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Judgment Brings Joy

Written By: SAM O'FEMI OLUSETIRE


Our message this month has caution and expectation, as we are warned against flouting God’s commandments, yet reassured of happy moments once we stay steadfast in His ways. As we enter the eleventh hour of the year, just one more to go, we are faced with a warning that days of choler and gloom lie ahead and only those who stay on God’s path shall overcome. It is a reminder about the Day of Judgment that looms for all, after which only the righteous will rejoice.

This warning is carried high in both symbolic and earthly dimensions, whereby number 11 represents turbulence, disorder and chaos in spiritual terms, but peace on the secular plane. We must, however, come to grips with the fact that the spiritual angle to 11 as a number serves as a point of warning about the irresponsibility of breaking God’s laws and commandments, which brings about the wrath of God and condemnation after judgment.

That setting is illustrated in Genesis 11, which reminds us how men rebelled against God and built the tower of Babel, for which He judged them by confusing their language, resulting in chaos, disorder and destiny denied. Consequently, eleven is important in that it symbolizes the need for us to make a change from evil, in order to avoid God’s hand of judgment.

However, Biblical interpretations of number 11 also affirm that perfection can be achieved from differences, variations, confusion and separation. In essence, despite gloomy interpretations given the number, it also has positive variations. These are highlighted in secular terms – higher ideals, invention, refinement, congruency, balance, fulfillment and vision. In this respect, number 11 has a portrayal of perfect balance as well as representing male and female equality, despite holding them in parallel separateness.

This brings a balance of interpretations in the gloomy and rosy ideas in the ambivalent nature of number 11. Consequently, we are encouraged to believe that good things will come our way in the 11th month of 2016, once we follow God’s righteous path. That is the point raised in Zechariah 1 V 7 – 11, which shows how the weighty consequences of breaking God’s law will become a precursor of cheerful days and good tidings once we toe the line and follow His laid down precepts.

It reads: “Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

“Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.”

This means we are sure of happy days and time to rest in the 11th month; which is accentuated in Deuteronomy 1 v 3 & 4: “In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the LORD had commanded him concerning them. This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.”

The fact that Moses had victory before he rolled out God’s warning gives us a ray of hope for all things bright and beautiful in the 11th month. Several years later, John the Apostle saw 11 things in connection with the final judgment (Revelation 20:12 – 14). In effect, the gospel of John gives you and I hope for better days ahead, as it records eleven very special promises. These promises include an assurance that a person can get everlasting life by believing in the Son of God (John 3:16), a person can have eternal life from ‘eating’ the body of Jesus (John 6:54) and that, by following Jesus you will avoid walking into darkness (John 8:12).

Other promises that turn the gloom of disorder into rays of beauty and brightness come from John’s verdict that those of us who continue in Jesus’ word will be set free (John 8:31 – 32), a person will truly be free if made so by Jesus (John 8:36), God the Father will honor those who serve Christ (John 12:26) and those who believe in Jesus will do greater deeds than he did (John 14:12).

John further affirmed that those who obey Christ’s words will receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:15 – 16), those who keep Jesus’ commands will be loved by Him and God (John 14:21), those who abide in Jesus will be fruitful (John 15:5) and a person can be Christ’s friend by obeying Him with all heart, body and soul (John 15:14).

Even while many also fear the reality of the 11th Hour in terms of judgment day, it must also be realized that the following words of cheer all have eleven letters in them: Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Our Redeemer, Savior Jesus, God in Heaven and God Almighty. All these surely must take you far away from fear into the joy of reassurance that all things bright and beautiful surely will be yours in this 11th month of 2016, simply because you have chosen to follow the ways of Christ and He will never let you down.

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