Daily Readings and Thought for November 16th. “… WHO DELIVERS US FROM THE WRATH TO COME”
Our chapter 3 in Nehemiah is a wonderful illustration of the team work Nehemiah inspired – for the rebuilding of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. But what of the broken down walls of this world – that has allowed godlessness to come flooding in! What teamwork, dare we imagine, will be involved in rebuilding the broken down “walls” of this world that are all around us – when “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” [1 Cor. 15 v52}
The event is beyond our comprehension, but then – we go on to imagine what is to follow, the divine work to change – rebuild – the world, starting with Israel. God revealed to Zechariah, “I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.” [8 v.8]
These thoughts dovetail in with some of the words of Paul we read today in his 1st letter to the Thessalonians. Paul praises their “faith in God … and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” [1 v.9,10].
Can we imagine the awesome drama at the return of Christ – and the nature of our deliverance!? Furthermore can we imagine the ongoing work of our Lord after his return?
The prophets give us some glimpses – look at Isaiah ch. 51.”Give attention to me … I will set my justice for a light to the peoples … my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the peoples … “ [v.4,5] Interesting the use of plural here – “arms”! Surely those who have been “changed” – have degrees of responsibility in that awesome but wondrous future time!
Finally v. 7 is a prophetic message for us today who anticipate, in faith, deliverance “from the wrath to come” Through Isaiah God tells us to “”Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed…” [v7] at “the wrath to come.”