THERE IS HOPE!
“And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel,
one of the sons of Elam,
answered and said unto Ezra,
We have trespassed against our God,
and have taken strange wives
of the people of the land:
yet now there is hope in Israel
concerning this thing.”
Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened to Israel throughout their history are written for our admonition and learning. Human nature does not change but the good news is neither does our God! We read here that Israel was subjected to the judgments of God and taken captive in a strange land. The temple and the Holy things of the temple had been taken and as time went on they began to CONFORM and become integrated WITH the people among whom they lived. God in His mercy began to stir the hearts of some with strong prophetic words and powerful unction to a rebuilding and restoration of the people to His Glory. Whenever God begins to move in the face of His peoples’ failure the call to repentance is ALWAYS coupled with the power of HOPE. Hope is more than just a faint intellectual concept; hope is a power that enables men and women to respond to the call of God. In spite of tremendous failure hope gives the assurance of God’s forgiveness as a response to those whose hearts have responded to the call of God. It is inconsequential how deep and how complete the apostasy, how indoctrinated the people of God have become by a dead religion, how infiltrated by the world the church has become; the message of the hour is THERE IS HOPE. The “strange wives”* spoken of here speak spiritually of God’s people embracing worldly ways, of deep affections with the world and the things of the world around them, and covenants of compromise personally and corporately. In response to the prophetic word of God we see the sons of Elam responding BECAUSE there was a hope ministered into their hearts! These men RESPONDED…
let us make a covenant with our God
to put away all the wives,
and such as are born of them,
according to the counsel of my lord,
and of those that tremble
at the commandment of our God;
and let it be done…”
True repentance is fueled by a living hope in the God of mercy and truth. Shechaniah responds “yet NOW THERE IS HOPE”! There is hope in spite of what we see. There is hope that pulsates within the darkness and confines of a religious system that functions like any other worldly corporation. There is hope even as in Jesus’ day of the money changers being expelled from the very temple of God. There is hope against the religious pride of men who have taken the ministrations of God and made them positions of a hierarchy. There is hope for the people of God for whom words like “victory” and “overcoming” have been replaced by a gospel that tells them this is as good as it gets. There is hope for the church that has been divided by the strivings of men to propagate their own “church” and “ministry” over that of another. There is hope that the LOVE of God can invade our carnal hearts to such an overwhelming extent that even the world will have to declare this love is beyond all human origin.
Let us embrace the power of this HOPE calling us to respond to HIM regardless of the failures and hopelessness of our situations. Let those who have been defeated, backslidden, and faithless hear the call of HOPE arising in their hearts and join themselves to others who by faith are arising in this hour; for such is the response of Shechaniah…
for this matter belongeth unto thee:
we also will be with thee:
be of good courage, and do it.
Then arose Ezra,
and made the chief priests,
the Levites, and all Israel,
to swear that they should do
according to this word”
Hope is the anchor
That holds us in our plight
Hope is the womb
That births fresh life
Hope is the beacon
That shines in the darkest night!
*NOTE: Articles on this to follow
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