LIVING ON THE BRINK
Luke 21:20 ¶ “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
He looked like Bob Breck with a a Cat 5 hurricane in the gulf, this was 1973 and my Pentateuch teacher, Jim Lewis, came to class that night all stirred up. There was conflict in the Middle East and the professor felt we were on the brink. I remember him saying that Russian tanks could be surrounding Jerusalem by morning. Needless to say, we didn’t do much Pentateuch that night, we spent the whole night talking about the implications of Israel in God’s prophetic plan. That was quite a significant night for me. Since that time I have had an eye on Israel knowing that it has always been used as a sign to us of things to come.
In the last few days, the Middle East has erupted again. This age old struggle between Ishmael and Isaac never seems to go away. If you haven’t figured it out yet, there is a large segment of the Muslim world that will not rest until Israel is wiped off the map. This belief within the world of Islam thinks that it is their God given duty to destroy Israel. No matter how much you reason with them, that will never change. Only a conversion akin to the Apostle Paul’s could ever change that. Until then, the strife continues. This struggle will ultimately culminate with an orchestrated military attack on the nation of Israel which will precipitate the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Several passages in the Bible give a detailed account of that great and terrible day.
For us today, how should the unfolding of these prophetic events effect us? Jesus spoke often of these kinds of birth-pangs in His prophetic teaching. One thing He said was that when you see these things taking place, “Look up, your redemption is drawing near”. This was His way of saying that these things will never destroy you. Some unfolding prophetic events can be quite scary, but at the end of the day, He will work everything out for good for those that belong to Him.
He also said in Luke 12:35 ¶ “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.” In this passage Jesus is reminding us what is really important as we see that day drawing near. These words teach us the importance of spiritual intimacy. Our lit lamp is the fire of love for God burning in our soul. Have you been lit up lately? When we see the middle eastern world on fire it means that we should stoke up the fire of God in our souls.
Jesus also spoke about stewards and stewardship when we recognize the lateness of the hour. These unfolding events cause the christian to search the scripture allowing the Lord to strengthen the foundation in our souls. This stewardship also speaks to our God given work. He has left us here to be lights in the world. Our lamp is to be burning with love for God bringing an impact to our lost, hurting world. Find a place to serve in His kingdom, there is not much time left and there is a place of service for each one of us.