2 Kings 13:20 – And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
Hello readers, this is my end of year blog. What a year it’s been, this 2021! We have one day left in this year, and the end of the year is often a time of reflection but also anticipation, hope and looking forward. There is something about the end of the year and the start of a new one. This year there were many opportunities to believe, obey and serve God which I missed. God gives us time, and we should be redeeming it, not wasting it. We are so wasteful, and every now and again I get a grasp on the horror of a wasted life. And anything not the Lord and his work is ultimately a waste, nothing else has eternal value but my Saviour.
I called this blog “new year, same old story”, because in the new year, it is going to be the same story unless we make the change right now. God willing, another year is coming which will have opportunities every day to believe and obey God and put him first. I called this blog so, because one thing we do, if nothing else, is that we repeat and repeat and repeat all the same mistakes. When Moab was meant to be dealt with, and should’ve been dealt with… here they come again. We have a relentless enemy. And our half measures and monkeying with sin is just not good enough.
In this new year, there are going to be battles to fight, perhaps with familiar foes. This wasn’t the first time Israel would have to fight with Moab. Maybe you’ve been having trouble with same old sins, same old doubt, same old disobedience, same old unbelief. Our unbelief and spiritual issues can hold us up a long time. Jesus healed a man who had been 38 years in a laid up condition waiting for the “moving” of the water. How long are you going to be laid up waiting for the moving? So often we are waiting for this magical experience which is going to change you and how you live and what you do when really the opportunity to rise up at the command and Christ is just before you.
Israel could’ve had victory over the Moabites, but they still did not have the victory. That enemy came right on back. How often has sin that we have failed to truly and fully deal with come right on back even worse than before? When we should be fighting new battles, we are instead contending with old foes. When we should have gone on with Christ, we instead seem to be back to square one… every year. When we could have had victory in our lives, we don’t want the victory do we. That’s why we don’t have victory over sin, because we love it too much… isn’t that the truth? See we need a heart change. We need a heart that desires to obey God, not that craves sin while we try and live Christian. So often we have that nature like the horseleach which is making demands to be satisfied incessantly, feed me, gimme, feed me, gimme!
This year I thought about the story of Aaron and Hur and Moses, where a battle was going on below in the valley between Joshua and Amalek. When Moses held his hands up, Joshua was winning, but when his hands got heavy and he let them down… Amalek was winning. When I look back this year, Amalek seems to have done a lot of winning. Who won this year? Who won the battle in your life this year? Can you end with Joshua winning? Amalek ought not win but so often it seems to be so. And the Bible tells us how we can be held up and how we can have victory. What can hold this heavy and impossible and seemingly defeated Christian life up is the love of God and love for others. When Christianity is just trying to do it because I gotta do it, or should do it, Amalek starts winning, because that life gets very heavy. Keeping the law is heavy, but loving God makes it light. Just look at how light that work was for Jacob because of the love he had for Rachel.
The time is ticking down. The opportunities we have today, we have no guarantee of being extended tomorrow. Esther was told that by Mordecai. And in a parable, Jesus said that there is one hour to go. But even though most of the working day was spent, there was still time. There is still time to get something done. Get what needs to be done while you can get it done. Work time will be over soon.
At the coming in of the year, can we remember that the new year in and of itself does not guarantee anything? The turning of the clock doesn’t change our hearts. Hearts need to be changed, not time on a wall. And the Moabites of 2021 will be back in 2022, be sure of that. And notice how their reemergence coincided with the man of God’s death. Be assured that salt and light Christians are the only line of defense against the enemy both in your life and in the life of our nation. The only thing holding back the tide of evil is the Spirit of the Lord, who when the enemy comes in like a flood, lifts up a standard against that enemy.
What will the coming in of the year look like to you? What will the coming of the year bring with it? When new years represent a new start, they may just bring even worse. I thought about 2 Samuel 11, just before David’s terrible sin with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah… and the Bible says in 2 Samuel 11:1 “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”
Happy new year David!
David marked his new year with the worst sin in his life. Because at the turning of the year, there was trouble brewing because he was not right with God. It wasn’t a time to kick back and enjoy the pleasures of life, it was a time for battle. Why was everyone else out there fighting and he’s putting his feet up full and fed at Jerusalem. This whole problem started with him putting himself in a place to sin. His new year wasn’t too great was it? It was the worst chapters in his life. Such a great man, and a man of God… but the new year brought unhappiness didn’t it. Satan isn’t going to have an armistice, he will strike when you are fat for the slaughter. David had been having a good time, and that’s when Satan got him.
