Wednesday, May 25, 2016

God's covert operators

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 18:1-19

TO CHEW ON: "And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets, and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)" 1 Kings 18:3-4

Here's an interesting scenario. Ahab married Jezebel, a Sidonian princess. Fanatical in following the religion of her homeland—Baal worship—she commanded the massacre of all Israel's prophets of God.

But one of Ahab's chief servants (the one in charge of his house) was a dedicated servant of Yahweh. He secretly hid 100 of those prophets from Jezebel. Tucked away in a couple of caves, he had made sure that these God-followers got bread and water for the duration of the famine.

This modus operandi was not untypical. Some other instances when God placed His person in the top echelons of government were Joseph, Esther, Daniel, and Nehemiah. In each case the person stayed loyal to God and wielded unusual power and influence for good.

God still works in this way. In early April this year I attended the MLA's Prayer Breakfast in Victoria (our province's capital city). It was so encouraging to see members from all political parties there, acknowledging that they needed more than just their own wits and intelligence to govern well. I think of these folks as covert operators, undercover agents for the Kingdom. They are working on the side of all that is good for the benefit of all of us.

We're told to pray for our leaders in any case (1 Timothy 2:1,2).  How much more should we do this for those leaders who are also part of the "household of faith" (Galatians 6:9,10?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for putting people who love and fear You in positions of power in my country and city. I pray for the ones I know ______ (name them) today. When I am critical of government, please remind me to pray for leaders instead of complaining. Amen.

MORE: William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce (1759-1833) is another example of a person of faith in a position of influence. He worked tirelessly for the abolition of slavery and saw his dream come true just weeks before he died.The Abolition Project website describes how he got involved in politics and why he decided to stay there after his conversion:

"He enrolled at Cambridge University and became friends with William Pitt. At the age of 21, Wilberforce was elected to Parliament.  He was well suited to politics as he was an extremely eloquent speaker and very witty. In 1783, he met James Ramsay and, for the first time, discussed slavery. Around 1884-6, he underwent a gradual but 'intense religious conversion' whilst traveling with a friend. He considered leaving Parliament but his friend and mentor, John Newton, advised him against this, so, instead, he decided to serve God in public life."

 Read the entire article.

Amazing Grace  is a 2007 movie about Wilberforce's life.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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