Daily Readings & Thought for September 12th. “THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM”
How hard it is to hear or find any “good news” these days! All nations and kingdoms appear to be in disarray especially in the Middle East, only Israel stands firm. The nations think that their destiny is entirely in their own hands, but God’s purpose is being worked out and dedicated Bible students diligently watch events trying to see more clearly how the various prophecies apply.
We read in 2 Kings 18 of the faith of the good king Hezekiah in Jerusalem, standing firm against the boasting of the invading Assyrians (which is called Iraq is today). We will read tomorrow of how the prophet Isaiah comes on the scene and, through God’s spirit, sees and says what God will cause to happen because Hezekiah is a spiritually minded king.
In contrast, the prophet Ezekiel (ch.8) is caused to be carried in vision to Jerusalem and made aware of the abominations taking place in the Temple; for him, it is the opposite kind of news of what will soon happen! Ezekiel is told that God is so angry that, when trouble comes, “though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” [v.18]
In Luke’s gospel (ch.4) we read how Jesus travels to many places and heals many, and “the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” [v.42,43] Those who really listened were few, most were fascinated by seeing miracles or being miraculously fed but the really important work of Christ was proclaiming, “The good news of the kingdom of God.”
This was not as many have imagined over the centuries up until today – a ’sky kingdom’ but, as in the ‘Lords’ prayer, ‘Thy will be done on earth” – What wonders “Isaiah … saw … it shall come to pass in the latter days … the house (temple) of the LORD shall be established … and all nations shall flow to it …” [Isaiah 2 v.1,2] Jesus came to bring this wondrous message of God’s ultimate purpose for the earth – to happen when he returns. Let us ever more surely make this our hope and expectation and share it with anyone who will listen.