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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

ENDURING PERSECUTION AND OPPRESSION


 

Today’s Readings:

Psalm 63:1-8

Numbers 12:1-9

Revelation 18:21-24 (23-24)

 


Babylon was an ancient city situated on the banks of the Euphrates River and the Persian Gulf. Although the name is derived from the Akkadian word ‘babilu’, which means ‘gate of god’, it is evidently a counterfeit of God’s eternal city. Babylon best depict the opposition to the rule of God by world powers, or the exile of God’s people from the land of blessing. She is always depicted as a mighty city and is usually used by God in pronouncing Judgement on other nations (Ps. 137:1, 8; Isa. 47:6). The mystery about Babylon is something revealed from heaven to all who will listen, or read, and is understood by believers in Christ only with the help of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the concept emerges as a typical figure for the proud, morality, wickedness and God-resisting forces of this world (Isa. 13-14; Jer. 50-51). In the New Testament, it is clearly a type of pan-deism formed from a synthesis of Christianity and paganism; as indicated in the description of the woman riding on the Beast (Rev. 17:1).


The final fate of Babylon is described with an image that draws on Jesus’ judgement of those who deceive his followers. For he said that ‘if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.’ (Mark 9:12). John in his vision saw a mighty angel pick up a boulder the size of a large millstone (v. 21). And with a quick gesture, the angel flings it into the sea, depicting the sudden rapidity with which the city will go down forever (Jer. 51:64; Ezek. 26:21). This is the final judgement on every human institution that opposes God’s righteous rule and sovereignty. A theme of Revelation is the vindication of the Church’s martyrs. The sin of Babylon for this sudden and severe judgement is that she has led all nations … astray and has martyred both the OT prophets, the saints, those of the church history and all those who, up till today died because of their loyalty to the true cause of God (17:6; 19:2), in the hands of the agents and instruments of Satan ((6:9-10; 11:7; 13:7; 13:15). Though those who died in faith may remain in obscurity, they are precious in the sight of God. To some who are still in the world today, they were foolish souls who died for nothing. But verse 24 of our text says that God has not and will never forget them because He will avenge their death (Rev. 6:10).


Persecution and oppression come from within the house of God, and from outside - non-believers. Persecution involves harassment and oppression for religious convictions that may lead to physical or emotional suffering affliction or death. Accounts of persecution of OT prophets involve nations and individuals for their steadfast faith in God and obedience to His commands (Acts 7:52). In the OT, the church, the 12 disciples and individual Christians were persecuted because of their stand for Christ (Mt. 5:11-12; 1Corin 15:9). Today, we have witnessed persecution and oppression in families, societies, Christian nations, especially in our nation, Nigeria. May the companionate and merciful God forgive our persecutors and oppressors, May God El Roi who sees all, use this situation to populate the kingdom of God, in Jesus’ name. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered the most oppression and persecution both from the religious leaders and unbelievers. The religious leaders ignorantly ask God to lay Jesus’ blood upon them, and their children (Mt. 27:25). But rather than cry for vengeance and punishment, the blood of Jesus reconciles us to God. Praise God!

Jesus Christ already told all believers to expect hatred from the world, in that they first hated Him.


This is because Christians are expected to live according to a of set principles and standards more righteous than the world system (2Tim3:12). But to Christians facing persecution: a) patience, endurance and steadfastness give us strength and power to be more than a conqueror, in Him who loves us (Rom. 8:35-39); b) the blessings is that God has not forsaken us (2Corin 4:7-10) You are reading this, whether you are a Christian or a non-believer, and you are working against the will and plan of God for His people and His nation (Psalm 21:1) the wrath and judgement of God will surely come upon you and your generation. Therefore, STOP IT NOW! repent and surrender to the Lordship of Christ, before it is too late.

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


 

Prayer:

  1. The Lord reigns, let the people tremble; He sits between the Cherubims, let the earth be moved.

  2. The Lord is great in Zion, and he is high above all the people.

  3. Let them praise thy great and terrible name, for it is holy

  4. The king’s strength also loves judgement; you establish equity, You execute judgement and righteousness in Jacob [the world]

  5. Father, thank You for letting me possess the precious treasure of salvation in my frail body so that everyone will know that the power in my life is the power of Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus' name.

  6. Father to Christians facing oppression and persecution, especially those on the mission field, encourage, strengthen and deliver them from evil men and women, in Jesus’ name.

  7. We plead for mercy and forgiveness, O Lord; let the blood of the Lamb purge every Christian heart, in Jesus' name.

  8. Father, we commit our children, youths, and young adults to Your fatherly care; Lord instil in them Your love and thirst for Your word and hunger for righteousness, in Jesus' name.

  9. Oh Lord, let Your kingdom come; let Your rule begin; break with Your iron rod, the tyrannies of sin, in Jesus' name.

  10. We come against every spirit of the anti-Christ operating in our nation and command it is completely frustrated, in Jesus' name.

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