Voice of the opposition

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; Psalm 104:24-35

READ (verses chosen for meditation)
2 Chronicles 35:20-22 “After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates and Josiah went out to meet him. But he sent envoys to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of Megiddo.”

King Josiah did what most kings would have done. He stopped the advancement of a foreign army as it attempted to march through his own land. Yet, Josiah died for such an act. What did he do wrong? Even if Neco sent envoys to Josiah; Josiah was not obligated to let the army through.

Perhaps the only thing that Josiah did wrong was the failure to seek God concerning Neco’s claims that he had heard from God. The enemy from Egypt had claimed that he had heard from God, but Josiah failed to seek God if he was speaking the truth. He took things into his own hands and suffered demise. The truth is that God can use even our “enemies” or people who seemingly oppose us to speak into our lives. We will need to consult God for His wisdom to learn the truth through such conversations.

In my previous workplace and current ministry as a pastor; I faced the voices of those who opposed to what I was trying to do. I also faced those who are opposed to the ways of God. While the “biblical” way was to seek God on what had been communicated; the natural tendency was to take things into my own hands. There are times when I would think that this person was just out to oppose me. This person was just trying to further his or her agenda. This person did not really understand what I was trying to say or do. This person was just trying to be nasty to those who believe in Jesus.

Today’s passage reminded me that I would need to go deeper with God about the voices of those whom i do not agree. Are they placed here to help me do better? What was it that they are really saying? Have God spoken to them as well? Am I wrong? Let me hear God with what was being said or done and let God provide His discernment on how to handle the situation. Let me also be humble to accept that the message of God can come through the voice of an opposing party. That would be the best. For the Lord can use the most unimaginable and creative way to speak with us.

Help me Lord to see what You see and discern Your ways. This is so I can depend more on You. Amen.

Genesis Day Twenty Three

by Rev Joel Yong

Genesis 31:1-5
Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.” And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me.

When Laban saw that Jacob was doing better, than himself, he started to think less favorably of Jacob. Even Laban’s sons became jealous and antagonistic towards Jacob in their attitudes.

Don’t bet your future on being in someone’s good books, in order to either advance your career or to find security and stability in life.

People change.
They have always been doing so, for thousands of years.

Here is the great news though …
Check out the last verse of today’s passage.
“I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. ”

God is always with us.
Even when people turn against us.

People are unpredictable but God is always the same, yesterday, today and forever.