Friday, 19 September 2014

"LET THESE WORDS SINK ..." Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings - Sept 17th

“LET THESE WORDS SINK … “

            What effect do the words of the Bible have on you as you read them?  They vary greatly as we have seen today: but this causes us to exercise our minds in many different ways – and this is good for us.  God has overseen the recording of many different events and messages so that what he has caused to be written is a lifelong study – indeed, more than a study, often a cause of prayerful meditation.  So often it is about human failure and the causes of that failure.
            Our Old Testament readings today were both about the dismal end of God’s nation.  The final 2 chapters in 2nd Kings detailed the dreadful destruction of Jerusalem and the distress of the people - and Ezekiel 13 is about the ungodliness at the time and how the Lord GOD said, “I will make stormy winds break out in my wrath … and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end.” [v.13]  And today?
            The Psalms of David had long been written so would one here and there, who knew them, have mediated on them?  Maybe Psalm 12, to take one example; it ends with the words, “on every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted …”!  Those trying to be righteous would surely have meditated on the two previous verses which start, “The words of the LORD are pure words …” !
            We compare the forecasts of the destruction of Jerusalem with the forecasts Jesus made of his death and the reaction of his hearers to these forecasts. . We read today in Luke Ch. 9, “… while they were all marvelling at everything he was doing, Jesus  said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.’  But they did not understand this saying … “ [v.43-45] Their minds were focussed on “which of them was the greatest” [v.46]!  With that state of mind his words would not sink into their minds!
               We see a telling comparison with what we will read later in Luke in Ch.24.  After his resurrection, 2 disciples who had walked with an unrecognized Messiah later confessed, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” [v.32]  They were in a mood to “let these words sink” into their minds!  He had chided them, that they “were slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken” [v.25].  It seems to be our nature to believe only what we want to believe – but in looking at all that the prophets have spoken and seeing alarming comparisons with our world today to the forecasts then of the destruction of Jerusalem and the reasons for it, let us cause the words of Christ and the prophets to sink more fully into our minds, so we can walk with greater and greater faith in the increasing darkness of today’s world.