Wars and Rumours

A. rumour: 1. a. A (wide-spread) report of a favourable or laudatory nature. Obs. b. Talk or report of a person or thing in some way noted or distinguished. Now arch. c. The fact of being generally talked about; reputation, renown. Obs. 2. a. General talk, report, or hearsay, not based upon definite knowledge. Also phr. rumour has it. B. Believers can expect certain troubles in this troubling life. JOH 16:33; ACT 14:22.1. There will be certain persecutions to the godly in Christ. 2TI 3:12.2. There will be troubles in marriage. 1CO 7:28.3. The disciples would see great tribulation of a political nature. MAT 24:21.4. Such troubles were prophesied and guaranteed. A believer could absolutely know of such.5. But our hearts should not be troubled. JOH 14:1; 1PE 3:14. C. Jesus told His disciples to expect wars and rumours of wars but that they should not be troubled. MAT 24:6.1. They would obviously hear of both the “real thing” and “noise.”2. History shows that such occurred in the disciples’ days: actual wars that took place in the empire, rumours of war against Judea that didn’t materialize, and then the ugly war of Rome against Jerusalem and Judea.3. NOTE: basing your prudence and decisions upon known certainties is one thing but doing likewise on the basis of incomplete or speculative information is another.4. Your perception of things will regulate your thoughts as much as the reality of things, perhaps even moreso, since it is our nature to insulate ourselves against uncomfortable realities. IKI 22:8. D. Whereas it is true that we often have to form judgments based upon incomplete information and entrust the matters to God (ECC 11:5-6), we ought to be careful about gobbling up every bit of information that we hear and so trouble ourselves unnecessarily.1. Perhaps you have heard of the end of the world from climate change? c/w GEN 8:22.2. Have you ever noticed there is no shortage of economic gurus who predict the certain end of all things (and also have a solution to sell you)?3. Paul warned believers about being troubled by spurious “Christian” information. 2TH 2:1-2.a. Based upon revelation, the Thessalonians could know perfectly that the day of the Lord would not be fixed on a calendar date. MAR 13:32; 1TH 5:1-4.b. The difference between knowledge-oriented and rumour-oriented thinking should remind us to prove things. 1TH 5:21. E. King Saul was an example of someone who formed bad conclusions on the basis of unfounded assumption and speculation generated by God’s departure from him. 1SAM 16:14; 18:28-29; 20:30; 22:8. F. On the basis of corrupt reports, incomplete information, and a haste to judgment without inquiry, Saul of Tarsus was convinced of the wickedness of Jesus and His followers. ACT 26:9-11.1. Mind that the religious leaders had circulated false reports. MAT 28:11-15.2. NOTE: It is critical for wicked men to denigrate and even dehumanize their enemies in order to justify inhumane treatment of their enemies. JOH 8:48. G. Consider the manipulation of the masses by Absalom or the Ephesian silversmiths.1. Absalom didn’t specify that he was plotting rebellion when he stole the hearts of the men of Israel whom he led like a pied piper. 2SAM 15:1-6, 11.2. The Ephesian silversmiths didn’t bother to disclose their real agenda and they provoked a mob action against the Christians. ACT 19:24-29. H. Consider the way that Claudius Lysias related Paul’s situation to Governor Felix. ACT 23:26-27. Wars and Rumours 3-31-22 Page 1 of 21. This spin omitted and altered certain details that would have cast Claudius in a darker shade. ACT 22:24-29.2. Sadly, our sin nature tries to convince us we can hide details from God, a futile exercise. HEB 4:13 c/w PRO 28:13. I. Consider the way the Levite related the death of his concubine to Israel. JDG 20:1-7.1. The concubine had “played the whore” against her lord/husband. JDG 19:1-2, 26.2. The Levite sought her and reconciled. JDG 19:3.3. They sojourned in Gibeah of Benjamin which had degenerated itself into toleration for open sodomy. JDG 19:22.4. The Levite cowardly threw his concubine to the dogs and they abused her to death. JDG 19:25-28.5. The Levite then Fed-Axed her to all Israel. JDG 19:29-30.6. The Levite omitted his cowardice when he explained the matter. JDG 20:5.7. This all stirred the rest of Israel to war and they got carried away to where they almost destroyed a tribe of Israel. JDG 20:11, 48; 21:6.8. Few things unite a nation to go to war as efficiently as an apparently outrageous act of inhumanity, especially when certain details are left out of the narrative. J. We should be thankful that we have in our Bible a complete set of facts that is available to both the leaders and the followers. ACT 17:10-11.1. God is known to set the basest of men in power in the kingdom of men (DAN 4:17) and we should not think of men more highly than we ought. 1CO 4:6.2. God wills that men of faith and integrity rule in His kingdom (TIT 1:6-9) but even they need to be checked and proven. 1CO 4:6 applies to them also.

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