Saturday, September 3, 2016

Luke 21:20-24

Luke 21:20-24
And when you all should see Jerusalem being surrounded by encampments, then know that her devastation has approached.  Then let the ones in Judea flee into the mountains, let the ones in the middle of her depart, and do not let the ones in the countryside go into her – since these are days of vengeance: to be under the full influence of all things that have been written.  Woe to the ones who are pregnant and the ones who suckle in those days, for there will be a great affliction and wrath against this people. And they will fall by a point of a sword and they will be led into captivity into all the nations.  And Jerusalem will be being trampled by the nations until one point when the time of nations should be fulfilled. 

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

 Words like these should not surprise us, even coming out of the mouth of Jesus.  We know that God is first and foremost a God of love and redemption.  But we also know that if we ignore God’s mercy, He will use judgment to get our attention.  Think about the history of the Hebrew people.  Did not the Hebrew people slip into Egyptian bondage as they forgot about Him?  When they repented, did they not become free once more?  Were not the people of Israel sent into captivity underneath the Assyrians?  Were not the Hebrew people of Judah sent into captivity underneath Babylon?  Both of these people were freed underneath the Persians when they repented.  Once more the people have fallen away from God.  They are about to reject His Son.  It should not surprise us to hear Jesus speak in sharp terms of judgment in this circumstance.

When have you fallen underneath God’s judgment because of your lack of a desire to repent?  What in this worst encourages you to be stubborn in your repentance?

Second Thought:

When judgment comes, Jesus tells the people to flee.  He tells them to get out.  There is no need for people who are willing to repent and walk with the Lord to endure a punishment that is not theirs to bear.  We might think that we are noble when we do so.  But it’s simply not necessary.  If we see unrepentant people going down the path of serious judgment, we can certainly warn them.  We can even try to help them avoid it.  But when judgment comes upon them, usually the best thing to do is to let them hit rock bottom and then be there for them when they do seek repentance.

Is it easy for you to watch other people fall into judgment?  Where can you get the power to allow God to work through judgment while waiting for the opportunity to be there in repentance?

Third Thought:

We know that there is historical evidence that Jesus’ words come true.  Jerusalem is besieged after Jesus is put to death.  The Romans tear the city down.  This is one more event that we can add to the list of times that God did use judgment when His people refused to listen to His grace.  What that means, of course, is that God can continue this pattern into the future.  When we refuse to hear God’s mercy, we may well face judgment.  In the end of days, when the world rebels against God, we can expect the same circumstance and the same results.

Why does humanity rebel against God with regularity?  What does this say about the core of the human soul?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 21:25-28
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