“What was your mother? A lioness among lions. She lay down among young lions. She reared her cubs. When she brought up one of her cubs, He became a lion.” (19:2)
This is a picture of Israel in her former days. A strong, powerful mother to many young lions. Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah…many young lions who embraced their heritage of honoring the Lord God as their king.
What happened? We can look around today and see the same things.
When people begin to have a “spirit of familiarity,” they don’t honor what they have. They take it for granted.
Have you ever seen cows grazing in a pasture? If not, let me share some interesting lessons to be learned. If you watch them long enough, you will see a few go over to the fence, stick the tips of their noses through, and graze “on the other side of the fence.” (This is where we get the phrase, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.”)
You can scan the pasture and readily see that the greenest grass is within the fence, but these cows don’t seem to appreciate it. They like the “other side” better.
That same spirit is here in our modern society when it comes to those who have been brought up in Christianity. A rebellious spirit can rise up and cause people to think that the “grass is greener somewhere else.”
When we look at humans instead of cows, this plays out in people wanting to look to other religions instead of their own. There are so many out there. Could they all be wrong?
The answer is “Yes, they can all be wrong.” There is only one God and only one way to Him.
There is only One who paid the price for their sins. There is only One who cleanses us, forgives us, heals us, and empowers us with His Spirit actually living within us. There is only One who arose from the dead. Jesus is the only One.
When we look at Israel in the time of Ezekiel, the Jews were looking on the other side of the fence and they saw many cults around. Surely they couldn’t all be wrong. Yes, they could. There was only One God. Jesus hadn’t yet come, but God was laying the groundwork to bring Him to the earth. He was developing His people to receive Him into their heritage and help to save the world.
If they would just listen and remain faithful.
We could learn a lot from Israel.
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (V.16)
This is a verse to keep in mind when we are praying – especially when we have a crisis before us.
James compares us to Elijah. He prayed and the rain stopped in his land for three years. Then he prayed again and the rain started back. Powerful!
Do you think that your prayers can accomplish that much? James says that they can.
One difference between Elijah and us is that Elijah believed his prayers would be answered. Do you remember the story about his prayer for rain to return?
First he “heard” the sound of rain. (In his heart he knew that it was time). Then he went up on the mountain, put his head between his knees, and began to pray. He told his servant to go and check to see if he saw any signs of rain, but the servant saw none.
He then sent the servant seven times, as he was praying, to check for rain. Finally, the servant returned saying that there was a cloud the size of a man’s hand.
It was here! Elijah then told the servant to run and tell Ahab to run for cover because torrents were on their way. And that is exactly what happened.
Elijah knew what he was praying for and he knew that it was time. So he refused to give up until he saw the rain.
Our prayers too can avail much if we press into what God wants us to. We can hear by the spirit what he wants us to pray for – and we can push forth in faith and patience to receive.
Are you wanting awakening in your family? In your country? In the world? You know that it is God’s will and it is definitely time. Pray and don’t stop until you see your answer.
You are a righteous man, and your prayers can avail much.