Daily Readings & Thought for November 20th. “ALL THE PEOPLE WERE ATTENTIVE”
Today’s readings.. (Nehemiah 8), (Joel 3), (2 Thessalonians 3)
We have 3 interesting and challenging readings today. Nehemiah describes how “all the people were attentive” [8 v.3] when the books of Moses were read to them. They answered, “ ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD” [v.6] They were told, “this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” [v.10]
This is the strength we will need as our world falls apart as is prophesied in Joel. Our ch. 3 starts by asking us to “behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land.” [v.1,2] It is evident we live “at that time” for the LORD has restored the fortunes of his people in our days – and the “divided up” Holy Land is a bone of contention – and trigger – for impending events,.
God particularly intends to ” judge all the surrounding nations” [v.12] “For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened …” [v.14,15] and this year and next year we have the apparent signs of the ‘blood moons’ on 4 Jewish Holy Days (Passover and Tabernacles). Significant events have occurred in the past in such years, or the next. After next year they are not to occur again for at least 100 years, according to NASA.
How close are we to the time when, “The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. So you shall know that I am the LORD ….” [v.16,17] !?
Today’s 3rd ch. of 2 Thessalonians is a sequel to the first 2 chapters; it is a petition for faith in view of the coming evils they described. It starts with a prayer “that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured…” – and so it has been – but is so no longer. May we be even more “attentive” to that word that “we may be delivered from wicked and evil men.” [v.2] fully realizing, as Paul then states, “the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil … May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” [v.3,5] because we continued to be genuinely “attentive” to his word.