— Brother Phil Enlow: It’s interesting the number of times in scripture, and I don’t want to make an exact equivalency out of every one of them, but where God’s people actually went to God in prayer and talked with Him about judgment that was pending…and in some cases, postponed it.
Now, Abraham is an example of somebody who went to God on behalf of Sodom and, of course, the situation had gone beyond that point. But did not God say, yes, if I find as many as ten, I won’t destroy it? So, He’s listening and responding to the intervention of…to somebody who’s reaching out and saying, oh God! And you see this throughout history.
You see Moses…you remember the time when things got so bad, I think it was in the wilderness, was one of those many incidents, when the Lord said, stand aside, let me destroy them. I’ll make a greater nation out of you and Moses said, no! What about Your great name?
You can argue the theology of that. I believe God was testing him, but the heart of Moses was an expression of God’s heart. It was, Lord, I know we don’t deserve it, but God show mercy! Lord, for the sake of Your great name, forgive, pardon. Lord, if it’s necessary, I’ll give my life so they can be spared. Wow! What an expression of God’s heart came through a man.
And how many other times do we see it? We see…I mean, do you remember how after Solomon, who kind of drifted away from all that he’d had as a young man, started giving into idolatry, actually established heathen places of worship for some of his wives, who led him astray? And then God tore the kingdom apart. The northern kingdom of ten tribes established their own government, and from day one, they worshiped idols instead of the living God. They never did ever come back to God.
He sent them Elijah, Elisha, all kinds of situations. Foreign governments came in. You name it. God reached out to them for generations. He judged their sin in so many different ways, and they still hardened their hearts and refused to hear. Finally, He said, it’s done, sent the Assyrians in and dispersed them everywhere.
The southern kingdom was there in Jerusalem. But you look at the southern kingdom and it’s a checkered history. Over and over again, there were wicked kings. And even when there were good kings who actually, to one degree or another, they reached out and said, Lord, we want to serve You. We recognize You are our God. Oh God, help us!
God honored those who reached out, but the people out in the villages and out in the towns, they were still…idolatry was still in the heart. All it took was for that leader to pass off the scene and somebody else come in and boom, they were right back in all their wicked practices, sacrificing children, all the things that they did.
But it’s interesting how the history unfolded. I’m not gonna try to…I couldn’t even go through it. I’m not gonna try to go through all of that, but you remember how Hezekiah was a faithful servant, somebody who really reached out to God and established righteousness, did away with a lot of the idolatry, and they began to celebrate the feasts, they began to observe the law. He did everything he knew to do. And he reached the end of his life, and God gave him an extra period of time.
Yet, out of the heritage of that, his son Manasseh, came to the throne, or the next ruler of any significance was Manasseh. He ruled for 55 years. And the Lord said of him, through the prophets, that he had done worse, committed worse sins than the Amorites that he had driven out so Israel could have the land.
How many of you remember back when the Lord was talking to Abraham and talking about what was coming? One of the things He said…He talked about the Amorites. It was a particular group of people that lived in that area. And He said, “…the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (KJV).
It’s like there’s a cup, and it represents the wickedness of a nation, and every time a nation acts wickedly, something more goes in that cup. And God was withholding judgment even from a wicked nation called the Amorites, because it hadn’t reached a certain point.
Do you see the hand, do you see the mercy of God that’s not anxious to judge, but wants to wait and wants to give people an opportunity? But here was a nation that was the nation of Israel, Judah at this time, became more wicked than the Amorites that they had displaced. And it reached a point where judgment was inevitable. They reached the point that, I believe, America has reached, where it’s not a matter of if, but when.
And the reality is, even Manasseh humbled himself toward the end of his life. How many of you know that? God allowed him to be so humiliated in battle that he humbled himself and began to actually undue some of his stuff, and acknowledge the Lord and all of that. But do you know that didn’t stop it? His son came along, ruled for about two years, and did exactly the same stuff that he did, got assassinated by some of his officials.
And then, Josiah came along. How many of you remember Josiah? What an amazing interlude in that period of history. So, here was a man, a young man. He was about the age of some of you or younger. And he had already been king a number of years. And the scripture says he began to seek the Lord, and it came into his heart to restore the temple and to clean it up and to get rid of all the bad stuff, all, everything that had to do with idolatry.
He even went back into the northern kingdom, and there were altars that had been dedicated to idols, and he burned bones of their prophets on those idols, desecrated them, did everything he knew to undo all this evil that had been done. They had a celebration of the Passover and all that went with it that was unlike any that had ever gone before.
