Sunday Morning Coffee: Hilton Head

We’re in a lovely condo with two couples we’ve know for years.  We were up late last night, so no one was stirring much this morning.  Late breakfast, and now we’re settling in for a time of Bible reading, maybe some singing, and prayer–our church service while we’re on vacation.

I’m already feeling more relaxed.  Slept like a rock last night.  We had no problems with our flight, except that the pilot took the plan north for a while to avoid a big flock of birds, probably geese. 276fe51200000578-0-image-a-122_1428681940414

Being with friends you’ve known for years is a delight.  This will  be a good week.

An hour later, we’re still talking about the things of the Lord.  Laughter, tears, shared blessings.

Yes, this will be a good week.

 

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Time for a Break

 

I’m stepping away from my study of Isaiah for a week or so.  I need a break, and we’re taking one 🙂  We’re traveling southward, to enjoy warmer temps and maybe some beach time for a few days.

We’ll be with friends we’ve known for 40+ years, so the fellowship will be sweet and a lot of fun.

I’ll have my laptop with me, so I will probably pop in now and then. Or maybe every day, who knows?  Blogging is such a habit now that I’m not sure I can go a whole week without writing!

Comings and Goings

You know, it’s funny how life just keeps on moving, and the cycles that you once lived are now being lived by your kids and your grandchildren. And now?

Well, we’re the parents and grandparents that are standing at our door waving goodbye–again–as our offspring get on with their lives.

It seems such a short time ago that it was MY parents who waved goodbye, keeping up brave smiles, as we backed out of their driveway after a visit. We lived so far away that sometimes two or three years could go by before we would see them again.

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I don’t even try the brave smile stuff.  I just let the tears come, because they’re going to anyway, sooner or later.

This morning we said goodbye to out son Dan, who is flying to England to reunite with his wife and start a new life in the UK.  We’re happy for them. Really.  But we don’t know when we’ll see them again, and that’s just hard.

I’ve been busy all day, which is a good thing.  Taught my homeschool co-op class–Dickens Great Expectations.  Packing for a week-long holiday with friends. We’ll be flying tomorrow, and I’m so glad to have this to look forward to.

Once we’re back home, life will soon pick up its normal rhythm and I’ll adjust to having another son living across the ocean.  After all,  parents down through the centuries have seen their children off into places unknown.   Those days must have been extremely difficult for those who never saw their loved ones again, communicating infrequently through letters.  At least communication today is quick, easy, accessible–and you can even Skype or  use another program to chat  face to face over long distances.

Okay, I think I’ve talked myself out of my schlump.  Dan and Maria are reunited by now,  possibly even have made it to their flat in London.

See?  I’m already speaking British 🙂

 

 

The Day of the Lord

Isaiah 34:7-8. “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls: and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.  For it is the day of the Lord, a vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.”

The word unicorn means a wild bull, buffalo, antelope, or rhinoceros in the several places where it is used in scripture.  It does not refer to the mythical animal we think of today.

The armies of Antichrist will be sacrificed like animals. It will be a terrible reckoning because of the controversies over Jerusalem and Israel.

The day of the Lord  is the Second Advent, when He returns to earth to defeat Antichrist and set up His kingdom on earth for 1000 years.

 

The Sword of the Lord

Isaiah 34:5-6. “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of My curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidney of rams: for the Lord  hath a sacrifice in Bozra,, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.”

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Idumea is Edom; Bozra (Bezer) a chief city in the north of Edom.  Petra, in the south of Edom, will be the place where Israel is protected from Antichrist during the Tribulation.  It would seem that Edom cooperates with Antichrist during the Tribulation period, and as a result it is singled out for the wrath of God during God’s destruction of the armies of Antichrist, which are vast.

As I read through this passage, I am reminded again of the great mercy and grace God showed His own people, Israel, all through the Old Testament as well as after the death and resurrection of Christ.  Over and over,  He pleaded with His people to turn to Him. There would even have been grace for the nations that will assemble under Antichrist if only they had turned from their evil against Israel and acknowledged Him as Lord.

There will come a time, however, when “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jeus Christ is Lord.” (Phil. 2:10).

 

Doom of the Nations

Isaiah 34:3-4. “Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig three.”

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The death toll will be terrible as Antichrist gathers his armies against Israel, against God Himself. We are told in Ezekiel 39:2, Joel 3, Zech. 14:1-15, and Rev. 19:11-20 that all but a sixth part of the vast armies of the nations under Antichrist will be destroyed in one day as the forces of heaven are hurled against them.

The numbers of the dead will be so vast that it will take Israel seven months to bury them, and in the meantime their bodies will be left in the open. The stench will be  be horrible.

The mountains shall be melted with their blood: In Ezekiel 38:17-21, God says that there will be a mighty, destructive earthquake that will bring the mountains to the ground.

Verse 4 refers to the rolling together of the clouds and their moving on as if they had dissolved and passed away, and to the falling of meteors like leaves and figs–something like that under the 6th seal (Rev. 6:12-17).  Stars or meteors will fall also at the second advent of Christ (Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 16:17-23).

These events are not easy to imagine, or to write about. The only way for us to understand them is to understand the full power and sovereignty of God; to understand that He will finally end the evil of Satan and Antichrist, and that in their resistance, they will be destroyed.  God will bring all the power of heaven and earth against them, and very few will survive.

Why?  Because God will have had enough of the evil and rebellion in the hearts of man.

Armageddon: Nations Mobilized

Isaiah 34:1-2. “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein: the world, and all things that come forth of it. For  the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter.”

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The nations who hate Israel, and who have cooperated with Antichrist, will be called to account.  This entire chapter is far future, unfulfilled until after the Great Tribulation and Armageddon, when God will pour out His wrath on those nations who have persecuted Israel.

Here are some other scriptures passages that talk about this same event:

Joel 3; Zech. 14:1-5; Rev. 16:13-16; 19: 11-21.

Some may ask, “How can a loving God be so angry, and destroy so many people?”  The answer is clear all through the prophecies of the Old Testament. Over and over, God used the prophets to warn His own people, the Jews, to turn from their idols and repent, and be restored.  The Gentile nations were also warned that those who harmed His people, Israel, would suffer His wrath.

Finally, after so many thousands of years, God will have had enough. The time will come for  His plan and purpose to take place.  He is neither unloving nor unjust. He has been patient, but the nations have ignored Him and persisted in their efforts to destroy His people.