•GOD’S FIGHT• I had been lately inquisitive about something, and that is about the fate of man in Sheol-the spiritual realm where the spirits of men go to after their death (ECCL. 9:10; GEN. 37:35; PSALM 49:14-15). I wanted to know whether Sheol was originally made by God to preserve the spirits of men before Christ came, so as to save them from perishing in hell. As you well know, with the sinfulness of man, their spirits could not dwell with God in heaven (1COR. 6:14-18). So, I took the natural step any typical Christian would take, I prayed for an answer. And so, immediately after prayer I came upon ISA. 3:13-15, which prove to be the answer. To make it more elucidating, I will take the verses one after the other, because writing and translating all the verses at once might confuse you. ISA. 3:13 says: ‘The Lord has taken His place to contend, He stands to judge His people’. Brethren, as a believer, you must believe that there is nothing such as “time-limit” for God, He can see the long gone past like yesterday, and He knows presently, what will happen hundreds of years prior to future events (PSALM 90:4; 2PETER 3:8). As a result, even before He formed man, His prime creation, He knew man would disobey Him and cause Him much grievance, through succumbing to Satan’s temptation. Yet, He made man. ROM. 5:8 says: ‘But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us’. But I tell you brethren, even long before we became sinners, before we were formed; even when God knew how we would disobey Him, He still fought against the inclination of not making man, so as to prevent being grieved by man, or see man degenerate in sin. That is why it is fitting for the Word of God to say: ‘The Lord has taken His place to contend…’. That is, He fought for the cause of man; He fought against that inclination to cease from making man, even though He foreknew what Satan would do to mislead man. Practically, He fought against Satan for the cause of man, even before He made man. What could have made Him do that if not for His unconditional love and mercy that transcends time? David, the psalmist, had the knowledge of this to have written in PSALM 24:6: ‘Be mindful of thy mercy, O Lord, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old (since time immemorial)’. Apostle Paul also wrote in 2COR. 4:7: ‘But we have this treasure (love and mercy) in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God…’. ISA. 3:13 continues after showing that God fought for man: ‘…He stands to judge His people’. Yes, the Lord stood in judging, that is, to take decision, whether to make man, even with what man would do, or not to make him. And as we are living evidences, we know the decision He took. ISA. 3:14 goes on to say in part: ‘The Lord enters into judgement with the elders and princes of His people…’. Brethren, I want you to consider something. There are unarguably some men who have been destined for wrath, simply because they have chosen not to have faith in Him. Such men are the ones being talked about in JOHN 3:18: ‘…He who does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God’. Apostle Paul also wrote in 2TIM. 5:6: ‘whereas she (or he) who is self-indulgent (one who is not dependent on God) is dead even while she (or he) lives’. This category of people that are commonly term unbelievers, do you think they are the ones that God upheld the creation of man for, even when He knew what man would do in sin? These people that are to suffer in hell, do you think they are the ones for God’s reason of not ceasing to make man? Of course not! If it had been so, then the purpose of God’s creation of man would have been aimless; why, these people are to perish alongside the evil-doer, Satan, so why the waste of effort? So, it is not for unbelievers that God persevered in making man against the odds of man turning against Him in sin, but for the sake of the elected, the ones predestined by God for good purposes. (ROM. 8:28-30; 1PET. 2:9-10; JER. 29:11; ROM. 9:8-11; PHILIP. 2:13; JER. 1:5).
God foreknew those who would abide with His will and have faith in Him, as Apostle Paul wrote: ‘For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren’ ROM. 8:29. And it was invariably for their purpose that God upheld His decision-not for any other purpose.These are the seniors and precious ones among men whom God created (1PET. 2:9-10). For ISA. 3:14 attests to this: ‘The Lord enters into judgement with the elders and princes of His people (the greater among men)…’. That is, it was for the sake of the saint God did not rescind the decision of making man. And so, who are the saints? Who are the elders and princes among men? The answer you know brethren, it is we the followers of Christ, destined to be saved through Christ even before we were created, before the foundation of the world (ROM. 8:30). We, the Holy race (1PET. 2:9-10).
The rest of the scripture outlines how God contend against Satan; how He fought against Satan’s wish, which is for man-the precious creation, to perish alongside him in hell (REV. 20:14-15). ISA. 3:14-157 says: ‘…”It is you who have devoured the vineyard (the precious creation-man), the spoil of the poor is in your houses (the privileges of man has been taken by Satan and his minions through sin, the main privilege being man spending time with his Creator eternally). What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? (making man perish for ever with Satan and his forces in hell) says the Lord God of hosts’. Do not be perplexed by those words brethren. Though ordinarily, the words were directed at the sinful Israelites, with introspection, you can see the pattern of God’s words against Satan as I have translated them in the brackets. If you believe this brethren, then understand that God fought for man against Satan even before the beginning of creation, having had the foreknowledge of what Satan would do. And for this reason did He set Christ as our Saviour even before the foundation of the world. In GEN. 3:15, it was Jesus God was referring to when He told Satan after his successful temptation: ‘ “I will put enmity between you and the woman (ordinarily the earthly mother of Jesus-Mary), and between your seed (Satan’s seed is sin) and her seed (Christ, born to the earth by Mary); He (Jesus) shall bruise your head (defeat sin and death, the main weapon of Satan), and you shall bruise His (Jesus) heel (the persecution and suffering of Jesus prior to His resurrection)’.
All these are the wisdom and efforts of God incurred by Him to bring man to safety, away from Satan’s plans for Him. And so God contend against him for the sake of man, before the creation of man, after the creation of man, till the end when he will eventually be silenced for ever. That is God’s fight for the elected, so that they can obtain the glorious liberty set for them. And so, He created Sheol to preserve the spirits of men, so as to avert them going directly down to the place of wrath-hell. For that would be the fate of men since we are all sinful without Christ, and as you well know, God does not dwell with sin; He hates it. All what is sinful bears His wrath, and the fate of such things is perdition in the Lake of Fire. And so, in Sheol, all righteous spirits have the sure hope of resurrecting to eternal life with God, where God’s fight for man against Satan will finally end at the day of Christ (ACTS 2:26; EPH. 1:8; 4:4; COL. 1:5; 1:23). Therefore, as an encouragement of looking on to this day, Apostle Paul wrote: ‘But, since we belong to he day, let us be sober (unworldly and watchful), and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation (the hope of the day of resurrection). For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1THESS. 5:8-9. MAY THE HOPE OF THE LORD DWELL WITH YOU (AMEN).


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