O God our help in ages past – Part 3
Instances of God’s help: God helps individuals, families, and nations.
Samuel and Israel (1Sam 7:1-12) – God fought for Israel and broke the yoke of bondage of twenty years. “And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us” [1Sam. 7:11-12]. God restored the territories of Israel and gave them peace.
King Asa of Judah and an entire nation (2Chron. 14: 9-15; 15) – Zerah the King of Ethiopia attacked Judah with One Million strong army and 300 chariots in the battle of Mareshah. Judah had only 580 soldiers. Under normal circumstances, Ethiopia would overwhelm Judah. But King Asa cried out to God in the prayer of faith and trusted in God’s power to help him in the face of the multitude army of Ethiopia. He recognised that God can do all things and the battle belongs to God, and so, no mortal can prevail in God’s own battle. God answered and honoured His Name. King Hezekiah and King Jehoshaphat were brought to the point where their strength could not carry them, but God in His mercy, gave them help and they had a miraculous victory (Zech. 10:5).
Peter (Acts 12:5-11) – King Herod beheaded James and put Peter in prison. But by the constant prayer of the church, God freed Peter from Herod’ evil plot.
CONDITIONS FOR EXPERIENCING GOD’S HELP IN TIMES OF TROUBLE:
The experience of Israel under Samuel in 1Samuel 7: 1-14 tells us how God can intervene for us. God will help us, but He desires that we keep His conditions, which include:
• Repentance: The first thing that God requires from anyone seeking His intervention and help is repentance, which is a sincere turning away from sin, attitude and intentions that are rebellious against God, His Words and purpose and return to Him with all our hearts.
• Faith in the living God: Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ brings us to the experience of God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy. Salvation, deliverance, healing, and victory are received by faith. Without faith, we cannot receive anything from God or please Him. God often waits for us to step out in faith, and then He will take over. “Jesus said to Martha, Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God” [John 11:40].
• The word of God: Holding to the Word of God and promises releases God’s power into human situations. (2 Chron. 20:20)
• Humility: In order to experience God’s help, it is vital that one should submit himself in humility to the Almighty God. Humility puts a person at God’s disposal, within God’s reach and instruction. God is always looking out for people who are [FAT] Faithful, Available, and Teachable.
• Prayer: The prayer of faith is inevitable for God to intervene in any human situation. God does not impose Himself on anybody. He desires that His children should talk to Him on everything and for everything.
• Expectation: Sometimes, we come to God and often do not expect that God will answer us or do what we are asking. Expectation is a very vital part of exercising one’s faith in God.
What we do after experiencing God’s HELP is very important to Him and us. God wants us to remain or abide in Victorious living and His help all through our lives. God’s help is a process of making us become instruments He wants to use.
In experiencing God’s Help, He expects us to honour Him, glorify Him, grow stronger in faith and stand firm in the Lord.
(A Presentation of the Most Revd. Henry C. Ndukuba, the Primate-Elect of the Church of Nigeria at the 2019 DIVCCON)
TO BE CONCLUDED NEXT SUNDAY
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.