Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)


Does anyone remember the original comedy film Ghostbusters in which a team of zany parapsychologists save New York City from a giant marshmallow?  After their heroic success, New Yorkers knew whom to call whenever imprisoned ghosts threatened their very existence.  Throughout history, the threats encountered at various times have been more ominous and deadly than giant marshmallows, and we haven’t always made the right call.

Take, for example, Rehoboam, Solomon’s foolish heir to the throne.  Initially, Rehoboam summoned the wise men who had served his father for their direction concerning the kingdom.  The older men counseled Rehoboam to treat his subjects with kindness.  Then the new king called in younger men, his contemporaries, and posed the same question to them.  These untried young men suggested that Rehoboam impose harsh, strict law enforcement.  When Rehoboam followed the young men’s advice, he lost most of the kingdom (I Kings 12).

King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes) had a relatively simple domestic issue.  After this powerful emperor and his allies had spent six months in a drinking orgy, Ahasuerus called his beautiful wife, Vashti, to appear at the party (Esther 1).  Historians say that Vashti may have been pregnant or that she may have been called to appear naked before the inebriated nobles, but whatever the reason, Vashti refused.  Instead of downplaying the action, Ahasuerus called for his counselors who advised deposing Vashti.  AND they notified the whole country that Ahasuerus had been humiliated before all his allies…  (Of course, God providentially used this event to bring about the salvation of his people.)

And then there was King Hezekiah.  Outnumbered and against terrible odds as the massive Assyrian army threatened to annihilate Jerusalem, the military emissary sent Hezekiah a letter boasting of military conquests against other nations and gods, insinuating that the God of the Israel could not deliver his people (II Kings 19).  Instead of turning to his counselors, Hezekiah took the menacing letter, went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before Israel’s God.  Hezekiah went directly to God, and he prayed.  And God answered by destroying the enemy’s whole army.

Our personal crises will not be as monumental as those described above, but the question remains:  On whom do we call in our times of trouble?  Do we depend on intermediaries who can only give us their best counsel?  Even the wisest human mind can never know all the details of a situation, the innuendoes of conversations, the history of the problem, and the hearts of all the players involved.  God knows it all.  There’s no need to spend valuable time in multiple counseling situations just describing the problem.  God is already there and knows even more than the participants.  Yes, counselors are good and have their roles, but they can only point to the One who can intervene and heal and redeem.  Why not go straight to the Mighty Counselor (Isa. 9:6) and trustfully watch him work?

Do you ever wonder if God is grieved that we only turn to him when every other resource has failed?


Father, take away our fear and teach us to trust your wisdom, love, and power.  Forgive us for trusting other resources far more than we trust you, and show us your glory.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.


And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?  Esther 4:14b  (ESV)


I was standing in line to vote when the man next to me asked, “Where is Willie Nelson on this ballot?” which of course provoked a conversation about the candidates and the issues that concerned us.  (I had to agree that Willie would be a good write-in.)  As our discussion continued, I mentioned a blog Max Lucado had just published with his predictions for November 9.  Lucado confidently stated that God will still be in control no matter who is elected (https://maxlucado.com/prediction-november-9/).

That brought to mind the various people God has used in the Bible and in history to impact the culture.  I thought of Joseph whose gifts and wisdom brought about the saving of his family and adopted country; of how improbable Esther and her story illustrated God’s providence; of Daniel whose impeccable integrity and courage demonstrated godly commitment in a pagan environment; and of Nehemiah whose love for his homeland initiated the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

And then there’s the account of a retiring monk, Telemachus, who felt called to go to Rome without any clear indication of what he would do once he arrived.  Upon hearing the roar of the crowds when he neared the Coliseum, he ventured closer to learn that people were being sacrificed for entertainment.  It is said that the godly monk pushed his way through the barriers until he stood in the middle of the arena.  “Desist, desist,” he shouted.  This unexpected happening stunned the crowd to silence, and then they began to call for his blood even as he continued to shout for an end to the violence.  As he died, he did not know that his death would bring about the end of the gladiatorial games.

We’ve had visionaries on our own soil who pledged their lives and resources for the ideal of religious freedom.  In other places, Wilberforce dedicated his life and energies to abolishing slavery in Britain, while Bonhoeffer’s passion for living out the Gospel led him to perish attempting to destroy the evil that corrupted his beloved German homeland.  The list goes on and on…

History reminds us that God’s people always have a responsibility to understand the times and to respond in obedience to his providence.  To what has God called you for such a time as this?


Father, each of us has a role in your providential plan.  Open our eyes to see how we may faithfully serve you and the community in which you have placed us.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.