THE COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES
Every time we pick up our newspapers, or listen to the
radio and watch television, we hear of wars and rumors of wars. There is rioting
in Africa and Asia, Cuba and South America. Murder, rape and violence of all
kinds is rampant everywhere, even in our own country. After hearing of the
conditions in the world today, I think it would be comforting to hear what the
scriptures have to say about all these things. In Romans 15:4 we read,
"For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our
learning, that we through patience and the comfort of the scriptures might have
As one writer expressed it, "For most of the time
comfort is a soft, sleek, stroking word. But not always! Not always for the
scriptures. Comfort is no softling. The word itself is like a strong man armed.
Comfort, fort, fortify, fortitude." In other words strength, nothing soft
"Fortitude to see unflinchingly;
Strength to stand unwaveringly
Not a lullaby, but a trumpet call."
The Moffatt translation of the Bible, which I will be
quoting from, translates Isaiah 44:8 as follows. "Fear nothing;
dread not in the days to come: Have not I foretold it and announced it long
ago?" Most of us have a deep sense of needing this prophetic comfort and
fortitude today. We need to know what has been written about the days in which
we live, so we have the patience and comfort that we need.
In purifying metals, they are melted at great heat. The
impurities rise to the top and can be skimmed off, leaving the metals below; we
find the same idea in Psalm 92:7. "When the wicked spring as the
grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish it is that they shall be
destroyed forever." The apparent triumph of wickedness is just the scum
rising to the top to be skimmed off.
Nearly all of our major troubles today were caused by the
mistakes of our national leaders, who have helped our enemies into positions of
power instead of restraining them while they were still weak. The Bible has a
great deal to say about this. For example Isaiah 9:16 says, "For the
leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are
destroyed." Isaiah 3:12 tells us, "Your leaders are
misleading you My people, they are effacing the true path for you." Micah
3:1 reads, "Listen now, leaders of Jacob, judges over the house of
Israel, you haters of right and lovers of wrong, is not a sense of justice due
Hosea 4:6 tells us, "My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge." The word used here for destroyed is damah
(daw-maw), meaning to be brought to silence, or be undone. In other words,
ineffective. There is no strong word to say, in the midst of confusion around
them, they cannot dispel it, they can only share it.
Some of the ways we have been led astray are as follows.
Often in the Bible Ephriam is mentioned when it means the ten tribes of Israel.
In Hosea 7:8-9 we find this very interesting comment. "Ephriam
allows himself to be mixed up with foreigners, foreigners eat away his strength,
unknown to him." We have been given plenty of warning not to help our
enemies. For example, "Give not thine honor to another, nor the things that
are profitable unto thee to a strange nation." Strange here means foreign. Baruch
4:3 and Ecclesiastes 12:5 instructs us, "Do well unto him that
is lowly, but give not to the ungodly: hold back thy bread, and
give it not unto him, lest he overmaster thee thereby: Else thou shalt receive
twice as much evil for all the good thou shalt have done unto him." Deuteronomy
23:6 also tells us, "Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their
prosperity, all thy days forever."
Because we are giving to all our enemies all over the
world, the prophet Haggai describes our condition perfectly. Haggai 1:6
records, "He that earneth wages earneth wages for a bag with holes."
You pay income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and all of the hidden taxes.
I believe somebody figured 26 different taxes on a loaf of bread. After all
these taxes, you probably feel as though you had put your wages into a bag with
Some are quite concerned about the division among our
people. Instead of fearing the division of our nation into opposing groups,
divided on points of moral principles, recognize it as the hand of Yahweh
separating His own from His enemies. It is recorded in Luke 12:51 what
Yahshua said about this. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth?
I tell you, nay, but rather division."
Matthew 13:41-43 promises, "The Son of man
shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things
that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of
fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ear to hear, let
Psalm 37:34 continues, "Wait on Yahweh and
keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are
cut off, thou shalt see it." Isaiah 26:10 adds, "But evil men
who even in a good land will not learn to be good, they cease to be; the wicked
shall be swept away, and the Eternal's majesty they shall not see."
Without fear, be ready to stand firmly for the right as
Yahweh shows it to you, your prayers for His instructions will be answered. For
example Psalm 25:12 reads, "Whosoever reverences the Eternal, learns
what is the right course to take." II Esdras states, "Be ye not
afraid, neither doubt: for Yahweh is your guide."
Psalm 32:6-8 continues, "So let each loyal
heart in trouble pray to thee: The floods may roar, but they will never reach
him, for thou wilt be his shelter, safe guarding him in peril; surrounding him
with aid. I will instruct you and teach you what is the road to take; I will
give you counsel, O humble soul." Psalm 94:12-13 adds, "Happy
is he who has thy discipline and thine instruction, training him calmly to wait
on, in adversity, till a pit is dug for the ungodly."
Danger? Of course there is, but when were we ever free
from it? Yahweh promises His help will bring us safely through all these
dangers. Isaiah 43:1-2 says, "But now, the Eternal promises, He who
created you, O Jacob, He who made you, O Israel, fear not for I will redeem
you, I claim you, you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through
waters, no river shall overflow you; when you pass through fire, you shall not
be scorched, no flame shall burn you."
Psalm 118:6-7 tells us, "The Eternal is upon
my side; I have no fear. What can man do to me? I have the Eternal as my helper;
so I shall feast mine eyes on my defeated foes." In Psalm 37:10-13,
18-19 we read, "A little longer, and the godless will be gone; look in
his haunts, and he is there no more! The land will be left to the humble, to
enjoy plenteous prosperity. The godless man makes plots against the good,
gnashing his teeth at them; but the Eternal laughs at him, knowing his doom is
near. The fortunes of the upright are the Eternal's care, and their possessions
last forever; in a calamity they keep their share, in famine they have
When we look over the conditions in the world today, we
see the wicked spring as the grass, foreigners steal our strength, and our wages
go into a bag with holes. Our leaders are largely to blame for these conditions.
But we must be fearless, for we know that evil men will be separated from the
just and we will be given instructions and kept safely through the troubles
ahead. There are many more scriptures along this line to give us prophetic
comfort and fortitude today.