Tuesday 17 December 2013

"FOR MY DECISION IS ..." Thoughts for today's Bible Readings - 17/12/13


     Today we completed reading the lesser known – but quite remarkable prophecy God gave through Zephaniah.  Yesterday’s chapter 2 was personal and challenging.  “Seek the LORD, all you humble … who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” [v.3] 
     Today we read about the day of his anger:  the climax of human history when God finally carries out his “decision” to deal with human godlessness, It is a time when “the unjust knows no shame” [v.5].  Surely that is the case today.
     Verse 8 leaps out and into the mind of the godly reader, “Therefore wait for me,’ declares the LORD, ‘for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.”  
      Then the next verse dramatically changes the picture to what God does after this!  “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.”  How much is language twisted in its use today!  Many think this verse is telling us, in saying that “all of them” that call upon the Lord have this language, that the curse of Babel is to be removed when God confounded human speech so they could not understand one another.  It is interesting that the previous time this Hebrew word occurs is in the concluding words in the last chapter of Daniel: “… the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined …” [v9, 10]   
      Very soon we will read of the wonder of this time in the book of Revelation, this reveals more details to us of the ultimate decision of the great Creator in making the whole world full of his glory – and the dramas in the process!.
       In our reading in 1 John we are challenged to “see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.  The reason why the world does not know us  is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” [ch.3 v.1-3]
       Have you said – from your heart – “… my decision is ….”  Or will you soon say it?    We all have to make a decision … there is no middle way.  Oh the wonder awaiting “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with …” that at the apostles - as we read and reflected on in John’s words yesterday.  If you have made a decision – the challenge is – is your faith growing stronger and stronger? .

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