Judges 3:1-2 says, “Now these are the nations which the LORD left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it),…” Isaiah 3:1-5 describes the state of the nation and its leaders, “For behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah The stock and the store, The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water; The mighty man and the man of war, The judge and the prophet, And the diviner and the elder; The captain of fifty and the honorable man, The counselor and the skillful artisan, And the expert enchanter. ‘I will give children to be their princes, And babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, Every one by another and every one by his neighbor; The child will be insolent toward the elder, And the base toward the honorable.’”
Many Americans sincerely voted for change and got utter financial, spiritual and moral bankruptcy. God is looking for repentance from the church but there is such a famine of “men of war” who will stand in the pulpit and speak the unvarnished truth?
I had the privilege of teaching a newly saved, naturalized Dutch citizen in the seventies named Gerard Antonis. He was a consummate “Man of War.” He was twelve years old when the Nazis invaded Holland. He had Nazis stationed in his home and instead of carrying books in his backpack, he carried bombs and grenades as his father recruited him into the underground. He learned the willingness to fight to the death for freedom! He told me he had never lost a fight and he did not want to lose a battle in the Spirit.
Gerard believed “..all things are possible to Him that believes.” He was working for Johnson Pump Company when a new computer-programmable lathe arrived at the shop. The Holy Spirit said to him, “I can run that machine,” so Gerard volunteered for a very complex job. The Lord proved faithful, because in over twenty years of working there, he was the only operator who never scrapped a part. When other operators ran into trouble, they brought their messes to Gerard. And the wisdom of God cleaned up their problems.
One of the cables that lifted the massive steel blocks into the lathe snapped. The buckle hit Gerard in the face, knocking him off of a three-story platform. Everyone there thought he was probably dead. When he was revived, he refused to go to the hospital, but declared Jesus to be his healer, and that he would be going back to work. The Lord came through, and he finished the work day. After about a week, his face cleared up and he never missed any work. A few months later, a giant bell housing fell onto his foot. It had obviously crushed his foot, and had to be lifted off with a crane. He refused, again, to go to the hospital, stating “Jesus is my healer.” As he began to walk around the lathe, the bones popped back into place and once again he was immediately back to work. Each stand he made on the Word was preparation for the next test of faith.
Gerard’s machine was so complex, that after setting up the programming, it would run for seven or eight hours to complete the job, leaving him with seven hours of supervising the machine with nothing else to do. The Lord told him to redeem the time by studying the Bible. A new supervisor caught Gerard studying the Bible and demanded that he immediately cease, declaring that no one would study the Bible during their working hours in under his watch. Gerard declared, “The Lord told me to study the Bible, and your trying to stop me is dangerous to your health!” Gerard refused to stop and that week when the supervisor was making his rounds, he dropped dead of a heart attack when he approached Gerard’s machine. No one ever interfered with Gerard and his Bible studying after that! Where are the “Men of War” to tell our judges that their decisions are dangerous for their health?
Gerard too his wife and daughter camping in the California mountains. After returning from a hike, they found a big black bear, sniffing their cooler that was stocked full of food. The bear, with one paw-swipe, knocked the cooler off the park table, with the obvious intent of eating it all. Gerard began to rebuke the bear, “That is my food and I have dominion over you – loose my food and let it go in Jesus name!” The bear stood to its full height in the attack-mode… Gerard’s wife screamed, “Don’t tempt God!” Gerard refused to stop, but continued toward the bear, demanding it to bow in Jesus name and flee! The bear dropped to all four paws and fled!
Where are today’s Gerards to bring God’s hand on the black bears ravaging the nation?