Monday, 30 June 2014

TFTD - 29 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

29 June 2014

1 Samuel 10
Isaiah 54
Revelation 17; 18

"FOR IN A SINGLE HOUR …”

Every time we read Revelation, especially chapters 16 to 20,  a multitude of thoughts threaten to overwhelm us.  We focus our attention most of all on the ‘picture’ they give of the climax of human history at the return of Christ: this is totally dramatic and sudden.  We perceive that this is the latter day counterpart to ancient Babylon - and we recall the head of gold of Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the dramatic end of his Empire.  We are also mindful of the fact that ‘Babylon’ is the way the Greeks translate the Hebrew word ‘Babel’ into their language causing us to think of what God did to Babel generations after the flood to demonstrate to ungodly men that he is in control in the earth.

Therefore Revelation is giving us a picture in symbolic language, of the final “hour” of human kingdoms. We read, “Alas! Alas! … you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.” [Revelation 18:10]  The spiritual element in Babylon today is “clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet” [Revelation 18:16]; these are the dominant colours in Papal garments - but “in a single hour she has been laid waste.  Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints … for God has given judgement for you against her”  [Revelation 18:19-20]

A puzzling factor is the great wealth of this latter day Babylon that Revelation highlights. Can we see significance in the fact that the European Common Market was established by the ‘Treaty of Rome’ in 1957 and the countries that belong (and it seems significant that the U.K. did not sign), and that just about all of them are Roman Catholic.  The major reason for their unity is financial and for 50 years the E.U. has been very prosperous. But now the scene has changed and could become a disaster, so note the words, “for in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste” [Revelation 18:17]

Our Lord made a simple statement, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.” [Matthew 6:24]  What is it to “serve money”?  Money, and the things it can buy, dominate the thinking of just about every one! We see this all around us; it must not dominate our thinking.

Let us heed the voice which says, “Praise God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great … Let us rejoice … and give him glory”  [Revelation 19:5].  True believers are “his bride (who has) made herself ready” - make sure you are among them.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

29 June 2014

"Walk humbly with thy God". This passage falls into perfect harmony with the idea of preparation by all things. If a man walks humbly with his God in all his progress through life, he is at all times under divine guidance and influence. Whether in sorrow or joy, at work or play, his experiences can thus help to prepare him for the more complete manifestation which is to come."

- Islip Collyer
Conviction and Conduct
1 Samuel 10:22
"Therefore they enquired of the Lord further, if the man (Saul) should yet come thither. And the Lord answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the STUFF"

Saul had accepted the calling to be king and was anointed. But when he was to come forward to take on that responsibility he had hidden himself in amongst stuff.

STUFF, is used of material possessions, and often that which is important to the individual. We like Saul have accepted our calling (through baptism), to be bondservants to the Lord Jesus Christ, but do we come forward to take on our responsibilities within our ecclesia's, to serve our brothers and sisters needs, and our. Masters. For example, where are we, when the lecture is on, where are we when Bible class is taking place, or other ecclesial activities. Or can we not be found because we are hidden in all our STUFF, and giving our time and energy to what this world has to offer, and STUFF it promises, and persuades we need to have.

Our master has words of warning involving STUFF and our attitude towards it:
"In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his STUFF in the house, let him not come down to take it away:and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (Luke 17:31-33)