The Unseen Hand of God!
Shalom Partner and Friend of Israel,
Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French military leader, was once asked, “Is God on the side of France?” Intoxicated with his own success he said; “God is on the side that has the heaviest artillery.” Later, the French dictator boasted; “I make circumstances!” But that was before the battle of Waterloo. In 1815, Napoleon lost the battle despite his superior weaponry and exiled to the barren island of St. Helena, there Napoleon changed his perspective about God and history. The once proud man acknowledged; “Man proposes, but God disposes!” God is sovereign. God controls human history and destinies. He is guiding them to their appointed end. God is God and victory ultimately belongs to him! God is even seen in the unseen and His Hand is everywhere …and all we need to do is look and see!
The God of Israel is a God who reveals Himself to man... We can be thankful for this fact. Was it not so, we would all be hard pressed to find Him? God has revealed himself in two distinct manners. Let us briefly consider these two manners of revelation; In Creation and in History.
The Bible asserts that the universe is a testimony to God's existence and precision… God has revealed Himself in the creation that He has made, and is clearly portrayed in several passages of scripture, the most outstanding being Psalm 19:1-6 where the Psalmist says; “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from it heat.” The New Testament also speaks of this in a similar fashion in Romans 1:20, where it is said… “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made – so, that men are without excuse!”
The heavens are a declaration to the fact of God's glory! It is a sign to the entire human race that God does exist... This revelation about God's power and majesty is constant, occurring – “day after day” and “night after night.” Humans are constantly reminded of God's existence. The heavens, therefore, offer a silent continual testimony to God. The scope of this testimony is worldwide so that all people, everywhere, have access to this form of God's revelation - there are NO geographic barriers. Since this is a non-verbal form of communication there is NO language barrier. All people, in every language, are able to comprehend this form of God revealing Himself. The shining of the sun in the sky gives testimony to the existence and care of God …and like the sun, the existence of God is obvious to all. Nothing can hide from the sun just as no one can hide from God. The truths about God are there for all to see.
It is amazing to think that after all Satan has done to destroy the creation around us, the world still declares God’s glory! To realize this afresh, we have only to spend some time out in the natural world! Have we ever wondered why it is so refreshing to be out in the woods, by the sea, in the mountains or beside a lake? The answer is simple. Everything in nature is doing exactly what our Abba Father has commanded them to do... the birds are building nests and migrating just as they were instructed. All nature is straining to bring forth fruit and to accomplish its other God-given functions. Through nature we see not only the power of God in His creative acts and His sustaining power, we also learn about His love, wisdom, and mercy. Being in nature brings us close to God …and restores us both physically and spiritually.
Psalm 104 paints a beautiful word picture of how the trees provide a home for the birds …even the lifeless or spiritless objects such as the water, rocks, sun, and moon have mutually beneficial functions. Behind the role of each object is found the design of the Master Creator. We can only try to imagine how beautiful nature was when it came forth in Genesis 1 - when God the Creator first created it and the most beautiful scene in nature today fades into insignificance in comparison. Yet we can still enjoy its magnificence and see God’s goodness and glory in its mountain peaks, mighty oceans, flowery meadows, and running brooks. In spite of their impaired state, we still can discern the beautiful touch of the Master Designer. If an imperfect nature can bring us such joy and inspire our hearts to glorify God …how much more will nature also be restored in the New Jerusalem!
So, what can nature teach us about obedience? Nature is obedient to God! Take, for example, how the great waters of the deep keep the boundaries He set for them and how the proud waves of the mighty oceans humble themselves before Him and the raging storms obey His command. (Job 38:11; Psalm 104:9; Luke 8:24-25; John 6:15)
The Testimony About God Is Clear… God has left a witness of Himself for everyone. No one has any excuse! Because of the clear testimony about God from nature, conclusions can and should be drawn about God's existence. As Psalm 19 affirms, this testimony is constantly being witnessed since the time God created the world. And, because of the witness of nature, people are held accountable to God for the knowledge that God has revealed to them. Revelation from nature, or creation, is limited in what it tells us. Only certain aspects about God's invisible qualities or nature are revealed. Specifically, His Eternal power and divine nature! From these passages it is clear that everyone is aware of the existence of God through the testimony in creation. The testimony about God's existence from nature should lead humans to search His Word the Bible and seek to discover who this amazing Creator is! Whether it be from the smallest atom or the largest galaxy, the simplest life form to the most complex, the living God has revealed himself to humankind. Still, the revelation of God in creation is NOT sufficient for us to know Him. The truth of creation has been corrupted by sinful humanity. Paul wrote… “Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!” – Romans 1:25. Humanity rejected the Creator and worshipped the creation instead. In addition, nature does NOT bring us into direct contact with God. It reveals the power of God without revealing His person. Humanity needs more than the testimony of creation to know exactly what God is like and what He requires of us.
