Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Revelations 12 (Part 3) Preview

By Odon Bulamba (5th May 2006)

Before talking about Revelations 12....

1. When you are afraid, worship God

Before carrying on with the book of Revelation chapter 12, I have something very simple to read you and I’d like you to answer my question, if you can.

The Bible tells us that Jesus’ disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Which water was that? The Sea of Galilee. And it also says that, when his disciples saw Him walking on the water, they worshipped Him.

Mark 6:51-52.

“Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”

Their hearts were hardened. But if we turn to Matthew 14:33, we will find a different story. “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Amen. So when they saw Jesus walking on the water, some of Jesus’ disciples were afraid because they thought He was a ghost and because they had hardened their hearts, while others worshipped Him. Is it possible, when you are crossing a situation in which you fear, to worship? Can you really worship when you are afraid? Can you? It is hard, but some people do and it is a good weapon we are supposed to use. When you cross a hard situation, worship, and victory will follow. But if, when you cross a hard situation, you think, ‘Where will the solution come from?’ you will easily forget about God.

2. The example of Daniel’s friends

In the Bible, there is a good example of men who worshipped God while crossing an extreme situation. When Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the blazing furnace, they worshipped. Could you really do that? Maybe I’ll cry or scream. But while they were in this fire, they started to worship and finally, they were delivered from it. Can you give me another example from the Bible of someone who was in a trial, who was full of fear and who worshipped God?

- Paul & Silas. When they were in prison, instead of crying, they praised the Lord and sang songs to God.

Amen. This is good example; Paul and Silas were in prison where they couldn’t do much. Moreover, as you may know, there are rules in prison, for instance you must stop talking and go to sleep early, but it was a good time for them to sing and worship God. While they were praising the Lord, suddenly the prison doors opened and they were freed. The amazing thing in this story is that, when the government of that time discovered that Paul and Silas had escaped, they didn’t tell the authorities ‘Go and arrest them’. Imagine, if here, in New Zealand, someone escaped from jail, what would the police do? They would search for the fugitive, arrest him and bring him back to jail. But in this case, they didn’t bring them back, and the same thing happened to Daniel, and his friends. Therefore, we can learn from these two examples that when God delivers someone from a tribulation, that is it, nobody can take him back to it.

Give me another example.
- Jonah, inside the whale, cried out to God and God delivered him.
Yes. Thank you and the Bible is full of examples which teach us that whenever we are crossing a hard situation and we fear, we have to worship. Imagine Ange was a monster, and you see her coming and when she is close to you, you see that she is not a monster but she is Ange. Would you have the courage to worship in front of her? I think you’ll start to doubt and every second, you’ll open an eye and close the other one, thinking, ‘Is she a monster or a human being?’ Now, Christ’s disciples were crossing the same situation, they were afraid of Jesus, but in the end, they worshipped him.

3. Did Joseph (the father of Jesus) go to Egypt after or before going to the temple in Jerusalem?

When Joseph fled with Jesus, Jesus was still a baby. He went to Egypt and the Bible says that it was a time during which someone wanted to kill all the Hebrew baby boys. Who was that? Herod? Who was Herod? The king. Of what kingdom? Judea, Rome.

During that time where was Pharaoh? In Egypt. The Bible tells us in Matthew 2:13 that Joseph carried baby Jesus to Egypt,

“When (the Magi) had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."”

But in Luke 2: 21, it says that Jesus was taken to the temple in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:21-24, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.  When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons”.

How could Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus have gone to the temple in Jerusalem if they were in Egypt? Did they run from to Egypt to Jerusalem, knowing that Herod controlled the city, and wanted to kill the baby boys? What do you think about that?

- They run to Egypt after going to Jerusalem?
- Herod killed all the baby boys under 3?
- It was after Herod realised the wise men didn’t come back to him that he became angry?

And where did Joseph leave from? Jerusalem or Bethlehem? I will tell you the answer later on. Thank you so much for your contribution.

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