Daily Readings & Thought for June 23rd. “THEN SUDDENLY … “
Today’s readings.. (1 Samuel 2), (Isaiah 48), (Revelation 5,6)
Our readings today are particularly interesting. Our first reading, 1 Samuel 1, sees the birth of Samuel. We have read of the ups and downs of the era of the Judges – but now come to Samuel as the final all wise Judge, a type of Christ, that God works through to lay the foundation for the era of the Kings beginning with Saul and David.
Isaiah’s prophecies are bringing us toward the end of the era of the Kings, the LORD is frustrated with the attitudes of his people – as he must be with the ‘christian’ world today. Today’s chapter (48) starts, “Hear this, O house of Jacob who are called by the name of Israel … who swear by the name of the LORD … but not in truth and right”. God tells the prophet of “things I declared of old … then suddenly I did them and they came to pass” [v.3]
We think of the initial promises to Abraham, the deliverance from Egypt, the initial fulfilment of the promises to David – we will read in 1 Samuel in coming weeks; but this week in Isaiah we will read the detailed prophecies God gave him about the Messiah. Although the Jewish scribes must have known these, they had ‘tunnel vision’ as to what they expected the Messiah to do, the message of the explicit prophecy in ch. 53 was ‘lost’ because of the pre-conceived notions in their minds. Is there a lesson in this for us? Have we pre-conceived notions?
Our readings in Revelation complete the dramas in today’s chapters. While often in symbolic language, they frequently included phrases, even sentences from Isaiah and other prophets, compare for example, today’s ch 6 v.15,16 with Isaiah 2 v 10,19, of events when “the great day of their wrath has come.”
Revelation is not all symbolic language, especially of how the time of God’s wrath is followed by a “new song”. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created …. You ransomed people for Godfrom every tribe and language and people and nation” [4 v11; 5 v.9]
What a wonderful vision. But first it is vital we acknowledge that our world today is in near total spiritual darkness – “then suddenly” God will act. The increasing turmoil in all the nations surrounding God’s ‘Holy Land’ is ominous! The last verse of our Revelation reading asks us a question “who can stand?” in “the great day of their wrath”? Are you effectively building up your faith – so you can? Read and reflect on God’s word every day.