When we consider man, we begin to realize the true dimensions of the fall recorded in Genesis 3. We find that man, unlike the animals, the birds, and all the rest of the created order, is NOT responding according to God’s Divine program. Sadly, humankind is, in fact is doing his or her own thing! “You should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” - Acts 14:15-17.
What if the birds or animals chose such a course? The Hulah Valley in Israel every year sees thousands of visitor birds and they even provide the welcome food for the hungry birds. What if the birds simply said… “this year we refuse to fly those thousands of kilometres (miles) in order to migrate!” The answer would be obvious. They would all freeze to death in the north-country, or perish for lack of food. Man, in his folly desires to be “free as a bird,” not realizing that birds are not free. They are in complete submission to God’s divine decrees relating to them. Job, tells us these words; “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you!”- Job 12:7-8. God's creative work can be observed in nature. He created things to function in an orderly fashion and He continues to keep things in order.
In the Bible, we are to see the Eagle as a bird of power and the Hebrew name is “Nesher” or “Neshar.” It is a solitary bird, lives in pairs or single and frequents mountainous and desolate places (Job 39:27-28); also, lofty trees (Ezekiel 17:3-7); its flight is very swift (Deuteronomy 28:49; 2 Samuel 1:23; Jeremiah. 4:13; Lamentations 4:19; no other bird soars as high (Proverbs 23:5; Obadiah 4). It lives on small birds and animals and with them feeds its young (Job 39:29-30) and generally kills its own food; it lives to a great age …and after moulting, renews its vigour so rapidly that it is said figuratively to become young again (Psalm 103:5; Isaiah 40:31). It is considered the King of Birds and no wonder we read in Isaiah 40:31; “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint!”
Could we learn anything about life from an insect? Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, wrote… “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Why the lowly ant? Solomon tell us why; “…It has no commander (captain) or overseer (ruler, leader) yet it provides its supplies (provisions) in the summer, and gathers its food in the harvest” - Proverbs 6:6-8. In other words, the ant prepares for the future!
What to learn from the ants; One look at the ants and you can tell the following: Ants are hardworking. See them lined up on a daily basis. They work hard even on summers, broad daylight or every time they have a chance to line up for food, they work! Ants are goal-oriented and team-orientated. They don't have anything on mind but to collect food to eat throughout the cold months. They determine the shortest line within the food from their house and expect them lining up to gather their food. Ants are Patient and never give up. In fact, they are very patient. Just smudge or destroy their line wait for a while and here they are coming back again to the same position where they were before! Unfortunately, many people expect future success to happen by mere accident.
God’s handiwork is present everywhere for ALL to view… We need to only look around! How much information can be known? Information about knowledge and truth of God’s existence CAN be derived from nature …but, cannot save souls since ONLY Yeshua (Jesus) can save! The most fundamental laws of nature exist only because God wills them to - they are the logical, orderly way that the Lord upholds and sustains the universe He has created. The atheist is unable to account for the logical, orderly state of the universe. Why should the universe obey laws if there is NO law-giver? But laws of nature are perfectly consistent with Biblical creation. In fact, the Bible is the foundation for all-natural laws. Yes, GOD even set the boundaries…. “When he gave to the sea its boundary, That the waters should not violate His (Mitzvah) commands, when he marked out the foundations of the earth (Eretz).” – Proverbs 9:29. And, also that; “…the waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross over the boundary God has set!” – Jeremiah 5:22. God silences the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples (Psalm 65: 7) …and this Psalm links God's authority over the power of the sea with God's authority in human affairs. Just as God brings the storms to silence, so does God bring peace among the peoples of the earth. The whole earth, including the stars, is singing and saying praises to God! “Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! – Psalm 148.
How did Yeshua (Jesus) relate to nature, and what does He desire us to learn from it? Our Lord was drawn to nature to pray and commune with His Father. He felt the need to be alone with God, away from the multitudes. Solitude with the Father prepared Him to serve the crowd. If Christ needed to draw near to His Father in the quietness of nature, we certainly do too! (Luke 5:1; 6:12; John 6:15). In Matthew 8:23-27 - even the winds and seas obey and are subject to our Lord, God!
