40 Days of Repentance | Day 14: Persecution

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I told you what I knew because I love you
I just wanted you to know the truth
Maybe you’re right; they who trust the least
Speak out the most, so I’ll shut up for now, but …

Your silence feels like persecution

Maybe we’re not exactly living the dream
But there are things we can’t see that are now happening
Maybe I don’t have it all figured out
So I’ll keep my thoughts inside my head for now, but …

Your silence feels like persecution
And I can’t wait for a resolution
We are living in a mass confusion
And your silence feels like persecution

It’s a maddening feeling, not knowing what is going on inside your mind
But I will tell you this, dear, though I know you don’t want to hear…
It’s all gonna be just fine

One of the first songs I ever wrote. I had forgotten the lyrics until I sat down to write this post and had to dig through my computer files to find the chord sheet.

I got the idea to write a post on persecution a few days ago, but truth be told, I had no idea what to write about and still don’t know where this is gonna go … I figured the song might be a good starting point.

People generally associate persecution with being harassed, tormented or even killed for your beliefs (i.e. religious persecution). The English dictionary defines it as: “hostility and ill treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.”

However, when we look at the definition of the Hebrew word translated “persecute” in the Bible, it says:

A primitive root: to run after (usually with hostile intent: figuratively (of time) gone by): – {chase} put to {flight} follow ({after}  {on}) {hunt} (be under) persecute ({ion} {or}) pursue (-r).

Based on this definition, I can’t say I’ve ever really experienced persecution in a tangible sense. Perhaps the enemy (Satan) has pursued me many times, and that pursuit has manifested in the form of what I perceived to be spiritual or even physical attacks. But as far as being actively chased, hunted, followed, pursued, etc. by another human being—like how Pharaoh pursued Moses and the Israelites after they left Egypt—that’s not something I’ve really experienced. At least not compared to the persecution that many others around the world have been through.

exodus

Even though I’ve never been actively pursued by a hostile human being, sometimes it’s people’s withdrawal from you that can feel even more like persecution. Kind of ironic, right? It’s their lack of pursuit, their tendency to shrink back, turn the other way, and avoid a relationship altogether that feels even more like “hostility and ill treatment.”

And sometimes it’s not complete silence, but a passive-aggressive Facebook post. (Or blog. I’m especially guilty of those…)

The more that Jereme and I come upon truth and speak out about what we’re learning, the more we seem to notice the “silent treatment” from people who once considered us good friends.

Or even family members…

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10: 34-36

Still, I will not let the fear of persecution keep me from doing what He asks of me. From what I’ve learned, such fears seem to have played a large part in the history of why YHWH’s Torah was forgotten and forsaken. Plus, Yeshua (Jesus) said:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 

As more and more people are leaving church to follow the Messiah, I believe a huge revival is taking place. The lost tribes of Israel are waking up among the swine:

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15 :17-20

We may start to face some real persecution soon:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth…

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

2 Tim. 3: 1-7, 10-12

Are you ready?

This is day 14 in my 40 Days of Repentance series. Click here to read day 13

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