Righteous Nation by Pastor Abidan Shah

From God’s perspective, righteousness is the secret to success as a nation. The timeline of history is littered with nations and peoples that have ceased to be, not because of famine, earthquake, pollution, or deforestation, but, because of unrighteousness.

TORTURED FOR THE NAME OF JESUS

In Matthew 2 we read the account of Joseph returning back from Egypt to Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling in Judea, he was afraid and went to Galilee to the town of Nazareth. Matthew reminds us that all this happened as part of the fulfillment that Jesus was to be called a Nazarene.

Not only was the name Nazarene significant in the ministry of Jesus but it also became the designation of Christians in the Middle East to this day. In the past few months, Christians were persecuted in Iraq and the Arabic alphabet “N” was spray painted on their front doors. What a stark reminder that the word Nazarene is hated 2000 years later!

WHEN GOD SEEMS HELPLESS

In Matthew 2 we read the account of Joseph’s dream where he is warned regarding Herod’s intent to kill the baby Jesus. The angel instructs him to take Mary and the baby and flee to Egypt. Have you ever stopped to examine this account carefully? If Jesus is God’s Son,why is He fleeing from a mere mortal? Why didn’t God move Herod’s heart to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah? If not, why didn’t God just kill Herod? Why didn’t the soldiers have a change of heart?

These are some very important questions that have tremendous implications to our daily lives – “Where is God when bad things happen?Where is God when evil people are bent on hurting children, the innocent, and, even, God’s people? Is God too powerless to even carryout His own grand plan in this world?

NEAR AND YET SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH

In Matthew 2 we see the encounter between the magi from the east and King Herod. The magi traveled over 400 miles to come and worship the King of the Jews while Herod was clueless of His birth just 6 miles south in Bethlehem. Even when he found out about Him, Herod was envious and threatened rather than submissive and obedient. What a tragedy!

It’s no less a tragedy when people are going to hell right from under the shadow of the steeple. They have heard the truth but have become inoculated. It’s time to ask the Holy Spirit to knock on the doors of the hearts of our friends, family, and neighbors and ask the question –“Where is Jesus?” If they don’t know, it’s our responsibility to share Him with them.

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