Turn back before GOD strikes
The Lord said in Exodus32:8, “They
have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.” And Paul said
in Galatians 1:6, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon …!” The people of
God through the ages, be it the Israelites in the Old Testament, the apostolic
church in the New Testament or even the true church of the last days, seem
quick to turn away from God’s ways. They are also slow; or worse, unwilling to
turn back. And for those who do turn hack, they never do so until God strikes.
When the Israelites were led out
of Egypt, God
performed many great wonders before them so that they would have a chance to
know Him and walk in His ways. However, the Israelites were quick to turn away
from His ways. They had chosen to worship idols, to murmur against God and
eventually to reject the promised land. The ways of
God had been made clear to these people and yet they knowingly and willfully
turned away from God. They continued in their evil ways and refused to turn
back - until God struck. At the foot of Mount Sinai, these stiff necked people
did not turn back from worshipping the golden calf until God sent plagues to
them (Ex 32:1- 33:4). At Kibroth Hattaavah,
the Israelites were influenced by the mixed multitude to murmur against God as
they craved for meat (Num 11:4—5). The Lord granted their wishes but struck
them with a very great plague (Num —35).
Many other similar incidents have been recorded about the Israelites, who
turned hack only after God had struck them. They could have turned back way
before having to face the wrath of God.
Jonah, the prophet of God, was
another who turned away from the commandment of God. When God commanded him to
preach to the people of Nineveh, he
arose and fled in the other direction, towards Tarshish
(Jon 1: 2,3). Although he was a prophet, he was slow
to turn back to the calling of God -until God struck. God caused a big fish to
swallow Jonah up when he was cast into the sea on the way to Tarshish and it was only in the belly of the big fish for
three days and nights that he finally turned back to God (Jon 1:17- 2:10). For
three traumatic days and nights, Jonah did not know what lied ahead for him and
it was only at this moment that he chose to turn hack to God. had Jonah not turned away from God or had he turned back
before God struck, he would have escaped such an ordeal.
When Jesus Christ was on earth, He
knew that He would he betrayed and who it was that would betray Him. For three
years, Judas Iscariot had the opportunity to repent but he betrayed Christ.
Even when Judas lscariot had already chosen to betray
Christ, Jesus still gave him chances to turn back. Jesus washed his feet (Jn 13:1—14). Jesus even hinted before Judas Iscariot that
He knew who would betray I urn (Jn -26) and yet Judas Iscariot chose not to turn back
Judas Iscariot only became remorseful and wanted to turn back when he realized
that he had been condemned but it was already too late and he met with a tragic
end (Mt 27:3—5). 1 lad Judas Iscariot turned back earlier when Christ gave him
all those chances or had he turned back before God struck by leaving him alone,
would he not have escaped such a tragic end?
and Sapphira kept a certain part of the proceeds of
the land they sold for themselves, they knew that it was wrong. They had the
opportunity to change their minds but they did not. Ananias
was struck dead. Sapphira was given another chance
when Peter questioned her. She did not turn back. God struck and she too fell
As we read these incidents in the
Bible, they remind us to turn back. Some of us may be continuing in sin; some
may have backslided in faith or arc no longer fervent
in church; and some may not have responded to tile call of God to serve Him.
However, it is a sad thing if we know our own faults but are slow or even
unwilling to turn back. Let us always remember that when God strikes, we have
to undergo great afflictions. If we were to turn hack at the right time we are
making a wise choice. However, if we still remain stubborn, then there may come
a time when God will strike us like He did Judas Iscariot, Ananias
and Sapphira. These people were slow or unwilling to
turn back. May we learn to be quick to turn hack, at least before God strikes.