“The wicked . . . . . hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it. Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble. Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless. Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none,” Psalm 10:1, 6-15.
What satanic madness dominates the mind and heart of Vladimir Putin and what darkness enshrouds the collective consciousness of the Russian people!
The revelation of the atrocities carried out by the Russian invaders upon the civilians of Ukraine have been made evident to the world but blindly and wickedly denied by the Russian political hierarchy!
But providence has provided what might rightly be called, an independent witness — the eye of the satellite in the sky!
It is a clear likeness of the ever watchful eye of the One Who has said: “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth,” Psalm 11:4-5.
The satellite images appear to give incontrovertible evidence of the horrific atrocities carried out upon helpless civilians by Russian soldiers in area where they were in control. Both the evidence of the presence of the soldiers and the bodies of the slain are presented in the satellite images so that it is vain for the Russians to mendaciously claim that the whole crime scene has been staged by the Ukrainians.
Furthermore, it surely can be said in answer to the Russians denials of the atrocities like those that have been seen in villages and towns such as Bucha, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv, that the acts of barbarity in such places as we have seen reported in news broadcasts, the Russians have been carrying out since the first day of the illegal invasion of Ukraine. Bombs, rockets and missiles have been rained down upon the innocent by the Russians in town after town. The innocent have been slaughtered, buried beneath the rubble that was their homes. This was not the work of Ukrainians seeking to misrepresent Russians! Rather, they were but acts of vicious savagery unseen to such a degree in Europe since the horrors of Hitler’s Nazism!
The verses I have quoted at the head of this article come from a Psalm which I read this morning and which prophetically refers to the future and the cry of the nation under the heel of the Antichrist in the very last days of this age.
Proof of that may be seen in the closing verses of the Psalm.
“The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land. LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: to judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress,” Psalms 10:16-18.
Here is depicted that time when “the heathen are perished out of his land”, that is out of the land of Israel. The promise given to Abraham long, long ago will be fulfilled. “And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him,” Genesis 12:7. The land spoken of was the land of Canaan, presently occupied in part by the unbelieving Jewish remnant, brought back in unbelief from its scattered existence amongst the nations.
There will come a day of that nation’s awakening to their sin and unbelief and their wickedness in crucifying their Messiah long ago. They will be awakened to repentance and faith.
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart,” Zechariah 12:1-14.
The events in Ukraine set before us the unchanged character of mankind. War has raged in one measure or another on all five continents in plain view in modern times, times in which false philosophers would have us believe are those in which man is advancing in uprightness and justice. Plainly the very opposite is the case as the daily reports of the legalised slaughter of the unborn, the murder of the young, the innocent and the law-abiding by the maniacal degenerates loose in our nation.
The wickedness, daily portrayed before our eyes in the news reports from Ukraine, has been seen to a slighter, though increasing, measure in our land for generations now.
These are the ‘perilous’ or devilish’ times, of which Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1. An unbiased reading of Paul’s words will lead to that conclusion.
For the Christian there must be a growing awareness of the nearness of the Saviour’s return and a stirring of ourselves to return to our first love, our first works and trim the lamp of gospel witness afresh. Let us take heed to the Saviour’s words in Matthew 25.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps,” verses 1-7.
Let us put away the slumbering and the sleeping and return to our first duty — preparing ourselves for the coming of the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let God’s servants in the pulpits be the source of heaven’s awakening cry in this day of neglect of the Bible and its central theme of the conclusion of this age in the return in glorious victory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This morning I also read 1 Thessalonians chapter 3. It ends with these words: “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints,” verses 12-13.
Note that Paul’s prayer and desire for the people in Thessalonica is that the Lord “might perfect that which is lacking (a deficiency)” in their faith, verse 10, make them to “increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men”, and that the Lord “may stablish (stabilise, make firm)” their hearts “unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
Paul’s eye, as he laboured amongst the people was on that day when they would be presented before the Lord at His coming. He expressed the same concern in another place. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all,” Philippians 2:14-17. He speaks in the same vein in his second epistle to the Corinthians. “For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; as also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus,” 1:13-14. Paul had earlier in 1 Thessalonians written these words. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy,” 2:19-20.
Is it not obvious from these words, and I could quote others of a similar nature, that Paul, some 2000 years ago, laboured ever in the light of the return of Christ?
Surely it is much more incumbent upon His servants today to have their hearts and minds and eyes and mouths centred upon that glorious event, soon to take place?
May the Lord stir us all in these days of sloth and despondency.
Sincerely in the Saviour’s wonderful name,
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
April 6th, 2022