Friday, 27 June 2014

TFTD - 26 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

 26 June 2014

1 Samuel 5; 6
Isaiah 51
Revelation 12; 13

“LISTEN TO ME”

Our Isaiah chapter [51] starts, “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness …” [Isaiah 51:1] “Give attention to me my people … give ear to me …” [Isaiah 51:4] How many respond to God’s appeal - then - and now?  Our chapter takes a long range view - to our time, “My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge … for my arm they wait.” [Isaiah 51:5]  Back in Isaiah 33:2 the prophet’s prayer was, “… we wait for you.  Be our arm every morning”  Our thoughts go to John’s Gospel and the quotation from Isaiah, the unbelief Jesus encountered  “so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ " [John 12:38]  Jesus is the “arm” of the LORD.

God’s word, as we see in Isaiah, sometimes uses the word ‘heavens’ to indicate rulers and ‘earth’ to indicate those ruled over.  With that understanding we see Isaiah 51:6 as a graphic prophecy that will climax in our world now, it is a message for today. “lift your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner …”   But the verse ends, “but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”

The chapter started “Listen to me” and now it significantly occurs again, “Listen to me you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law, fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings.”” [Isaiah 51:7]  How few are listening?  How ready are others to utter “revilings” about those who sincerely believe God’s word - and show that belief in the what they say and the way they live.

But what wonders of eternity await those who really listen!   Isaiah 51:11 says  they will “come to Zion with singing and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, and they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

“Listen to me”  Are you really listening? Are you reacting in the right way to what you hear?  Today’s chapter [11] in Revelation describes the trouble the saints will experience - and the fate of “everyone whose name has not been written … in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain … Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” [Revelation 12:8-11]  Are you listening?  Those who genuinely listen and develop real faith will endure.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

26 June 2014

"In its diction nothing could be simpler than the statement 'He that hath the Son hath life'. It is a truth to ponder upon, to weigh in the mind, to return to again and again, to carry with one through all the perplexities and uncertainties of this mortal life, to call to remembrance in moments of crisis and decision, to rest upon in the less dramatic routine of daily living. It is as powerful in its positive assurance as it is ominous in its warning. It sets before us with luminous clarity and sharpness of definition the purpose and final meaning of our existence, the ultimate issues of life and death, of time and eternity: “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

- Neville Smart
The First Epistle of John