Help in Time of Trouble

I’m always encouraged and get inspiration when I read about the kings of Judah and Israel. They were real people dealing with the role of leadership and ruling over their people. One theme that runs through all their history is that when a king turned to God in time of trouble or war when their enemies were coming up against their nation, God always came to their aid and delivered them.  I want to give you some references to prayers and victories that God worked for them.

Solomon built the temple and prayed to dedicate it. Here is how he began his prayer.

He knelt down and lifted his hands towards heaven.
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all heaven and earth. You keep your promises and show unfailing love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will.
May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭6:20-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Solomon’s grandson, Abijah went out to war against Jeroboam who had twice the number of fighting men that Abijah had. Abijah declared to Jeroboam and his army,
The Lord is our God and we have not abandoned him. We are following the instructions of the Lord our God but you have abandoned him. So you see God is with us. He is our leader. Oh people of Israel do not fight against the Lord the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.

His priests blew their trumpets and went to battle against Jereboam and his army. At the sound of the their battle cry God defeated Jereboam and the Israel army. Three quarters of Jereboams army fell before King Abijah.  2 Chronicles 13

King Asa, Abijah’s son reigned after him. An Ethiopian army of one million men came to attack King Asa and his people. Asa had only half the number of soldiers that the invading army had. As a cried out to the Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty. Help us oh Lord our God for we trust in you alone. It is your name we have come against this vast horde. Oh Lord you are our God do not let mere men prevail against you. So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians. They were destroyed by the Lord and his army.  2Chronicles 14

These are some examples of the King’s prayers and how God helped them against their enemies. Many other Kings in Israel did not call on the name of the Lord. A prophet warmed them, “The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him. Whenever you seek him you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.”

God is the same God today, yesterday and tomorrow. There is still no other God like him in heaven and in earth. If one seeks him he will find him. God will come to those who call upon him and help him in time of trouble. I recommended you my reader, no matter if you are on the furthest part of the world, God is there for you to call upon to help you today.

The Fig Tree’s Fruit is Sweet

I live in Northern Ireland where the weather is not extreme.  Our winter is mild and our summer is not too hot.  When I travel to warmer climates it takes time for me to adjust.  It is true the saying, “there is no place like home.”

Given that, I do enjoy going on holiday to the sun for a week or two in the year.  My body gets comforted by the rays of warmth on my back.  Then a quick dip in the sea or pool to cool off.  I do believe I get healing when I come to Greece.  The sun is much brighter there.  In the scripture it says ”   The sun will be seven times brighter when I heal the wounds of my people.”  Isaiah 30 v 26

This is my beauty treatment for the year.

When I go to the Mediteranean countries the stories from the bible come alive.
In Greece I have seen families sitting outside their white washed houses, eating, talking and relaxing under a veranda frame with a grape vine covering it.

The vine can grow up quickly.   It’s tendrils shoot out leaves in many directions so it can cover a large area.  The broad leaves make a green canopy to give shelter from the sun.
Fig trees can be trained along a frame as well.  Their broad leathery leaves protect and shelter from the strong sun’s rays.

The fig tree however takes years to grow.
Here is a fig tree I took a picture of recently.
image

 

Neither of these plants wither in the harshest heat.  An added benefit to the householder is the sweet fruit both plants produce.

The fig tree and the vine are symbols of peace.
It is God’s will that man has a home and lives in peace and not war.
The scriptures tell us about the harmony of man benefitting from the plants.
Solomon is know as a wise king.
During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭4‬:‭25‬ NIV)

There was peace. Another scripture says,

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. (‭Micah‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV)

In times of war, houses are demolished and trees destroyed.  No more days of peaceful family times.
Often families can be in turmoil and war internally.  No more happy times eating together and sharing.  The vine tree is left unattended and the fig tree not pruned.

But God gives hope when there is no hope as we trust and praise him.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

Even in the darkest times of war from without and from within God promises restoration.