“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.” (Numbers 24:17, NKJV)
Greed has led to the demise of many from ages past and is even more evident today. Balaam declared his oracle as from “…the man whose eyes are open”…”and has knowledge of the Most High” yet his love of money was far more influential than his knowledge of the Most High. The corrupting influence of gain is behind almost any betrayal and is borne out in the label “sellout”!
Self interest has caused many of us to develop a level of shortsightedness that robs us of the promises of God. We focus so much on today and tomorrow that we throw prophecy out the window and explain away everything as it best suits us. It is no wonder that so many desperately seek God only when they know there time is short. But how many of us get that chance? Who among us know what lies ahead and whether tomorrow is guaranteed?
Balaam declared that his eyes were open but he was evidently seeing the prospect of making a profit more clearly than he saw God. He declared that he had knowledge of the Most High but did he only know about God? For God declared that we should “seek good and not evil.” (Amos 5:14a)
Balaam spoke the words God told him to. He inquired of God and God responded to him but that wasn’t enough to sway his greed or stop him from seeking his own interests above those of God. Similarly, there are those today who preach from the word of God but their hearts are far from him. They preach the good news but their practices are evil. They are those who the Prophet Amos wrote about saying “I know your manifold transgressions and your sins: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate.” (Amos 5:12)
Do they think that the Lord of Hosts is unaware of there treacherous deeds as they pay lip-service to the masses? I can assure you he sees all that we do and think! God warns that “Indeed, the wages of the laborers who have mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” (James 5:4)
It seems the church has come to accept the notion that we can fix the ills of this world through legislation and court rulings. We readily sign away our voices to those who speak smoothly; those who repeat catch phrases that appeal to our self-serving desires. Even though time and again this trust in people have led us down and even darker path. Our political leaders and courts continue to make and adopt laws that defy the word of God. To this Isaiah declares, “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isaiah 10:1-3)
In time past, the Christian community took up the mantra “what would Jesus do (WWJD)”. As the percentage of Christians who read the bible on a regular basis drops, so has the desire to identify ourselves with the teachings of Jesus. It is worth pointing out the Jesus’ commands are not just limited to the Gospels and the book of Revelation. What would Jesus do? Jesus said His food is to do His Father’s will. So what is His Father’s will? The Prophet Micah tell us “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” (Numbers 16:1-3, NKJV)
Behind every chaotic scene is an event or set of events leading up to the moment; no matter how sudden it may appear. At the center of a rebellion is a spirit bent on disrupting the plans of God at the cost of the very people acting as the agents of chaos. The aggressor is also the victim but has no concept of the darkness lurking in their emotions.
It doesn’t take much effort to see that we are living in a chaotic time. Every nation on earth is reeling from all manner of events that threaten its inhabitants – man, animal, vegetation, etc. The level of chaos range from wild fires, floods, earthquakes, hailstorms, landslides, violence, and political uprising. At the center of it all is man and the our activities. Everything that is bad or chaotic has its roots in sin and we continue to live in sin. We continue to act out of pure selfishness and to act against our own best interests.
Like Korah and the men with him, agents of chaos have stood up to weaken the nations and the church has not been spared. In fact, we could argue to the church has, in many cases, led the effort to sow seeds of chaos because we have allowed the spirit behind Korah’s rebellion to influence us also. The church – the called out ones – is to be different from the world. Yet we too often take on the identity of the world and joined in rebellious activities that cause us to act against our brothers and sisters.
I am thankful for Christians who take to heart Jesus’ blessing to those who are “peacemakers”. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for the shall be called sons of God” (Matt 5:9).
Peacemakers often sacrifice a great deal in the process. To bring us back into communion with Himself, God sacrificed His son Jesus who “For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). The Son of God gave himself so that we may join in His resurrection and becomes sons of God. To overcome agents of chaos, we often must be willing to lay ourselves on the line but the times have brought about a selfish generation. A generation that thinks “me, myself, and I”. Unwilling to make any significant sacrifice for the benefit of others if it means being inconvenienced.
God gave governments authority in order that they should restrain evil and keep peace. However, our governments have become the agents of chaos. They sow seeds of distrust among its people and among the nations. The people inside the governments of the world act out of pure self-interest and plots agendas that creates personal wealth, even well beyond their terms. We, the people; we the church often become unwitting members of the plots because our emotions are driven by the very spirit behind their corrupting influences.
Where are our peacemakers? Where are the godly men and women whose motivation is the will of God? Why does it seem as though I have to squint my eyes to see a righteous person who does not act as an unwitting agent in the spreading of chaos? We must guard against being agents of chaos and not let the spirit behind Korah’s rebellion take hold of us. We must recognize the authority given by God and whether those entrusted with such an awesome responsibility are executing their office faithfully. Where unrighteousness reigns we must take up the full armor and engage but we must be careful that we do not wrestle with God.
Where do we begin?……….Well, I would suggest within!