Monday 26 January 2015

"OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH" Thoughts from today's Bible Readings - Jan 26th

        Today's Psalm 46 fills us with a sense of awe; one cannot avoid concluding it is a prophecy that has its ultimate application to the climax of the era in which we live - an age when God is ignored and is believed by most not to exist. We are living in a time when people are saying, as Peter put it in his final letter in warning about the last days, "all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." [ch. 3 v.4] – a time when "they deliberately" ignore the records of God's actions in the past, discounting them as fiction,.
            Let us memorise this Psalm as our prayer for this year.  It is the year when, the final '2 blood moons' (after 2 last year), for more than the next 100 years (according to NASA) will occur in succeeding years first at Easter (the Passover), and then during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Remarkably they occurred like this for the first time in about 500 years in 1949/50 as Israel was reborn and repelled all efforts to destroy it!  Then again in 1967/68 when the 6 day war occurred and they again took control of the Holy City.
             A ‘blood moon’ is when the shadow of the earth momentarily blots out the reflected light of the moon and, what is called, a lunar eclipse occurs and the ‘shadow’ of the moon reflects as a dull red.  We ponder the prophecy the LORD gave to Joel,  “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to bloodbefore the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. “ [ch. 2 v.31]
            Back to our Psalm!  It tells us, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,   though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble ... The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.   The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. " [v.1-3,6,7]
            Those blessed of the LORD  to live in and through that time will be told, " Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. " [v.8]   Then the wonderful news, "He makes wars cease to the end of the earth" [v.9]  This vision concludes by telling us, " 'Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!'  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." Imagine how urgently we are going to seek shelter in that fortress as, in some sense “the earth gives way”!  Our LORD and Saviour will truly be, more than ever “our refuge and strength” at that time.
              And the final chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we also read, concludes with the words of our Lord, "behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Let us believe, with all our heart, the word that God has caused to be written and preserved.

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