Isaiah 31-35, Psalm 116
There is a scene in the movie, “Titanic”, when the ship has already struck the iceberg and is taking on water. The aristocrat, Ben Guggenheim, made sure he was dressed like a gentleman then asked the waiter for a brandy before his death. This may seem extreme, but we live in a complacent nation. Our nation during our lifetimes has not tasted widespread persecution. Every day is like the one before. It is easy to be complacent, maintaining focus on the status quo. No one seems to care that much as long as their provisions are met. Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
In today’s reading in the midst of coming judgment we see a picture of complacency in Isaiah 32:9-14, “Rise up, you women who are at ease, Hear my voice; You complacent daughters, Give ear to my speech. In a year and some days You will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, The gathering will not come. Tremble, you women who are at ease; Be troubled, you complacent ones; Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, And gird sackcloth on your waists. People shall mourn upon their breasts For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city; Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever…”. Though this passage written around 2700 years ago had near implications with the coming of the Assyrian army, how much more for us now that so many of the prophecies which had to be in place have occurred before the Great Tribulation. God’s timetable is in place, the prophesied events will occur, the only question is what are we doing in the meantime.
We know from the Bible that evil will drastically increase before God establishes His Millennial Kingdom. For those of us who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary, we have nothing to fear. Before giving the wonderful example of humility in the person of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:5-11, Paul in 2:4 said, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” There is another scene in a movie, “Schindler’s List”, when the war is over and it is revealed that Schindler’s actions were responsible for saving the lives of 1200 Jewish people. He reacted not with elation over what he had accomplished, but he wept when he considered how many more lives he could have saved. As we continue to read of prophecies we know will occur in God’s timing, and we know that these times are close (No one knows the exact time or hour), are we simply satisfied that we’re on the winning side or are we going to keep our eyes focused each day on what we can do to make others aware.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: