July 7 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 22-24 and Psalms 7
Isaiah 24:19-23 reads, “The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again. In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed, for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously.”
Compare these words to those found in Revelation 6:12-17 where it reads, – “the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
How remarkable, that the New Testament prophetic book of Revelation sounds so much like Isaiah. Indeed, most students of the Book of Revelation acknowledge that much of this book it is a collection of prophetic Old Testament thoughts, repeated in a slightly modified or expanded manner. It confirms, amongst other themes, that this present physical world and it’s governments will come to an end and that Christ will indeed return to the Earth as Ruler and Judge. The judgment of God and the catastrophes coming to the Earth are confirmed, but should our attitude be fearful? “The Lord is my Shepherd”, but He is also the “Judge of the whole earth”. The only people who should live in fear are those whose hearts are not right with God. The Shepherd will not smite “the sheep”, but “the wolves” and “the goats” will be judged, as not belonging to God.
As disaster hits the Earth, we will be found in Christ – completely within His will. He is a rock – a very present help in trouble – a shield from the arrows of the enemy – a strong tower where we can take shelter – He is like a hen that gathers her chicks under her wings. The only people in the universe who will have no fear at the time of disaster will be those whose hope is in Christ. We know that even death cannot separate us from the love of the Father. As we read the judgmental prophecies in Isaiah as well as other prophetic books, we must realize that the reason so much is said about disaster and judgment is that it is a sure thing. We are presently living in the age of grace, but there will soon come a day when Christ will return and the world, as we know it, will come to an end – it is our job, as ambassadors of Christ, to introduce the world to the amazing grace of God before the end.
1. According to the words of Christ, do you see “signs” in our world that the end of the Earth, as we know it, is at hand?
2. Why is it that Christians are the only group of people who can avoid the terror that will grip the world as it comes to an end?