“But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:7-8 NRSV).
The Prophet Micah delivered the above prophetic message of hope and encouragement to ancient Judah and Israel in one of their darkest periods in history. He stressed the need to look up to and wait for the Lord, that the Lord would hear him, and that even though his enemy rejoiced in his distress, he would rise again and be rescued by the light of the Lord.
Then, as now, the children of God were suffering under enemy oppressors. In the present case, it is the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, our invisible public enemy number 1, that is oppressing us and causing sufferings and hardships globally. Then, as now, the children of God were in fear of their enemies not knowing what the powerful enemies would do to them. Then, as now, some people mocked God and his children for what had happened to His children. Then, as now, many children of God lost hope of redemption by God. And then, as now, there were courageous people like Prophet Micah whose faith in God was unshaken and who trusted that God would protect and deliver them one day.
Jesus himself became a target of mockery by people who seemed to rejoice in other people's distress. Two criminals were hanged on the left and right sides of Jesus on the cross. In the darkest hour in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ when the weight of the sins of all mankind had been placed upon him on the cross for our sake, one of the criminals decided to insult, mock, and taunt him. Among other things, he said, “Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
It was not good for the criminal to rejoice over the agony and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. The other criminal rebuked him and asked Jesus to remember him when he came to his kingdom. Jesus promised him that he would be with him in Paradise (Luke 23:39-43 NRSV).
The enemies seem to be winning at this time. A time like this calls for soul-searching regarding our relationship with God. Those who join the enemy camp by mocking, taunting, and questioning Christians about the existence and power of our God are squandering valuable soul-searching opportunities with God. Their time would be well-spent if they joined others in praying for God's mercy and healing. Christians strongly believe that God is going to speak clearly and do something new one of these days. As we say in Ghana when God picks up a stone, he does not throw it quickly; He takes His time. Remember that David used just one of the five stones he picked from the stream to defeat the giant called Goliath.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are upon us. You may recall that Jesus did not say much from the time of his arrest at Gethsemane to the time of his crucifixion on the cross at Calvary. He did not even put up a defense at the trials when his very life depended on it. When Jesus spoke, however, one of his last acts before his death was a grant of mercy. He promised Paradise to a convicted criminal who admitted while dying on the cross that he deserved his punishment of death. Jesus impliedly forgave the man his sins and gave him a pass to Paradise.
Picture for a moment Jesus Christ on the cross and the two criminals by his sides. Which side are you on? Are you on the side of the one who insulted and mocked Jesus by questioning his Messianic status and power to free himself from the cross? Or, are you on the side of the other criminal who recognized his sins and asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom and received mercy from Jesus?
At this time, a double portion of mercy is what we need from Jesus Christ. Repentance and forgiveness of our sins are what we need. Healing and deliverance from evil are what we need, and we believe that by the stripes and wounds of Jesus we are healed physically and spiritually! What we do not need is fear. What we do not need is doubt. And so let's muster courage and stand firm in the faith. If we do that, the enemy cannot rejoice over us no matter how low we fall or how long we sit in darkness. The Lord will continue to be our light and our salvation.
Praise God that the story of Jesus Christ did not end on the cross. Those who rejoiced in the death of Jesus were disappointed three days later. There was a resurrection. The darkness that had fallen gave way to God's light of the resurrection. Jesus rose from death as he had promised to the glory of God.
That is why the Apostle Paul, quoting the Prophets Isaiah and Hosea, said, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:54-57).
Therefore, no matter how difficult the circumstances we are facing today, we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The enemies may rejoice because we are down and in darkness at this time, but it will not be for long. Let no one deceive you that our God may be unfaithful or uncaring. We serve an ever faithful and caring God. By the grace of God, we claim victory over all areas through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter!
Prayer is the key. May God grant us the grace to seek Him daily through our prayers.
Dr. Daniel Gyebi, Attorney-at-Law, Texas, U.S.A., and Founder, PrayerHouse Ministry, Kumasi, Ghana.
PrayerHouse Ministry is dedicated to providing a quiet facility for Christians to pray individually by themselves without any intermediary priest, pastor or any other person. This is a free service. No money is demanded or accepted. One facility is located at Kyerekrom / Fumesua, near Building and Road Research Institute Offices, one mile off the Kumasi-Accra Road and next to a house called Grace Castle. If you are interested, please contact Agnes at 054-7498653. Another is located at Kantinkyiren, at the junction of Kantinkyiren and Konkori, off the Kumasi-Obuasi Road, branching left at Trede junction. Contact Kwadwo at 020-8768461 / 0246-989413.