On The Homestretch

This is a purely personal note today. The last few weeks have been somewhat trying, with the pain in my back building  a little more each day.  Earlier this week I put out a call for prayer from my praying friends on Facebook, and I was overwhelmed and humbled that so many responded.  I know it was only prayer and the covering of the Holy Spirit that took me through these last three work days, and I am thankful–more than I can express.

Tuesday, Aug. 22 is the date of my surgery on my right sacroiliac joint.  We did the left one in January. There was no trouble, no difficulty.  I’m sure this one will be the same, and I’m actually looking forward to getting it done. Will it cure all the things that are going wrong in my back? Well, no.  But it will give me blessed relief from this particular pain.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom lately, who often described pain in her lower back. As far as I can remember, there was never any treatment except pain medication, which she disliked taking.  Just a couple of years before she died, a doctor told her there was so much wrong back there that it would be impossible to repair it all.

I’m positive, from her description of the pain, that she had the same condition as I do. We’re both short, both sway-backed. I don’t know if the swayback has anything to do with the pain. Maybe. My point here is that she suffered, with very little relief, for several years.  I am so thankful that there are procedures available to help my pain, and that I have excellent doctors taking care of me.

Here’s a song I was reminded of yesterday.  It was a blessing to me, and I hope it will bless you as well.

Satan Defeated

Isaiah 24:21-23. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously.”

Image result for the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed

These three verses speak of the defeat of the enemies of God, and of the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.

The high ones on high:  Satan, fallen angels, and demons will be put into the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-7) and the Antichrist and false prophet will be sent to the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

The kings of the earth upon the earth:  will be sent to sheol like prisoners being gathered into a pit. Sheol (Hades) is the underworld of the dead and the personification of the evil it represents.

After many days: At the end of 1,000 years, Satan and his spirit forces will be liberatedfrom the bottomless pit to deceive the nations during a short season. They will then be cast into the lake of fire prepared for them (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:7-10). The beast and false prophet will remain in the lake of fire during the 1000 years; they will still be there when Satan is put into that eternal hell. The second resurrection will take place at that time and sheol-hades will deliver up the dead who will be judged and cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 11-15).

Chapter 25 begins with a description of millennial worship, and blessings to God’s people.

 

Destruction of the Earth

Isaiah 24: 19-20. “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage: and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it: and it shall fall, and not rise again.”

Image result for the earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved

During the time of Antichrist, God will destroy the earth as we know it.  Zech. 14:4 describes the Mount of Olives as being destroyed; Rev. 17:16-21 mentions cities of the nations  and other places which will never rise again. Earthquakes will be so powerful as to knock the globe out of its orbit, causing it to “reel to and fro like a drunkard.”

In the process of such destruction, all of man’s marvelous efforts will take their proper place of humility compared to the God of the universe, Who created the world and all that it holds. Nothing of man will be able to stand against the power of God.

Fear, and the Pit, and the Snare

Isaiah 24: 16-18. “From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt  very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitants of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.”211125407b4edb5b43b6b418d28243d3-how-to-walk-james-darcy

This is the first time in this chapter in which earth seems to refer to the whole earth, and not just the area of Palestine. Isaiah seems to hear songs of glory to the righteous from far distant lands. He represents himself as with the remnant in Palestine, and upon hearing these songs, cried about the leanness of Judah, and lamented the treacherous dealers who had spoiled them.

Treacherous dealers refers to foreign nations and rulers that break covenants, particularly  to the future Antichrist who will break his covenant with the Jews, drive them out of their land and rule from Jerusalem most of the last 3 1/2 years of this age (Dan.9:27; Matt. 24:15-22; 2 Thess. 2:1-8). 

Verse 17 expresses the idea that no place will be safe, and if danger is escaped at one place it will be faced in another place. The fear refers to the means of scaring animals into a net, a snare, or a  pit prepared for them. Sometimes the animal can be so strong that that it would spring out of  a pit and have to be caught again by a snare.

