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The camp fire crackled as I stared at his face illuminated by the orange glow of dying embers. I had never seen this courageous warrior with such concern on his face. I could see the fear in his eyes.

“I tell you, they’re coming for us!” He exclaimed.

“So let ‘em come,” I snapped back. “We can defeat them.”

“No!” He snapped back, grabbing my hand and staring intensely at me. “You don’t understand. God is on their side.”

“So they have a god behind them. So what? Everyone has their own beliefs. I believe we are tougher than them.”

“Listen to me! Their Lord God is in heaven above and on the earth below!”

“Okay, so?”

“Haven’t you heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea when they came out of Egypt? How he completely destroyed Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan?”

“Those are just rumors, scare tactics.”

“Believe what you want, but our turn is coming. I don’t think we’ll escape their judgement.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Word has it that the Israelites sent spies to survey our land. Someone spotted them leaving when the city gate was closed.”

“You keep talking like that and you’ll make the men lose courage. Their hearts will melt in fear.”

“So, if you don’t fear this God of theirs, what will you do when they are standing at our gate? When they’re here to decide your fate.”

I stared at him silent for a moment. His words made me uneasy, but I didn’t want to give even a hint that I was concerned. “Well, until that day comes, I don’t believe this God is all powerful.”

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of two soldiers under the service of the king of Jericho, based on Joshua 2:1-11 (NIV).

© 2019 CGThelen

I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel. It always amazes how when God sends a prophet to warn the Israelites of coming judgement for their disobedience, they do not heed the Word of the Lord and mock the prophets. My focus on these books of prophesy has usually been on the evil people who have abandoned God’s law for vile acts. But Ezekiel 9:4 caught my attention as I read: “…Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it (NIV).”

Throughout the history of humanity, there has been no shortage of “detestable things that are done.”The same is true today. But I wonder how many of us followers of Jesus “grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done” in the world today. Do we have a heart for God that runs so deep in our soul that we mourn for those who deny God, who reject Jesus. I confess that I often get annoyed or even angry at people who ridicule my faith in Christ or publicly mock God.

To grieve and lament is to feel sorrow, to mourn the impending loss of these souls. It is not just about being saved, about being marked as righteous by God, but also about a desire to bring that salvation to those who are facing destruction. As believers in Christ Jesus, God has anointed us, just as he anointed Ezekiel, to bring the Word of the Lord to the lost. He has placed specific people in our life who need to hear the gospel message. May our heart reflect the love of God; may our prayers be filled with lament and grief for those who reject God as well as a deep desire for them to know the joy of the Lord.

© 2019 CGThelen

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