"Because thou hast said, These two nations, and these two countries, shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the Lord was there." – Ezekiel xxxv. 10.
Ah, the enemy rejoiced at the desolations of Zion, he saw that she was now weak and defenseless. All that passed by the way did pluck her. (Psalms lxxx. 12.) Yes, she looked to be an easy prey to the ravening foe, who thought all he had to do was to invade the land, enter her palaces, (Micah v. 5,) and hold everything in everlasting possession. There was one thing that did not enter into their counsel: "The Lord was there." Ah, poor, sin-stricken, tempted, afflicted, chastened child of God, though all the delightsome land to thee lieth waste, and thou art bereaved of all thy pleasant things, (Lam. i, 7,) though thou art weak, and Satan's messengers sorely buffet thee, (2 Cor. xii. 7,) though thy heart is sighing over thy wretchedness and spiritual destitution, and thy tears are upon thy cheeks, thus saith the Lord, "Yet will I not forget thee." – Isaiah xlix: 15. He will not utterly forsake thee; though he hath spoken against thee and chastened thee sore, he hath not given thee over unto death. (Psalms cxviii, 18.) He earnestly remembers thee still, he will surely have mercy upon thee. (Jer. Xxxi. 20.) Ah, but you say, I am so foolish, the Lord knoweth my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from him. (Psalms 12cv. 5.) My forgetfulness, ingratitude and perverse worldliness have procured all this desolation and famine that is upon me. (Jer. ii. 17.) Ah, yes, my chastened soul well knows that not without cause (Ezek. xiv. 23.) has the Lord suffered all these evils to befall me. O my soul is cast down within me, and the enemy mocketh my soul, "saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him." – Psalms lxxi. 11. O thou afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted, when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah lix. 19.) O yes, the stricken, smitten, chastened child of God shall know that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, and that Emmanuel's obedience is her justifying beauty in the eyes of her Lord, and that in his covenant faithfulness he will redeem his people from all adversities. He will in due time arise and have mercy upon Zion, and thoroughly plead her cause. (Jer. i, 34.) He will, in the set time (Psalms cii. 13.) say to the invading, spoiling, devastating foe, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther. The invading powers of darkness shall be turned back; yes, poor, desolate, chastened child, thy God hath not left thee; though as an overflowing scourge, as a mighty flood thy foes, the world, the flesh and the devil, thine unbelief, sore trial and the powers of darkness have made havoc of thy life before God, the Lord will help thee, and that right early, and in his help and salvation thou shalt arise from the dust and put on thy beautiful garments, thou shalt again "be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry." – Jer. xxxi. 4. And the name of the city from that day shall be, "The Lord is there [Jehovah-Shammah]." – Ezek. xlviii. 35.
Frederick W. Keene
North Berwick, Maine.
Signs of the Times
Republished – Vol. 166, No. 4 – April 1998