This was a man with all his heart sought God. Do you think that stopped judgment? No, but it sure did postpone it. God gave them a space. Whatever was coming, it’s not gonna come while My servant, Josiah, is there. We’re gonna hold off on this.
It’s coming, and there were three or four more kings, and it began to unfold as Nebuchadnezzar came three different times to tear down the nation. Finally, he said I’m done with you. We’re gonna tear it all down. All of that was prophesied in the prophets. But you had godly people who intervened.
One of the scriptures that came to my mind was in Ezekiel. Ezekiel was carried away from Jerusalem with the first group. You remember how Daniel and his friends were carried to Babylon? There’s a whole bunch of people that were literally carried off into exile, and they settled in communities in Babylon. Well, Ezekiel was one of them.
And God began to give him all kinds of visions and revelations, and it was very obvious that he was somebody that God was speaking through. Even then, the people weren’t listening to him. But one thing that he said…I think you can look this up. I’m not even opening the scripture so far. I’m sorry, I’m just talking, and just referring to scriptures, but I believe it’s in chapter 22 at the end of Ezekiel.
He talks about the conditions over there in Jerusalem, and how bad they are, and how much evil they’re doing. And it says, the Lord looked and wondered, there’s nobody to stand in the gap. He looked for somebody to stand in the gap and make up the hedge, plug the wall, different translations. But do you see what is happening, what God is looking for?
There’s another scripture in Isaiah. This is much earlier in their history…the same thought in chapter 59. All the terrible things that are going on, and nobody was standing up and wanting to do what was right. God is always looking for people that will stand up and do what is right.
And I tell you, we have a power to intervene, to make a difference in this country. We are not victims. We are here for a reason. How many of you think you’re an accident, that living now is just happenstance? Oh, this is just where I happen to live, and you know, God knows about me and all that. God is a God who plans. You and I are here because of a divine appointment.
You know, one of the scriptures that I said, another one that came to me, as I’ve thought about all of this, meditated on it over the last several days especially, how about the story of Esther? The Devil had a tremendous plot, in this case, that he had hatched against Israelites, who were still, at this point, they were scattered through the empire that followed Babylon. The Medes and the Persians had this empire, and a lot of the Jews were still settled among them.
But this wicked man named Haman got it into his heart, not just to punish the guy who had disrespected him, but to exterminate the whole bunch. Where do you think that came from? That came from Satan. That came from the heart of Satan, who hated anybody that represented God to any degree.
And the people got wind of all this. They began crying out, but you remember what happened, don’t you? The Lord had placed Esther as queen. Do you think that was an accident? That was no accident. God had His hand…the king did not even have a clue what her background was, probably didn’t care. She was the one that caught his eye and just captured his fancy. And God was behind every single bit of it, raised her up, prepared her in every way.
And so, you remember the story of how her uncle, Mordecai…I’m trying to remember. Don’t get old! But you remember how Mordecai, her uncle, was mourning, and she’s trying to find out, why is he doing this, why is he acting like this? She sent out one of the servants to find out, and finds out the whole story.
And he sends back word and says, go to king and plead for us. And she says, you can’t do it. It doesn’t work that way. Anybody that walks into the king uninvited, it’s automatically death unless he extends the scepter. I am as good as dead if I go in there. I’m not messing with that.
But do you remember what message that he sent back? Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? “For Such a Time as This,” is not a bad title. For such a time as this, you and I have come here, just like Esther did. And she got to the point where she said, if I perish, I perish. Let’s pray. I’m gonna go into the king, and I’m gonna plead our cause.
Do we not have the right to call upon God on behalf of the nation, on behalf of its people, on behalf of the purposes of God, for us, but not only for us but for others that He would still reach? God’s not through. I don’t believe we’ve gotten down to that point where we’re gonna hear that trumpet this afternoon. We’re here for a time and for a purpose, to reach out to God and to cry out.
One of the things that’s interesting is in the life of Daniel. You go back and read the beginning of chapter nine, and you find out where Daniel reads the prophesy of Jeremiah, which was just a generation or so earlier, that says the captivity is gonna last 70 years, so, what does he do? He sets aside a time of fasting and prayer and goes to God.
And he starts confessing the sins of Israel, and he doesn’t say, those bad people did all this bad stuff! He says, we have sinned. If you’re an American, America has sinned. We can go to God and say, God, we’ve sinned.
And Daniel’s appeal to God was not, oh God, we deserve another chance. It’s, oh God, the only basis upon which I’m coming to You is because you’re a God of mercy. I’m not appealing to You on any merit of ours. I’m appealing to You because of Your mercy, Lord. Please show mercy. God, fulfill Your Word.
