The LORD severely oppressed the people of Ashdod, terrorizing and afflicting the people of Ashdod and its territory with tumors. – 1 Samuel 5:6
Do you have now or have you ever had a big brother? I had one and I loved him, but for many years he made my life … how shall I put it … difficult. He was MUCH bigger than me and many times used that size difference to his advantage. It was almost like it was his J-O-B … :-). On the other hand, in many ways I wanted to be like him and I still miss him today.
Did he love me? Absolutely. One time an older boy was picking on me and my broter came to my rescue, decisively repulsing the bully. You see, it was okay for my brother to give me a hard time, but NO ONE ELSE BETTER TRY! Never mind the fact that I seem to remember starting the fight. (Yeah, I didn’t tell him that until later.)
God, like a “big brother” would at times allow Israel to be oppressed by her enemies, but He usually ended up bringing punishment on the oppressor (as with the Philistines above). And, in the same way, He may even allow you to be oppressed by the enemy, but if you love His Son, He will eventually come to your rescue.
Sometimes we deserve the punishment we receive, but God sees everything and will judge each action … and each “actor” … ultimately defending His own.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. – Solomon
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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