Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me

Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos is going into space. HeÂ’s not alone. A space hotel is slated for 2027 to accommodate the growing interest in such travel. Colonizing planets is next.

And how will that go?

America was once the new frontier, settled by those who passionately loved God. The first colony was in Jamestown in 1607. The nation declared itself in 1776. We celebrated that day last week on July Fourth.

Who are we now? Has our faith grown, our dedication to the Lord strengthened?

Just the opposite. And Scripture makes clear the outcome. Most decidedly in the book of Ezekiel, named for a prophet who had his own adventure away from earth. Did you know about this?

EzekielÂ’s book opens as he describes a chariot arriving from heaven in a whirlwind. ItÂ’s SUCH a cool book. The prophet tells of four cherubim, one at each of the chariotÂ’s four wheels. Above them is a vast expanse of crystal where a sapphire blue throne sits with God upon it.

The chariot isn’t a one-time thing; it returns when Ezekiel is taken in a vision to a place between heaven and earth. I have the audio version, “The Word of Promise (dramatized),” which I mostly love. Find a recording, put your feet up, close your eyes, and listen. Or lie down in a comfy spot.

Ezekiel tells of interesting characters, like the man dressed in linen who goes ahead of GodÂ’s executioners. He places a mark on the forehead of those whoÂ’ve stayed close to God to protect them. Ezekiel 9

You’ll hear strikingly beautiful moments — God descends in a cloud and fills the temple, just as He did with Moses, with the tabernacle, and with the temple of Solomon’s day. Exodus 34:5, 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11

Who was Ezekiel?

A priest, taken from Israel during one of the Babylonian invasions. The enemy kept Jerusalem intact and left most of the Jews behind to pay tribute. Ezekiel tells of the coming destruction of the city. God has had enough. His people constantly disparage Him.

Sound familiar? Know anywhere that shames you for being a Christian?

LGBTQ’s newest slogan: “Love is love.” Christ’s response: “Holiness is holiness.”

The church is openly taunted — a pro-abortion congressman just dared Catholic bishops to deny him communion. Yet Christ will not stand for the killing of an unborn child. There can be no communion for anyone if the Catholic church allows it.

What God said to Jerusalem, He still says today, “And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 7:9

How did the Jews end up in their ungodly mess? The Lord had told them to utterly conquer the Canaanites. A command ignored. And the heathens led them away.

Years ago, an atheist I knew gave me a pitying smile. IÂ’d just told him how God had cared for me.

“God knows you?” he asked. “Out of the billions of people in the world?”


“Earth is a speck in our universe,” he continued. “Our universe is a speck in a bigger universe. How can you think that?”

“Listen to what you said. You’ll never comprehend space. How then can you comprehend the God who made it? The Lord knows me, loves me, walks with me. I feel Him, talk to Him, listen to Him. I am embraced by His comfort and care.”

But itÂ’s not just heathens, your faith will be challenged from within. Failure can breed hopelessness. This morning, I failed at a goal IÂ’ve been trying to achieve for decades. But there is always hope with God.

My mom believed music was powerful — Scripture teaches this. So, I sat down to pray, clicked on a playlist, and promptly heard, “Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”

Her favorite hymn.

Reach for God often in a nation determined to mock the Creator of all the universes. Reach for Him in times of personal trouble. Reach out with these words and draw closer— “Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”

The Rev. Mathews, (B.A., M.Div., J.D.), is a faith columnist, seminary graduate, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Write to her at Copyright © 2021 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.

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