Friday 3 October 2014

"WHY DO DOUBTS ARISE ..." Thoughts from Today's Bible readings - Oct 1st


            Today we completed reading the Gospel of Luke and what a remarkable, heart stirring reading we experienced in the last chapter.  Luke proved, in the compilation of his book, what a thorough historian he was. 
            The women were the most dedicated of the followers of Jesus and they were the first to become aware of his resurrection.  The account of the two who travelled to Emmaus with an unrecognised Jesus joining them – is heart stirring – as is their later reminiscence - “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”  [v.32] This should cause us to search those scriptures, especially the Psalms and Isaiah – these are now proved beyond all doubt to have existed before Christ with the discovery of the hundreds of ancient scrolls in caves by the Dead Sea.
What a rapid return to Jerusalem those two must have made in the gathering gloom, in the darkness of the evening; but being Passover time with a full moon, they may well have had the blessing of ample moonlight. How they would have discussed the conversation, when they were largely listeners, during their journey to Emmaus! Thinking of moonlight – in another week, at the time of the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ we will have another ‘full moon’ – and remarkably, another ‘Blood Moon’ is predicted, the second this year, with two more next year – and then none for 100+ years – according to NASA. A ‘Blood Moon’ is where the earth briefly gets in the way of the full moon – blocking its light, creating a dull red glow.
Back in Jerusalem, “as they were talking” [v.36]: no doubt with great intensity, probably highlighting the appearance of the Lord to Peter, suddenly, “Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’  But they were startled and frightened…” [v.37] He asks, “… why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet …” He invites them to handle him to remove any doubts.
We imagine the scene – but what is far beyond  our present imagination is the fulfilment of what the angels said to the disciples 40 days later as they watched him physically ascending out of their sight..  Luke records this in Acts 1 v.11, “… why do you stand looking into heaven?  This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”  
Are there any doubts in our hearts that this will occur?  No – but the actual nature of the occurrence is far beyond our ability to visualize. However, our daily reading and meditation on God’s word is an invaluable help
We have a great contrast in 1 Chron 15 compared to ch 13. Ch 15 is a chapter of the details of careful preparation according to Gods ways, infact the word "preparation" is repeated x3 times.
We also have a contrast when ch13 starts with David consulting the captains and the leader, and the people, whereas David acknowledges the error in ch15:13
"For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we SOUGHT HIM NOT after the due order."

There is huge exhortation for us in these x2 chapters and the bringing up of the Ark. We live in an age of if it feels right to me, it's what i think, the worship and what was being done in "the service of the LORD" in chapter 13 looked very good, but ended in death. Why? Because the spiritual leaders of Israel had not done it in accordance with Gods ways, they had not guided the people. We must remember that for worship and service to be acceptable to our Heavenly Father it has to be done according to His ways.

It's easy to get carried along by others, but in all things we must first seek and enquire after the LORD through His word:
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)

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