“If you respect God but do not fear Him, you will consider His commandments negotiable.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” Jeremiah 14:12
With the possible exception of a short time during the reign of Solomon, Israel’s history in the Bible consists of perpetual war. The nation’s wealth and manpower were constantly depleted in senseless battles. Some battles were waged to obtain what God promised, others to discipline Israel for her sin. War was a way of life for the people of God. “And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul.”190
The Psalmist declares, “You broke open springs and torrents; You dried up ever¬ flowing streams.”191 Each year the world loses a large portion of its wealth to what people call “natural disasters.” The writers of Scripture see the hand of Providence behind such events.
In the Garden of Eden man declared his independence from God. The antidote for man’s thirst for autonomy was, “cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;” and for the woman, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.” 192 Israel was never more dependent upon or closer to God, than when either at war, occupied by the enemy, or in the midst of a natural disaster such as famine.
Pain and opposition detract you from your natural inclination to pursue autonomy. God has created you in such a way that you will seek to avoid pain, but God will bring into your life that measure of pain He deems necessary to “conform you into the image of His Son.”193 For this reason your worldly comfort will always be negotiable to your Heavenly Father, as He does His work in you.
190 I Samuel 14:52
2 Samuel 19-20 Luke 18:1-23 (New King James Version)
David Returns to Jerusalem
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