Wednesday 22 January 2014

TFTD - 22 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

22 January 2014

Genesis 37
Psalms 39; 40
Matthew 24


In both our Genesis and Matthew readings today we have reference to the sun, moon and stars - and in neither case are they to be understood in a literal sense. The context makes this evident. In Genesis Joseph has a dream and tells his parents and brothers about it. “Behold I have dreamed a dream. Behold the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me” [Genesis 37:9] His father has no doubt as to what the dream symbolises and says, “ ‘Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?’ And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind” [Genesis 37:10-11]. Our minds moved forward to the time of Mary and how she kept the sayings about Jesus in mind in her heart. [Luke 2:19, 51]

The jealousy of the brothers is the trigger that creates a sequence of events that leads to the fulfilment of this dream ­ another example of how God weaves in the actions prompted by human nature, to bring about his purpose. It is also the way he oversees the character building of those he is calling to serve him.

In Matthew 24 Jesus says the sun, moon and stars will be a sign of his coming. The time of great tribulation comes to an end when “the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” [Matthew 24:29]

While we do not exclude a possible application in some physical sense, the saying has an application to a total crisis and collapse of earth’s ruling powers; the “earth (i.e. the people on earth) will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect …” [Matthew 24:30-31]

Let us remember these words and build up our faith in these words, because we cannot have faith in human beings, we must not be like the foolish virgins we will read about tomorrow.

Thought for the Day

22 January 2014

"The joy we experience now is real enough, but is transient and passing. We have our moments of sorrow and depression as well as joy, but the joy to come is different. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." And when that day comes there will be an end of sorrow and trial. Weeping will give place to joy, a joy which will know no end:

"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10)"

- Philip Hinde
Joy (1977)

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