A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

You’ve heard it said many times: “History repeats itself.” Is this merely a cliché? No, this is a profound Biblical principle. As we read through the Bible, we see history repeating itself again and again.


We see the repetitive cycles of history most clearly in the Book of Judges. The events in Judges take place over more than four centuries, beginning in about the fourteenth century before Christ. We see cycle after cycle in which (1) the people abandon God, (2) God delivers them over to the Canaanites, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, or other enemies, (3) the people repent and cry out to God for mercy, and (4) God sends them a hero, a judge, who defeats the oppressor and delivers the people. Time passes, the people forget God’s goodness, and the cycle repeats.

 

With each cycle, the people of Israel sink deeper into sin, idolatry, and rebellion. The pattern continues on into the sixth century B.C., a time that is depicted in several Old Testament books, including Jeremiah, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel. These books depict the period of Jewish history known as the Babylonian Exile. In those days, Israel again became unfaithful to God, so God delivered the Israelites over to their enemies--in this case, the Babylonians.

 

History repeats itself. This was true throughout Old Testament times, and it is still true today. When we are unfaithful and will not repent, God has no choice but to hand us over to our enemies to be shaken and oppressed. Only when we realize that we are reaping the just consequences of our sin do we cry out for deliverance. Only then will He rescue us from the oppressor. God has not repealed this principle. It remains in force today.

 

That’s why I believe we’re living in times like the era of Judges and Jeremiah. Just as God handed over a rebellious and unfaithful Israel to the Babylonian Exile, God has handed over a rebellious and unfaithful Western culture--both our secular culture and our apostate church--to be shaken as Israel was shaken during the captivity in Babylon.

 

Are you ready to confess your sin, repent, and face the consequences of that sin, trusting in your merciful Father? The road to deliverance is not easy, but when we turn to God and walk that road, He is with us the whole way.

 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word that reveals Your incredible faithfulness. Help me to see my sin and to repent and boldly speak Your Truth, both to the church and to the lost. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Check out more from Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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