb. 12:29. Those who depend on false gods and their prophets are on their own. But those who earnestly seek the help of the Christian God will not be disappointed.

 

However it is not just in ancient Israel that there were gods. They have existed all over the world, and still do, even in our time, though there is no life in them.  Yet Satan regularly expresses himself through their priests, I Sam. 28:7-14.

 

So why do men seek help from wherever they can get it?  One major reason is human weakness or insufficiency, what Paul the Apostle describes as the problems that are “common to man…” I Cor. 10:13.

 

1.       Poverty. One such challenge is poverty which ravages individuals and communities, Deut. 15:11. The most problematic variety is the inherited type which limits the horizon of the victims.  Any offer of help, from false priests and false prophets, are readily accepted even though it might ultimately worsen their situation.

 

However when God is the source of help there is dramatic improvement in the spiritual and material condition of the people. God raised help for Elijah using the poor and hungry Widow of Zarepath. For agreeing to share her last meal with the prophet, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, God gave her a double miracle, I Kings 17:8-24. Similarly a widow of one of the sons of the prophets, who was poor and in debt, received divine help, when it was certain that her two sons would otherwise be taken into slavery, by the creditors, 2 Kings 4:1-7.

 

2.       Barrenness.  It is the desire of most married couples to have children.  Africans, in particular, expect to reproduce themselves and thus delays in child bearing is considered a curse much like the biblical Jews, I Sam. 1:5.  Sarah like the traditional Yoruba women of Nigeria, even proposed to her husband the adoption of a second wife, to allow for the emergence of children she could call her own although this led to unforeseen problems, Gen. 16:1-6, Gen. 30:1-5. For many families, then and now, barrenness was a source of deep sorrow, especially for the wife and, very often, a recourse to external help – to the god of fertility or the divine, I Sam. 1:5-11, 19&20.

 

3.       Incurable Disease.  Certain types of disease are still beyond the realm of scientific knowledge and skills. The Woman with the Issue of Blood would certainly have bled to death if she had not obtained help from Jesus, Matt. 9:20-22. Blind Bartimeaus was a well-known beggar and he would have remained a begger for life if Jesus had not attended to him. The fact is that blindness, in his day, was not treatable at all.

  

4.       Satanic Oppression.  The woman that Jesus released from satanic slavery most probably never knew the source of her long-term ailment, which would have left her crippled for life if Jesus, the helper of the helpless, had not intervened, Luke 13:10-13. On the other hand if the ruler of the synagogue had not rebuked Jesus, for breaking the law of the Sabbath, neither the woman nor the rest of us, would have known that satan was the author of her affliction Luke 13:15&16.

 

From the foregoing it is clear that help is available to those who need it, above or below. You can receive help from other people either because they have a giving-heart or they too expect to get from you when they are in need. Even then human help is limited, Ps. 60:11. 

 

Satan also offers help to those who patronize him – people who seek power, position or wealth although, in the end, life for them ends in misery, Job. 21:7-17. 

 

But divine help is honest and true. When Jesus says “Ask and it shall be given to you….” He means what He says, Matt. 7:7. Very often, though, divine help is not unconditional. You cannot serve God and mammon and yet expect God to come to your aid when you need Him, Lk. 16:13. That will not happen.  But He is more than generous to those who obey and serve Him. Gen. 22:15-18.

 

 

 


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