I was typing another message for this part, and I sensed it was not the message for the moment. The whole of Scripture is inspired but there are messages that are specific for the moment. This is such a moment that demands a Word in season. The prayer I offer over this message, is that God speaks and activates in us this Word revealed to us today. That we identify that we need to hear and to heed.
The starting point of this Consolation work is knowing that our fortunes are down and we need a new drawing to a vision of Zion
This Psalm speaks to the captivity, speaks to the captives. There is a balance between the exhortation of Jeremiah 29 to build their homes. They needed to know that Babylon was not their destiny. God still had a purpose for Israel in their land, prophesied as a possession to Abraham. God’s Word does not partially come to pass, because what of the land will be a possession will transition to be an eternal reality. Whilst the process had a specific 70 years, a hunger needed to have been birthed in their hearts. Psalm 137 speaks to this desire, where they remembered Zion. What did they remember?
They remembered the accessible Glory, and the joy felt in that place. They remembered the falling fire and filling glory. They remembered the revelatory dimension that that place had, where all problems were immediately resolved. They remembered the peace they dwelt in. It was far more than what they were living in now. They were living in the midst of a people who knew not YHWH, nor did they share in the exploits to possessing a promised land by God. Their culture was not based in a structure that the Lord Himself wrote on tablets of stone.
We must also, in this time, recognise that our fortunes are down, when our existence is dictated to by the governments of this world, when our families are pressured by inflation, pressured by a worldly agenda, through school, the education system, workplace. Our fortunes are down when our words on the national sphere are devalued as worthless, where our influence is seen as out of touch, bigoted. Where lobbies of various levels of life are labelling the Church as an enemy of progress. It is here whilst we still can live in homes, pay the bills for the moment, there will be a time when these pressures will either make us or break us. It is time to recognise that our fortunes are down. Why?
They are down because we have watered down the Word of God. They are down because we left a vacuum because the Church ceased to be a voice of morality and wisdom for the nations. They are down because our theology became self seeking and self serving, and not for pushing back the demonic agenda. They are down because we have a form of godliness but reject the power. We reject the power when that same power transforms and takes us out of our fleshy desires. We reject the power when the gifts the Holy Spirit gave us are confined to our religious box. We reject the power when we major on the Suffering Servant instead of majoring on the Coming King.
Yet God puts the desire for Zion in our hearts, and is doing. There must be a vision and a joy Jesus shares with us, when He too desires full communion with His own. It is time to remember Zion. All of us must have had a “Zion” time, when we came to know Him, those first encounters. When He puts those in our hearts so we know when He puts Zion in our hearts He means to return us there! From the place of recognising our Desolation He places the memories of Zion, and in doing so, His Work of Consolation has started in us.
That heart cry for Zion must draw us into prayer
We have already recognised that the Zion we remember is the Zion that God is returning us to. There is no self serving purpose we are speaking here. No, the return, the restoration of the Temple, the priesthood has but one and only one purpose, to prepare the Coming of the Messiah. When we come to Daniel 10 we see Daniel recognise that a concerted and special time of prayer was needed, to have discerned time had come for God to fulfil His Word. We read about 21 days that Daniel stayed in that place, not an answer. Like many of us, who get insights in prayer, this total silence became grievous. Daniel went into despair, wondering why the silence. Then we see two occasions where God shows Daniel the reason for the delay. There was opposition to the answer given by God. The angel assured Daniel that his prayer had been heard, but there was war in heaven to stop the insight being understood. There is no doubt in my mind that Daniel was in the palace to affect issues there that led to the Edict of Cyrus to be sent out for the return.
We must begin to see prayer than mere devotional times, to being meeting times with God, because we are nearer now for the Restoration of our spiritual land, and God will effect even governments to aid in the process. Ezra 1:1 tells us God stirred the King. Our prayers can stir our nation’s monarchy, and government, and that this climate and globalist agenda be broken by a “stirring of God.”
We have limited prayer to one level, that is a personal devotional, but there comes a time, like now, where prayer is an extension of our dialogue with God, where He responds, and when He responds, all shall know He responded.
Experiencing true Joy
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 126:2.
This is no relation to the thrill we sometimes get in worship, no. This is a demonstration of seeing externally the restoration that matches what internally God brings into our hearts. Many times we have had existences, where what we sense in our hearts does not correspond to our circumstances. We may have experienced in this season, great loss, great grief, sickness, and diverse contrary circumstances. We have learned in the season of waiting on God a personal contradiction, where what we had to depend on, was joy from prayer, Bible reading, yet live in a place of waiting, trusting. There is coming a season where your inner joy will be matched with total restoration in the external because He is preparing the Church, to prepare the way for the coming again of our Messiah, our Lord and King.
Then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for THEM,
What are the nations saying now? They will recognise two things, one the Lord they will see, and they will also secondly recognise His own people. The characteristic will be that they will see something so impossible. Isaiah asked “Can a nation be founded in one day?” This is what happened in 1948 when Israel was founded in one day. When the Berlin Wall came down in one day, so the world marvelled. There is an event coming to God’s people that the nations will say “The Lord”, uttering, proclaiming His Name. Then they will see God acting in His people, and through His people. The restoration coming shall be this way, they shall recognise a God they denied, and a people they despised be honoured by this powerful God.
We must begin to pray. Calling and invoking God to restore His Zion. It is His consistent purpose to establish His Zion amongst His people. He has all these centuries promoted fellowship and justice. Let us cry with the Psalmist, “Restore our fortunes oh God”.