Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.
A Corrupt Leader
By Gordon Van Wylen on March 4, 2022
Read: 2 Chronicles 28:1-27
For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel . . . (v. 19)
Immediately north of Judah was the Jewish nation of Israel which had separated from Judah after the reign of Solomon. Its capital was Samaria. North of Israel was Aram (Syria); its capital was Damascus. North of Aram was Assyria, which became very powerful and aggressive during Isaiah’s lifetime. The continuing temptation for the kings of Judah was to seek security in compromise and political alliances rather than in God.
The 16-year reign of Ahaz was a low point in Judah’s history. His father Jotham remained a godly man throughout his life even though corrupt practices prevailed among the people. But now the king himself became an active participant in making and worshiping idols. He sacrificed his sons to idols.
The debilitating impact of such practices soon became evident. Judah was soundly defeated by Aram and Israel. Life became miserable for the people of Judah. Failing to perceive God’s judgment in all of this, Ahaz turned to the idols of Aram, took away the furnishings of the temple, closed its doors, and finally was denied the proper burial for kings. In this desperate situation Isaiah was called to speak God’s message.
In challenging times, we can be tempted to follow Ahaz’s example, looking out for our own protection instead of trusting God. Ahaz reminds us that this kind of compromise never works out in the long term. —Gordon Van Wylen
As you pray, ask God to show you the places where you need to trust him, and recommit yourself to his guidance and provision.
Combatting Persecution in Niger
By Claudia Elzinga on March 4, 2022
In the country of Niger, Christians—especially new converts—can be subjected to persecution.
One of our producers explains: “The challenge is keeping up with listeners who want to accept Jesus as their Savior.”
A listener recently confided: “You know, I am convinced that Jesus alone is the Savior, but I am afraid of the reaction of my own parents. They can kill me if they learn that I have become a Christian.”
Sadly, this listener is not over-reacting, and he is not the only one in such a difficult situation. Many who convert to Christianity in Niger do so secretly, not even telling those closest to them. Words of Hope is forming a network of pastors and evangelists throughout the country to help and encourage converts who find themselves alone in their faith.
“Insecurity limits a lot of things in our area,” our producer continues. “This makes it difficult to visit listeners. Some new converts are followed only by telephone.”
To help broaden the appeal of the programming in this Muslim majority country, some of the recent Words of Hope programs have focused on the lives of the Old Testament prophets, who are of particular interest to Muslims. Starting with the prophets, the programs then work forward to introduce listeners to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Words of Hope’s SD card program is also beneficial in these harsh conditions, as people can listen privately to the gospel. “Many people are fearful of listening to Christian broadcasts in public because jihadists infiltrate populations even in urban areas,” our producer continues. “Memory cards can also accompany some in their flight from threats from their families.”
In the midst of these very real dangers, the Words of Hope Niger team urges reliance on God. “We need to devote times of fasting and prayer in order to ask the Lord for courage and protection to continue proclaiming the good news.”