Daily Readings and Thought for September 28th. “DISTRESS OF NATIONS IN PERPLEXITY”
Our ch. 21 in Luke’s gospel today contains the awesome prophecy Jesus gave of events on earth when he is about to return. The meaning of v.24 is clear to us – that “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” It is no longer “trampled underfoot” – but it is not clear that some parts of the old city are yet under complete Jewish control – but surely “the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
At that time Jesus said awesome events will occur; there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” [v.25,26] Will the “roaring of the sea” be literal?
This is one of those passages of Scripture that we keep at the ‘back of our minds’ in case a literal application will suddenly occur. However the primary meaning is a metaphor for the peoples of the world represented as a great sea in constant upheaval.
We must note that the very next words are – “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Human nature is such that, unless we have a genuine faith developed from a prayerful heart-felt acceptance of the Divine word we will share in the “distress” and “perplexity” that is causing everyone else to ‘faint with fear.’ Those possessing genuine faith will “straighten up” and “raise (y)our heads, because (y)our redemption is drawing near.”[v.28] and we will not be overwhelmed by the “distress” and “perplexity” that surrounds us.