How are your roots?
I had bought an exotic plant few months back. It looked beautiful with its unique leaves. Watered it for a while, but noticed, the leaves were looking healthy , but its roots weren’t that healthy. I wasn’t sure if our temperature or soil suited it , but somehow knew seeing the roots that it won’t last for long. And sure enough, it withered after sometime.
If our roots aren’t healthy, our fruits wouldn’t be either.
Let’s analyse with a biblical example.
After the fall of Judah to Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar—king of Babylon at that time , decided to bring in some young Hebrew men and train them as his attendants. Purpose was for them to conform to the lifestyle of his court ( In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.) (Daniel 1:1)
Judah’s fall was prophesied by Isaiah—2 Kings 20:12-21, “Following Hezekiah’s illness, envoys had arrived in Jerusalem in 712 BC from Marduk 2, king of Babylon. Hezekiah had welcomed the envoys into his palace where they saw the wealth of the kingdom of Judah on display. Isaiah had prophesied that a time would come when the Babylonians would conquer Judah and carry away all its wealth. Hezekiah’s descendents would be taken away and would become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
What caused the wrath of God against Judah?
2 Kings 21:1-18, “In 698 BC, Manasseh succeeds his father Hezekiah king of Judah. He rules for over fifty years, during which time he re-builds the ‘high places’ of pagan worship with their altars to Baal and Asherah (deities of fertility, cults). He worships the stars , kills hundreds of innocent people, sacrifices his own son to the god Molech, and puts an ‘Asherah pole’ in the Lord’s temple. As a result of this idolatry, the prophet-including Isaiah foretold the destruction of Jerusalem.
When Josiah, a righteous king, tried to restore righteousness among people, the people would not respond. The Lord said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My Name shall be there” (2 Kings 23:27).
Now question arises, why people (chosen and delivered lot) would not respond?
During their entire period of 40 year journey in the wilderness, God established a ‘relationship’ with his people, whom He delivered, and His people, Israelites developed their faith in the wilderness. Abraham lived in Negev desert, where God made His covenant of BLOOD and sealed it with circumcision. Moses met God in burning bush, learned the greatness of God’s name and received his commission to bring the Hebrews out of Egypt. God spoke on Mount Sinai and covenant re-established with ‘Ten Commandments’ . 40 years Israelites survived, protected, fed and led to the Promised Land by God Himself.
But when the Israelites entered Canaan, they were enamoured to see a land of farmers, (unlike them who were shepherds). Naturally they were impressed. Human mind doubted. Could it be the god of fertility (which Canaan worships), reason for such fertile lands? Because this was something new for them. Their roots (of faith and obedience), must not have been so deep rooted yet. They were still in doubts, since Canaanites attributed this fertility to their god Baal. Israelites were unsure if Yahweh could bless them with such fertile lands too, or they need to worship Canaan’s gods for such blessings. Human minds are the strongest battlefields. Book of Judges records the ongoing struggles of Israelites, their attraction to Canaan’s gods, God’s disciplinary actions taken, people’s repentance, God’s merciful forgiveness, until Israelites turn their back to Yahweh and reaching for Baal again.
When we do not have right guidance in life, it’s easy to fall prey to lies and deceit.
All the while, prophets like Elijah, Hosea, Isaiah, and Jeremiah thundered that “Yahweh Only” deserved all honour and praise of people (God gave many chances to His people to recognise His Omnipotence, and thought they might come back to Him). Babylonian captivity of Judah, became essential for Israelites to see the omnipotence of Yahweh as God alone.
Comparing their disbelief to ours in present day, is relatable. It is natural to get attracted to fun, money, fame, wealth, prosperity, cheap thrills, and equally hard it is to understand God and His expectations from our lives. We keep waiting for fun parties, booze, glamour and night outs, but struggle so hard to attend a prayer meet or a motivational (on word of God) session. Those days, needs were different. Today our needs are different.
Through fall of Adam, world plunged into sin through every conceivable evil. What gradually emerged was a world of sickened thoughts, desires and intents made plain by men and women of this world of every tribe, tongue and age.
But God gave us a freewill. It is very much in our power, to practice it.
Book of Daniel narrates to us the character of a few young men of that era, who had “spirit of excellence” , who practiced their freewill . Their actions ( the courage that they showed in front of the king, clearly indicates they were God pleasers and not man pleasers) were ‘fruits’ and not exactly ‘roots’. As we all know, the deeper our roots are, healthier our foundations are, hence bring best fruits in our lives. In Daniel’s case, He had the choice of having ‘dainty food’ from king’s table, but he stood his ground and refused ( because he knew they did not share his passion and devotion for God. Daniel and three young men (Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,) all children of Judah, had excellent spirit. They were determined not to defile themselves by eating from the King’s table. Fruits of excellent decisions and behaviour, devotion to God was deep rooted in them. They were willing to sacrifice their own lives for their beliefs. As the story unfolds, we discover how these young men found favor ( in every step)with the king and his court. Eventually they became witnesses for an entire pagan nation and they were used powerfully by God for displaying His splendour through these four obedient and faithful youth of Judah. God’ s favour rested on Daniel so strongly that he rose to become the Chief Governor of Babylon, world’s greatest power that time. Other three were made high officials. Which also means, a pagan nation “chose Godly counsel” and recognised the power of “The Living God”. Daniel 3:25 says, Nebuchadnezzar was ‘astounded’ to see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were joined by a fourth man in the fiery furnace—one who was according to King James version, ‘like the Son of God”. God never left them. He was equally faithful to His Children when they needed Him.
(Shash Grewal (Shashwati) is a scriptural Motivational Writer, Speaker, Spiritual Teacher, Preacher and an Evangelist.)
(Shash Grewal(Shashwati) is an enlightened writer and composer, who writes love saga of her Lord Jesus and herself.)
Babylon’s king said “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in and relied on Him!”( a pagan nation’s King/leader, witnesses for the Son of God)
Our Amazing God!
He is ready to deliver you every step of your life! Do you have an excellent spirit like these young men of courage, who did not bow down to king’s pressures but stood on their ground of “truth”?
We are ‘not’ here to please people. We are here to please God our father in Heaven.
Man fallen and alienated from God, retained image and likeness of God, sans His glory. Christ is our redemption. God without beginning or end created all things and through Him (Jesus) all things were made (John 1:1). His name has power! Let your faith be nurtured and take deep roots on solid foundation of His name, and not grow on a shallow ground that chokes and dries up with world’s pleasures and lies!
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)
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