Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Ezra 1:1
It says “…the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia…”. God controls the hearts of kings. To God we must pray that He willl stir up the hearts of our national leaders and leaders in the world that they will uphold justice and not impose laws that will affect the kingdom of God. Pray also that these leaders will be humble and realise that their position of authority is bestowed by God. Therefore, they ought to rule with compassion and mercy.
“God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the crime done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers.”Judges 9:23-24 NKJV
The scripture says that “God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem”. Why did this happen? V24 tells us that it was a judgement for the “..crime done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal…”. Abimelech killed 70 sons of Gideon (also known as Jerubbaal) in Jud 9:5.
We are reminded that God is aware of everything that happened. And He is in control of everything that happened and will happen. In this case, God judged Abimelech by sending a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem. We see here that even the relationship between people is under the control of God!
How is the relationship with your fellow brethren and the people around you today? It will depend on your relationship with God. Listen to the wisdom of the Proverbs in how you may have favour with both God and man…
“And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:4-7 NKJV
Seek God and His kingdom first and even this blessing of “having favour with both God & men” will be added unto you.
“Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.”Num 11:25 NKJV
The situation? Israel was murmuring. Moses was perplexed about what he should do. He brought it to the LORD because he could not bear it himself. God assured him that He would give enlightenment to 70 more men so that they can help bear his burden. They will have eyes to see the correct perspective of the situation.
Job 32:8 “..there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding”. So true. We don’t win arguments by reason. Because the faculties of the opposition may not understand our reasons, unless the Spirit of God opens their eyes. 2 Cor 10:4 “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”.
The next time you find yourself engaged in an argument, restrain yourself. Withdraw yourself from any unhelpful exchange of words. Escape to a closet and engage in prayer. Let the Spirit of God influence and convict people instead.