Today’s Passages (all 1 link): Jeremiah 23-24; Psalms 119:121-128; Revelation 8
Jeremiah 23-24: In this passage of the overall prophecies of Jeremiah we excitedly see very specific Messianic references. In chapter 23:5-6 Jehovah tells of a “righteous branch being raised up in David who will reign as King, will act wisely, do justice and righteousness, and in His day Judah will be saved, Israel will live securely, and He will be called The LORD our Righteousness.” Later in chapter 24 vs. 23 is a prophetic passage, rewritten by Paul in Ephesians 2:13, “ Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “ And not a God who is far off?” This shows the relationship of God wanting to be so close to us, His creation, that He would become one of us, and one with us so that we would see and understand His love for us. As Phillip Yancey gives as an example in one of his books, that as an owner of salt water fish, which are very difficult to keep and care for, he struggles to keep the water in a perfect balance of ph and saline, and temperature, and cleanliness. With all the care needed and given for the sake of the fish, yet they still run and hide each time he approaches. They actually exist in fear of the one who keeps them alive. If only the fish could understand, or he could become one of them and then communicate to them that he means only good for them. Sound familiar? Yet God did communicate with us, and did become one of us, and did demonstrate His love toward us.
Revelation 8: The seventh seal is opened, and dead silence is in heaven for half an hour. How devastating and catastrophic this news must be. Silence in the throne room of Jehovah, no one crying Holy, Holy, Holy! Don’t gloss by this point, the news is vastly disturbing, everyone and everything is silent. They all saw, or could read the signs that something great is about to happen. The prayers of the saints, and the incense mingled with them rise before Jehovah. What a picture this conjures up, that our prayers come before Jehovah like a pleasing and calming, satisfying incense. It actually pleases God that we pray to Him, He is not annoyed or bothered by it, no matter how petty, or dramatic our prayers may seem to us, they are pleasing to Him who loves and cares for us. then the angel with the censor begins the chaos on earth, and the first trumpet sounds which brings complete destruction to one third of the earth, the next trumpet destroys one third of the sea, the next one destroys one third of the fresh waters, and the fourth trumpet destroys one third of the stars, the sun, and the moon. Then an angel flies by and says “watch out” for some real trouble is about to come!
Yes there are about one thousand opinions as what this all means in the revelation, but I want us to focus on Jehovah’s care for us, through Israel He declared His love for us, through the prophets He declared His plan to show us His love, and through Jesus he delivered on His promise. The important theme here is God’s caring and love for us demonstrated through Christ’s sacrifice. The enemies of God will be destroyed, we may or not actually see it, we may or not actually be persecuted for our faith to the point of martyrdom, but some will, and we will dwell with Him for eternity. The days of tribulation are drawing closer, the signs of the times show it so clearly, so lets be diligent to draw close to our Creator while the times are still calm.