July 20, 2007
(Written from the Federal Prison Camp Edgefield, South Carolina)
Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13
GOD: Simon, you don’t seem happy. What’s wrong?
Simon (Simon the Zealot): I don’t understand some things, Lord.
GOD: Well, let’s hear it, Simon.
Simon: I’m a patriotic Israelite, Lord. I love my country and our great heritage. We are slaves to the Romans, Lord, and I don’t like it. My fellow Zealots and I are the only ones offering real resistance to the Romans. We sneak out at night and blow up bridges, loosen chariot-wheel lug nuts, and change road signs to disrupt the enemy. I’ve followed you for several years now, hoping you would restore our great nation by leading a revolt against the Romans. But you don’t show any interest in helping free Israel from oppression.
I’ve put up with the likes of Matthew the Roman tax collector as a soul-winning partner several times. I wondered why you invited him to join our group of disciples. I just thought maybe you did that to have an insider in the Roman camp to feed you information. Over the years I kept watching to see if you would rebuke him for betraying his country and working with the hated Romans, but you never have. It’s as if you don’t even care that he was actually assisting the enemy before he joined us.
I don’t understand, Lord. When do we fight and kick the Romans out of our land (Acts 1:6)?
GOD: I’m the one who founded Israel, son. I’m the original patriot. I love this land and desire the best for Israel more than you can ever know. I also have seen everything the Romans have done and already know everything they will do and even what they think. I don’t need an insider to feed me information.
As for fighting to rid our land of the Romans, I don’t need your help to do that, Simon. Did you see what just one of my angels did in II Kings 19:35 to the Assyrians?
Simon: Yes, Lord. He killed 185,000 of their top soldiers in one night.
GOD: He was just an ordinary angel, so can you imagine what twelve legions of them could do (Matthew 26:53)?
Simon: That is hard to fathom, Lord. I bet they could destroy all of Israel’s enemies in a few seconds!
GOD: Yes, they could, Simon, but the greatest enemy Israel has would still be there.
Simon: Who is that, Lord? I can’t imagine an enemy worse than the Romans.
They are heathens!
GOD: Their heart is wicked, son. The problem is not Rome. The enemy of the Israelites is their own hearts! It is the enemy we’ve been working on for several years now. Yes, many lives have been changed, yet Israel’s worst enemy still lies within.
Simon: Yes, Lord, I have seen thousands of lives changed, but yes, I acknowledge there remains great wickedness in the hearts of the people.
GOD: As long as Israel is wicked, I will be their enemy, Simon (Psalm 7:11).
Getting rid of the Romans wouldn’t fix that problem. You and your fellow Zealots could kill every Roman and the real problem would still remain.
Don’t you remember what I told Jeremiah to preach to Israel?
Simon: Yes, Lord. You told him to tell Israel not to fight against Nebuchadnezzar. You said that you had sent the King of Babylon to punish Israel (Jeremiah 28:14).
GOD: Yes, Simon. I told him that wicked Nebuchadnezzar was my servant (Jeremiah 25:9). I told Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Israel. That was not the time for patriots, Simon. No amount of guerilla warfare would have saved Israel. I had ordered their destruction. They needed a revival, not a revolution.
Simon: Did you send the Romans here, Lord?
GOD: Yes, I did, Simon. I will punish them when I’m done using them just like I did Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:12).
The Romans are wicked and evil and need my judgement, but I expect the heathen to be heathen, son. The thing that really bothers me is when my people act like the heathen (II Chronicles 7:14). I will use the wicked Romans to punish my people Israel, and then I will punish the Romans for doing it. Everyone will be treated fairly, son. I don’t make mistakes.
Don’t misunderstand, son. Sometimes, it is good to defend the land against internal or external enemies. I raised up Moses and Joshua and many judges to free my people from bondage, didn’t I?
Simon: Yes, Lord. I read their stories and want to be like them. I’m willing to die for my country, Lord.
GOD: I know you are, Simon, and I appreciate that spirit in you, but this is not the time for patriots. This is the time for prophets and preachers and prayers. Sometimes, it is my will for Israel to be punished by going into slavery.
I’m always willing to forgive and rescue them. I normally raise up a Gideon for occasions like that; but right now, Israel has not repented, so you Zealots are wasting your time. My people often get involved in fights they shouldn’t be in. What happened when good King Amaziah got into a fight that he should not have been involved in? (II Chronicles 25:17-25; II Kings 14:9-14).
Simon: He was badly beaten, Lord.
GOD: That’s right, Simon. Let me pick the battles.
Simon: But Lord, what about Matthew? Isn’t he a traitor?
GOD: I called him to follow me and he did (Matthew 9:9). Did you hear what my prophet John the Baptist told the publicans to do to show they had repented (Luke 3:12-13)?
Simon: Yes, Lord, he told them not to cheat the people by collecting more than the law allowed.
GOD: He didn’t tell them to quit their job, did he, Simon?
Simon: No God, he didn’t.
GOD: Did he tell the Roman soldiers to quit their job?
Simon: No, Lord. He just told them to do violence to no man and to be content with their wages.
GOD: Like Solomon said, there is a time for everything. There are times to fight for freedom and there are times to refrain from fighting (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Right now is not the time to be a patriot. Israel’s judgement is coming soon. They are like rebellious Ephraim. “Ephraim is joined to idols. Let him alone” (Hosea 4:17).
Simon: But God! I love my country and want to see a revival.
GOD: So do I, Simon. Israel has been through this cycle many times. They never seem to learn. They go from prosperity to complacency to sin to judgement to repentance and back to prosperity. Right now, they need my judgement, son. Trust me, it is best. All countries and people seem to follow the same vicious cycle. One day I will help a group of godly men found a great country called America. They will become very prosperous and then very wicked. I will send them thousands of bureaucrats and princes to eat all their substance and bring them into bondage (I Samuel 8:10-18; Proverbs 28:2). I will call on my prophets to stop trying to save their nation and just win souls before my judgement falls. You will see it all from Heaven, Simon, and it will break your heart as it does mine.
Simon: What should I do, Lord?
GOD: Quit the Zealots. Submit to the Romans. Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you (Matthew 5:44). Preach my gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15).
Simon: Okay, Lord, if that is what you think is best.
GOD: I always know what is best, son.