I know there’s a lot of people out there that, and I confess I have reacted with mixed emotions when people have pulled out 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves…and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV).
And I think what I’ve reacted to is the notion that, for many people, it’s, oh God, if God’s people will just cry out, everything will get back to normal, and we’ll live a prosperous, happy, comfortable life. That’s not the heart and the purpose of God. Sometimes, we get that as a bonus. We have for many years.
The other thing is the equivalency some people make with Israel. Well, we’re not Israel. We’re America, but we have a responsibility to the heritage that we have been given. God has allowed us to have a lot of divine principle baked into our culture, that is being canceled and rebuked and shut down, right and left in our nation today.
But I’ll tell you, we have every right to go to the highest court in the universe, and to make it a matter of genuine prayer, that God will forgive the sin and will show mercy to this nation, will give us some time, not more time to sleep, but time to be about His business, that He will reach people, that He will reach right into the halls of some of the very people who are our worst enemies, spiritually right now…that He will reach in there and pull some of them out of the fire.
Did not Jesus say, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail…” (KJV). Satan will put up gates and try to trap his people inside his kingdom. Jesus has the power to reach past that. There are people that He wants to reach, but just as Satan uses people to accomplish his purposes, so does God.
And I believe this a time when God’s people need to wake up and cry out to Him and say, oh God, this nation has, indeed, rebelled against You and is deserving of judgment. God, we appeal to You for mercy! Forgive, help us, raise up voices among Your people. It’s not about the Constitution. It’s not about all this other stuff. It’s about the Kingdom of God!
( congregational amens ).
You notice the prayer that we referred to so recently, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” But what about…you know, it gets down to our needs, as individuals, doesn’t it? But, before that, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” That’s what needs to be the heart of God’s people, at whatever level it happens, whatever…I mean, we are among the people of this planet like leaven. We have the power to influence, to slow down things, to create opportunities for the people that God will reach.
May God give us the faith and give us the burden to cry out. What a song we sang about our land, heal our land. This land is in horrible, spiritual shape, but God has a remnant. Even though much of this, much of what proports to be Christian religion is false, there is that which is true. God has His people.
And I believe there’s a burden that’s being shared among many right now, that we are at a tipping point. If God’s people just sit back and let things happen, it ain’t gonna be good. We have an opportunity to band together in the spirit and cry out to God and say, oh God, intervene…God, may Your purposes in this hour be fulfilled. May every one that is Yours come.
Work in our hearts, help us to see what this world is about. It’s a temporary place in which God is calling and gathering a people. Yes, there are people right and left who are making choices. They are coming to that final crossroads and they’re saying no to God, and they’re going down this road. It leads to judgment.
I don’t know how many of you remember it, but there was a…we’re not quite to this point yet, but we will get there. There was a vision given, very plain, just about 50 or 51 years ago in our church, and it showed America and its judgment. And it showed the entire nation on fire. I don’t know exactly what and when and all of that, but I do know that’s what’s gonna happen when the whole world comes to an end. Thank God, just like Sodom and Gomorrah, God will get His people out, and then judgment will fall. That’s where this world is headed.
But in the meantime, are we here for such a time as this? Has God ordained that you and I live right now? Has He given us nothing to do but circle the wagons and wait for Jesus to come? Or can we actually intervene? Satan has witches that are trying to intervene. We have the power of the Son of God who lives in us. We have power to make a difference if we will.
I just pray that God will help me. I mean, of all people, I’m probably the last one to get up and say some of these things. I’ve seen them, but like I say, my own tendency is just to, oh well, there’s nothing we can do. But there is something we can do. We can live for God. We can live out the purposes for which God has placed us in this time, in this place, in this hour. And ask Him for the grace to be faithful until He comes, because that day is drawing ever nearer.
The things that God has shown us are unfolding. We are seeing Satan loosed. He’s being loosed because people are making choices to reject God. But God has a people, and we’re here to rise up and resist what is happening in the Spirit and fight.
Don’t you know there are angels of God who are at work? But, do you know that we have a part in their effectiveness? When we pray, angels receive strength to fight the battles. We’re gonna learn a whole lot of things when we get to the other side, but God has given people enough of a glimpse to know those things happen. That’s reality. We literally have a part to play.
May God give us that grace, and may His name be honored. Praise God! I didn’t even open this, but we referred to a lot of scripture. But I believe with all my heart, God has brought us to the kingdom for such a time as this. And may He give us the grace to live with an awareness of it, and to cry out to Him to intervene in what we’re seeing taking place in our country and in our world, not just that we might return to a comfortable life but that His purposes will be fulfilled, that everyone will come who’s gonna come. Praise God!