The end of verse 18 explains the supernatural source of the calamities coming upon men in the future days of the Tribulation. They will come from heaven (Rev. 6:12 – 18:24; 19:1-10).

The foundations of the earth is literal, not figurative as seems clear from many places where the term is found (v 18:40:21; 51:13-16; Deut. 32:33; 2 Sam. 22:16; Job 38:4-6; Ps. 18:7, 15 and many more).   The book of Revelation makes it clear that great earthquakes will move mountains, islands, continents, and destroy whole cities. The destruction will not be repaired or rebuilt until Jesus begins His reign in Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

 

Glorify the Lord

Isaiah 24:13-15. “When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.

Image result for there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree

When these things have been fulfilled, Isaiah said, there would be a very small remnant of the people left in the land;  they would be like the few olives left on a tree after the tree is shaken or beaten with staves for the harvest.  Likewise, after the bulk of the grapes have been picked, there are always a few left for the gleaners.

These few who remain will turn their hearts back to God. They will sing of His majesty, and  tell His praises in the cities of the seacoast where they have taken refuge.

Then, says Isaiah,  those who remain are to glorify God “in the fires,” referring to the time of persecution they will endure.

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Rambles

I’ve been thinking all week about what my topic for this post would be.  I haven’t come up with anything yet.  Several scriptures have come to mind, but I’ve already written about most of them either on this blog or on my writing blog.  Nothing has taken hold in my thinking. So I’m just going to let my fingers do my thinking, and we’ll see what happens.

I went to the Walmart today to pick up a prescription. The store was packed full.  People are doing back-to-school shopping, I guess.  That’s not a part of my life any more, and I can’t say that I miss it. As I rolled along in one of those little electric carts the store provides, I had to approach each intersection with caution.  People tend not to watch for  scooters in the aisles.  You really don’t think about them much until you need one. Gives you a whole new perspective.

A pretty little girl walked along beside me for a couple of minutes.  She smiled and said, “Hi!”  I said “Hi” back, and that was the end of our moment of meeting. But I watched her as she continued to follow her mom, and she greeted everyone she saw.  She didn’t seem to expect much in return. She just enjoyed the people.  And every single person she met and greeted walked away smiling.

Of course that little scenario started me thinking about how easy it was for a little girl with a genuine smile to make new friends. She was asking nothing in return.

And then I thought about a conversation I had recently with a client who grew up in New York City, where you made every effort NOT to make eye contact with people you didn’t know. Smiling and greeting strangers is just not safe, so she told me.

I don’t live in NYC.  I don’t I’d be in danger of a mugging if I just tried to smile at people when I roll past them.  So I decided to try it.

Just a smile, not even speaking. It was amazing to watch the reaction. Every single person smiled back. Some said hello, others said “How are you?”  No one was angry.  Some were startled, some were surprised, but they all made eye contact and responded positively.

I’m going to keep doing that.  It was fun, and I left the store feeling pretty good.  Just as I was parking my cart, that same little girl walked by. She hesitated, smiled, and said, “Do you have a sore foot?”

“No,” I responded.  “I have a sore back.”

“Oh.  Well, I hope it gets better. ‘Bye.”  And she skipped off to catch up with her mom.

Proverbs 25:11. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

logofitlyspoken

 

Ten More Curses

Isaiah 24:9-12. “They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets: all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.”

Image result for strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it

This is a very bleak picture of the future for those who survive God’s destruction of the earth.  Most of them will probably wish they had not survived it at all. Here are the rest of the curses that will fall on their heads:

11. Wine will not be cause for singing

12. Alcoholic drinks will be bitter

13. The city is broken down and filled with confusion

14. Every home will be barred for security

15. People will not enter into the homes of anyone else–no more visiting

16. People will be lamenting the lack of wine

17. The light of joy will become dark

18. There will be no mirth in the land.

19.  The city will be desolate

20.  The city gate will not be secure

In spite of all this misery, there is hope!  Stay with me. There are wonderful things to anticipate in spite of all this gloom!