What about God working in the unseen areas of our lives? God is not only in control of the natural but also the supernatural! Let’s look at Biblical examples… Moses saw the unseen hand of God in a burning bush; “One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing,’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.’ When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ ‘Here I am!’ Moses replied. ‘Do not come any closer,’ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God” – Exodus 3:1-6. From this scripture, we see that Moses had NO intention of meeting with God as he was only leading the flock of Jethro and came to Horeb or Sinai. But there was God’s unseen Hand in nature and His leading Moses through the flock to the backside of the desert until he came to the Mountain of God where he entered into a new phase of his life. There, God sent him back to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel from over 400 years of slavery! Moses thought he was leading the sheep, but he didn’t know that God was actually leading him! Moses wasn’t prepared for that encounter of God which literally changed the direction of his life and assignment. So too can we have God’s direction!
David and the unseen hand of God… Here is another example as we read in 1 Samuel 17:17-20 - David thought he was running errands for his father to give food to his brothers at the army camp. David never knew God was leading him to face a destiny assignment that would promote him from insignificance to King of Israel, national and, indeed, global prominence. “One day Jesse said to David, ‘Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.’ David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines. So, David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries.” - 1 Samuel 17:17-20. Did you see that? One day, Jesse sent David on a destiny errand by the Hand of God! God works in natural and the supernatural!
The Bible states without qualification that when the Jew is in the “land of promise”- Israel, God blesses it… but when the Jew is absent from the land, God curses it and it becomes barren and desolate! The literal reason why the land of Israel became an object of remorse and desolation …was that the rains became less and less the longer the Jews were scattered over the world. However, every Major Prophet and many Minor Prophets foretold thousands of years ago that when the Jews began to return to the land in anticipation of the Messianic Age the rains would also begin to increase once more! (Joel 2: 1, 23)
The land of Israel is a special and sacred place for those who believe in the Bible. The ingathering of the Jewish people into the land and the restoration of the land itself is the unfolding of Bible prophecy… “The waste land and the dry places will be glad; the lowland will have joy and be full of flowers. It will be flowering like the rose; it will be full of delight and songs; the glory of Lebanon will be given to it; the pride of Carmel and Sharon: they will see the glory of the Lord, the power of our God,” Isaiah 35:1-2. This is one of the most beautiful prophecies before the “Second Coming of our Lord” in the Bible and concerning Israel is that of the desert blooming after the Jewish people return to the land. It begins with “the wilderness (wasteland)” and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert shall rejoice …and “blossom as a rose!” As we see the picture of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) as the “Rose of Sharon!” It shall “blossom” abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing. The “glory” of Lebanon shall be given unto it and the “pride” or “excellency” of Carmel and Sharon …they shall see the “glory” of the LORD, and the “excellency” of our God!
What about God’s amazing plant - the “sunflowers” … Plants are capable of incredible things — we just don't notice because their time scale is different than ours! Sunflowers may be rooted to the ground, but that doesn't mean they can't dance! Each day, young sunflowers trace the path of the sun across the sky, turning their faces 180 degrees from east to west. And their slow, graceful movements continue at night. After the sun sets, the plants re-orient themselves, slowly twisting their heads back to the east in anticipation of dawn.
Scientific observation that of young sunflowers tracking the sun is not new — Charles Darwin himself reported the phenomenon more than 100 years ago. But until now, no one had explained how the sunflowers move and why? As the plants grew from young seedlings into mature, yellow-headed adults, researchers found that the sun-tracking movements of the plant became less and less noticeable, until they stopped altogether!
Mature sunflowers always face EAST. Scientists found that sunflowers can pace their movements. For example, during the short nights of mid-summer, young sunflowers took just 8 hours to swing their heads from west to east. However, during the longer nights of autumn (fall), it took them 12 hours to accomplish the same feat. To find out how the plants were moving, the scientists went into a field of sunflowers and marked both sides of their stems with a Sharpie pen at regular intervals. Using a time-lapse camera, they were able to see that the east side of the stem grew longer during the day, turning the plant's head to the west. At night, the reverse was true — the west side elongated, causing the plant to face the east. To answer this question the researchers moved dwarf sunflowers from an outdoor field into a controlled lighting environment in the lab. The scientists report that even when the plants were grown under constant, fixed overhead lighting, they maintained the same head-turning rhythms they displayed in the field for several days. In another lab experiment, the researchers messed with the sunflowers' internal clocks by exposing them to a 30-hour light cycle. This thoroughly confused the plants, and they wound up turning their heads furthest to the west well before the transition to dark. During the night, the plants moved erratically. Together these results suggest that the sunflowers' movements are regulated by something other than simple growth toward the sun. Some kind of biological clock was also controlling the plants' twists and turns? But what was controlling this growth pattern? Was it the movement of the sun or some kind of internal clock? Scientist say more studies must be done! As believers we know that God has set in motion in every living thing and that plants simply obey God! Could it just be that the sunflower looks towards the EAST where the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) will return?
