When we hear disaster prophecies, we need to remember a principle that runs throughout the Bible: that when God brings judgment to a whole society, He looks for people on whom He can pour out grace, making them an exception to the general rule.
When He was planning the flood, Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and God came up with a way to save him and his family. When He poured out His plagues on Egypt, He found ways to protect and to bless the Israelites. When God was about to send judgment on Jerusalem, He sent an angel with pen and ink to mark those who sighed for the wickedness of the city so He could provide for them.
There are many more examples in scripture, but the principle is that when God judges a society, He is delighted to cover a godly remnant in a cocoon of His protection. So when you hear a disaster prophecy, do you expect to be swept away, or do you expect to survive? And to take it a step further, do you expect to be a rescuer?
Do the promises of God in your life evaporate if you happen to live in a region He judges? Do His promises to heal you evaporate because Jesus warned that there would be plagues in the last days? Do His promises to provide for you evaporate because prophets have warned of economic shakings?
The media was warning of a swine flu pandemic a couple of weeks ago; I’m writing this on a plane, and have noticed quite a few people wearing masks in the airport.
Meanwhile, I’ve just gotten a missionary email from Dunamis Ministries in Las Vegas with reports of a recent evangelistic outreach in Mexico. They took a stand in prayer, and there was no swine flu in Hermasillo. It pleases God to find people who will trust Him for health in spite of the dire warnings of the media and even the last-days prophecies of scripture.
And I remember twenty years ago when Dave Wilkerson prophesied great shakings in New York City – he said it was the Babylon of Revelation 18 – and today I picked up a copy of The New Yorker to read on the plane. The cover article? “The Fall Of Babylon.” It told about the financial meltdown in NYC.
Meanwhile, I’m hearing one prophet after another exhort us to do what Isaac did in Genesis 26 – to sow in time of famine. Isaac reaped a hundredfold. God is speaking through many that this is the time for His people to find God-given opportunities for His provision. It may be a famine, but it’s still time to sow.
In my home church, we’ve been stirring ourselves to stand in faith. We’ve heard a lot of testimonies of people who have gotten promoted when everyone else got laid off, contractors who found work when nobody else could, realtors who sell houses in what everyone is calling a tough market.
Missionary friends A.L. and Joyce Gill told the story of an Indonesian church that survived the tsunami a few years ago. They wanted to have a special service for Christmas at a spacious facility on the beach, but the local government was Islamic and refused to give them a permit. Instead, they were forced to meet on the mountaintop in a much less desirable facility. It saved their lives.
God has odd ways of getting us through tough times. He gives each of us a unique story. His way for you won’t work for me; His way for me won’t work for you.
But God is looking for a remnant who will stay in covenant relationship with Him and will learn to hear and obey His voice. These are the people who have a testimony of mercy when judgments run through the land.