What we need isn’t the turning of the clock to make things better, what we need is a new heart. Now. Otherwise you will repeat. Look at history, it’s one big repetition of failure. How are you going to prevent the new year not being the same old story? Because the change must be now. Don’t settle for one more night with the frogs as Pharaoh did. The Bible doesn’t say wait for the new year, the Bible talks about TODAY if you will hear his voice. That’s all your life is, a whole series of “todays”. And if today if you will hear his voice… the Bible says, harden not your heart. What do you do with God’s word. Does it find good soil, or does it bounce off a hard heart of stone? But beware, if you harden, then you will provoke God, and then you will never enter into the life that you could have and should have but won’t have because God will not honour you who rebels against his word.
This year God has shown me some things I’ve never seen before which I thank him for. After all the lies and breaking of contracts between government and the people, an ongoing situation in my country with the virus, I thought about how Jacob must have felt when he had been serving Laban who lied to him and changed his wages ten times. I thought about how God’s word is so much better than the promises of man. We are being swamped in so many lies and a changing narrative and changing promises and changing words. But I thought about how God is worthy of my worship and service because he does not lie, because he can be trusted, because he never violated that trust, because he is WORTHY of my trust. Jacob got let down by Laban’s word, because Laban was not a man of his word… but God never let Jacob down, God’s promises to Jacob never faded or decayed or corrupted or got lost in translation or time.
Another thing God showed me was in the story of David going up to Jerusalem and taking it as his first act as king over all Israel, and I realized it is a picture of how my heart is the most important place God wants. That’s where God dwells after well, our heart is his dwelling place, and that’s the only place where he will dwell. But when my heart should be the the city of my king, so often it is more like a Jebusite stronghold. Who’s got your heart? But David took Jerusalem, and that became the city of David, and from there David ruled and reigned and the whole nation prospered with him in his rightful place. God needs to be in my heart, he can’t have everything else bar my heart, he must have my heart first of all. When our heart is sorted, everything else is sorted too. David took Jerusalem first and then ordered the rest. Remember, out of the heart are the issues of life. But imagine being Israel all those years and for all the land they had taken and time elapsed, they did not have the most important and vital and necessary place in the whole country. They’d had lots of new years, but David’s key victory kick started a truly “new year”. See, the true new year we need is the one that starts when we are born again. What you need isn’t a year changing, but the start of a new clock of a new life born out of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
What I realized this year was the slimmest fraction of the pricelessness of what we have as Christians. Our salvation has come at a cost, it wasn’t just this easy thing for God to give us. It isn’t just this optional accessory to our lives here. The reason God hated Esau was because he valued his birthright at a bowl of food for worth. But it didn’t cost us a bowl of food for God to save us. It cost God his Son. We just flip God off and salvation off like it is nothing and he is nothing. This world flips God and his word off but one day we will answer to God for setting such a low price on what God gave us at such a high price.
I saw this year with the story of David and Ornan the Jebusite how that Christianity without cost is worthless. So often we don’t like the cost that comes with being a Christian, and we are unwilling to pay even the smallest price for following our Lord and Saviour. If your Christian life is incurring no cost, it might be a sign you are not following Christ, because there is a cost to following him. If you are saved, your salvation came at a supremely high cost. It cost God his Son’s own blood. Our salvation has come at a cost, and may we stop baulking at our small cost we must pay as part of following him. May we take the cross when it is our turn like Simon of Cyrene did and bear it when this wicked world makes it our turn to.
I really enjoyed the book of Job this year, it’s a book in past years I haven’t spent too much time in, but I got so much out of it this year. One thing that stood out to me was the man that Job was as described in Job 29. I am not a fraction of the man Job was, and that really is not good enough. He was not special in and of himself, but his life just proved the faith he professed. And even with all his health and possessions taken, his number one priority was still being right with God. I am not even near that. And this world needs Christians like Job. If the salt isn’t salt, who’s going to be the salt? If those who have light won’t shine, who will do the shining? So really today, at the very end of a tough 2021 for many, may we turn our eyes upon Jesus. Make him your new year and fresh start. Make him your reset. That’s the only way you truly get a new start, and it comes from a new heart that he gives all who he saves. Make a real change in your life, rather than starting a new year with best intentions and immediately falling back into the same old ways and fighting the same losing battles.
Why is our life Satan’s invasion zone? The Moabites invaded. We are in a land that is under Satanic invasion. Maybe your life is too. Satan wants to invade, he wants to get on board and bring you under his heel. But who should be under the heel is Satan, why is he walking all over us when we should have our foot on his neck? This is a spiritual battle are in, both personally and in our nation. And we always seem to be losing. New year or not, it always seems to be the same old story. How about we change the narrative by getting our face in God’s narrative? He is the AUTHOR and finisher of our faith. Make the end of 2021 and 2022 about Jesus Christ, stop with this insanity of back to square one and start moving forward in your life, beginning with repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Happy new year!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)