His Bride is suffering because..
Lamentation 1:1,2,3 -
How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction [poverty], and because of great servitude [bondage]: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
Today's scripture talks of the state of Judah. Jesus is called the Lion of Judah but we see He by His Spirit drew His people out of Judaism (Jews) and into Christianity, as per the Jewish Judah He had nothing much to do but only an historical connection. So we see the Judah of which Jesus is called the lion is not the Jewish Judah.
Like Judah is symbolic so also is the term lion. People have over exaggerated the animal lion making it the strongest animal, the bravest animal, the fearless animal etc. but in reality it is not. This is again a case of Bible Image study and by it we understand Judah symbolizes the Church that is in process of becoming perfect and Jesus as lion of Judah symbolizes the righteousness of the Church. Whatever good we do overweighs the wrong we do. It is only because of Christ that we as a body come before the Lord and are given audience before His glorious Throne.
Today's message puts the state of the Church and the reason why. It says she is struggling, lost among the many religions and people come against her and persecuting her because of simply 2 reasons. One reason given is poverty and second bondage.
Poverty here does not mean worldly riches but spiritual riches. The first reason the Church is suffering is because it does not know God and His Kingdom. This is because of its lack of understanding and wisdom it is poor. We may look around and see many great theologians and people with great knowledge of the Bible but when God reveals things then we see how far these people were from the Truth. Paul knew so much yet he knew he was far from the complete knowledge and had a long way to go. After Paul and the initial Church we have gone into great corruption of understanding with the onward of the Catholic Church for many things that are not of God and have found their place into the teachings and also caused rituals to be followed by the Church.
The bondage which the scripture talks of is the rituals and worldly teachings that have got a hold of the Church. Even though Believers came out of the Catholic Church yet they carried a part of the Catholic Church alone with them, even today there many things which are to do with Catholicism and not Biblical which the Churches follow.
The Lord is telling us we have forsaken Him and the Truth to pursue our own agenda and there are very few people who really know Him that dwell in His Church. His Church which is supposed to shine with His glory is seen as a destitute.
To change things we need to work on these 2 areas one is understand God's Word as it is supposed to be, in spirit and not in letter. Second everything we do should be confirmed with scriptures and we should not do anything that may seem harmless or may seem worldly beneficial but non-scriptural.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You called your people to be a holy nation. You drew your people out from the rest of the world and asked them to be different from the people of the world. We may live in this world yet we are not people of this world, we are citizens of your Kingdom and await the coming of your Kingdom in its true glory. Lord we pray that the leaders of the Church have a change of heart. That You bless them with wisdom and courage to take bold steps and steps on the path You have set...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
14 For I will be unto Ephraim [means double blessing] as a lion, and as a young lion [comes from the word atonement] to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:
8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.
Revelation 5:5 - And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
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