With the celestial signs, the signs in the severe weather patterns, lawlessness, persecution of Jews and Christians and the signs in the Middle East …we know that Yeshua (Jesus) is coming for His church SOON! We know this without a shadow of a doubt. The signs we were told to look for in Matthew 24 signify the Lord’s soon return - are all around us! We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth (Romans 8:22-23). This world has one major need right now at the beginning of this 21st Century …and that is that the “sons of God” to arrive on the scene! They must come forth for these Last Days. Many would say that the days in which we are living in are NOT as bad as other times in history …and they may even be right? However, we are NOT sure that at any other time in history has there been as many elements out of balance …and, all happening at the same time with great intensity as they are intensifying today. There are so many things so wrong, with so many problems that seem to be impossible – that we are sure our day may be worse than all the rest. The world has NO wisdom to solve these problems! God does have the wisdom, but He uses us as the channel to get that wisdom to the world. So, whether this is the beginning of the End Times or the stage leading to the return of Yeshua (Jesus) does not really matter. What does matter is that our world needs to see the sons and daughters of God – the true Judeo-Christian believers – the true Church to rise up!
In Romans 8:22-23 the expression, “all creation” is NOT referring to angels, fallen or unfallen, for Paul will go on to say that this same creation “was made subject to vanity,” and awaits deliverance from it. This doesn’t describe God’s angels. Neither does this expression refer to mankind, (saved or unsaved) …for further on Paul says, “not only they, but we also who have the first fruits of the spirit,” - thus distinguishing we believers as also being in waiting. Furthermore, we know the unsaved mankind (sinners) do NOT “eagerly wait” for the “Day of Revelation. “The creature,” or literally – “the creation,” and is everything; rocks, hills, trees, animals, oceans …in short, all but mankind and angels, are anticipating and in fact ‘groaning” for a certain day of release! The “groaning of creation” announced in the Earth in Romans 8 is also found in the Old Testament… Several prophets of the Bible were not only sensitive to injustice against the poor and the weak …but also to the suffering of the “God’s creation due to human sin and greed. Jeremiah, for example, cries aloud in one of his confessions; “How long is the land to mourn and the vegetation of the countryside to wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, animals and birds have been snatched away, because men have said, ‘He will not see our latter ending,’” Jeremiah 12:4. How long will the land mourn…? And, why…? Because of the wickedness of the people. Jeremiah claims that God hears the groaning of the land (Jeremiah 12.11).
Is it the time for God to take back the “rainbow” today used symbolically by mankind to legalise their sin? The next time we see a “rainbow,” though it is a bow (yet without arrows) turned downwards towards the earth from heaven in the sky …let’s also remember that it is a token of God’s Covenant and mercy and kindness. Yes, our God is merciful, and He made a Covenant of grace with Noah and the animals that He would never again judge with a worldwide Flood (Genesis 6). But we MUST also remember that God judges’ sin! Yeshua (Jesus) and the Apostles warned us that the very same conditions preceding the flood of Noah will also occur in the End-times - preceding His Second appearance (Luke 17:26-27; 2 Peter 3:3-12). In fact, the prophet Daniel states that the Antichrist will appear on the scene; “…when transgressions have run their course” – Daniel 8:23; literally meaning that SIN will have reached its fullest measure! Even the “rainbow” that God set in the heavens 6,000 years ago is “a sign” today that God will NOT tolerate evil and wickedness. The fear of the LORD is embedded in our awe for His Holiness (Isaiah 6:1-7). His purity and splendour cannot accommodate ungodliness, and thus His maintains a holy anger (wrath) against sin and impurity. God declares those redeemed who have trusted in Christ. They are clothed in the righteousness of His Son. For the redeemed, the wrath of God toward sin was satisfied on the Cross …paid in full by the shed blood of His sinless Son.
God’s Word is true! He IS watching to see how the nations are treating His people. God will have mercy on Israel through Gentile believers acting as mediators towards them. This is one of the most amazing revelations ever given to the church – an opportunity to do something that carries the highest priority in the heart of God. Yet, sadly, so few have seen the potential and the rewards of serving God in this manner - as agents of mercy to Israel and the Jewish people! Israel was and still is despised today and a despised nation continually turning away from God BUT nothing ever altered the purpose of God for that nation. The despised element is always a noticeable element in the purpose of God. When the Saviour of the world came, He came of that despised nation; like Israel… He Himself was; “despised and rejected by men,” …and there is that despised element; “…things that are despised God has chosen,” 1 Corinthians 1:28. Now, more than at any time is the time to support Israel and the Jewish people - the Lord’s Brethren! We are witnessing the nations and people turning their backs on Israel. Thank you once again for your prayers and generous support!
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
01st September, 2019
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