Sunday, 21 February 2021 05:05

Article of faith: The sure mercies of David (1) - Femi Aribisala

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Femi Aribisala Femi Aribisala

Someone asked me a question: “What can I do to provoke the Holy Spirit?” I told her: “To provoke the Holy Spirit, you must be very provocative.”

You could not be more provocative than Solomon, who went to Gibeon to offer burnt offerings. He offered 1, 10, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 700, 900. When he got to 1,000, God was provoked.  He appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked: “What do you want?”

“Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’” (1 Kings 3:4-5).

God gave Solomon wisdom, that made him wiser than any man who had ever lived. Then He made Him the richest man in the world.

Promise of God

You never know what you are going to do that will trigger God. As the owner of the biggest video rental outfit in Nigeria, I made a lot of money and God made me give it all away. I had 11 different outfits, all successful.  God said to me: “Sit down and write the names of all those working with you.” 

When I did, He then dictated their salaries one-by-one.

The first salary He dictated for someone exceeded what I was earning at the time as a Senior Research Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.

I did not buy a plot of land. I did not buy a house. I did not buy a car. But I bought cars for some members of my staff.

One day, the editor of a Nigerian news magazine was running out of the country from the clutches of Sani Abacha. The American government had offered him political asylum and he needed some money to escape to Benin on the way to the U.S.A. On his way out, he came to my house and asked for financial assistance.

I did not give him naira. I gave him all the dollars with me that I used for business purposes. As I closed the door of the taxi he was taking, God spoke to me. I heard him as clear as a bell. He said: “Femi, I will make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Without planning it, God had given me the grace to provoke Him. That was some 25 years ago. This year, on January 1, He renewed that covenant with another scripture: “My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Unchangeable God

If God promises to be good to you today, rest assured He was good to you yesterday, whether you realised it or not.  If God heals you today, know for certain that He healed you yesterday. It also means that he will heal you tomorrow. He says: “I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” (Malachi 3:6).

Sit down and examine your life. You will discover some grace of God that has always been operating in your life. God is the same yesterday and today and forever. If he is your provider, then He was your provider and will be your provider forever. If He is your Saviour, then He has always been your Saviour. He does not just become your saviour when you answered an altar call.

“(God) does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17).

Provocative David

David was jealous for God. He was living in a palace and the Ark of God was in a tent. David felt uncomfortable about this and decided he must build a befitting temple for the Ark of God. When He made that decision, God was provoked.

God sent Nathan to David and turned the tables on him. Instead of David building a house for God, God told Nathan to tell him: “The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you.” (2 Samuel 7:11). “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16).

These promises provide the foundation for what is called: the sure mercies of David: “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Isaiah 55:3).

Merciful God

God is merciful. He does not claim to be fair, as men call fairness. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). 

God says furthermore: “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15).

So many things in life are unfair. Men will cheat you, rob you and despise you. You will work and not get paid.  You will help people, but the same people will refuse to help you. You will help people, but the same people you help will despise you.

Stop complaining. Don’t be offended. Life is not fair, but you have God. The person who has God never loses anything in the final analysis. God is a covenant-keeping God. Therefore, He promises to redeem all our losses. He says: “All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 49:26).

 Cruel To Be Kind

God told Saul to go and attack the Amalekites with the following strange instructions: “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15:3).

Was God being cruel or was He being kind? To be kind, God had to be cruel. That is kingdom dynamics.  God is kind to Israel, but because of His kindness, He has sworn to be cruel to Amalek forever.

The Amalekites made an unprovoked attack on the Israelites in the wilderness. After God gave the Israelites the victory, he made an ordinance that because of that assault, He will fight against Amalek for all generations:

“Moses built an altar and called its name, THE-LORD-IS-MY-BANNER; for he said, ‘Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.’” (Exodus 17:15-16).

He made this ordinance because He is very jealous for Israel. Indeed, God is extremely passionate about His people. That is why Paul asks the rhetorical question: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Only a fool, an idiot, a nincompoop.

Some people are in danger of being God’s enemy for life because they dared to be against the sons of God.  That is partly why you need to pray for your enemies.  If you don’t, they are in mortal danger.