Exodus 16:2 – In the desert, the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “if only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into the desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Anyone who has ever gone on a long road trip or vacation by car can likely relate to this cartoon. My dad would say, ‘if I have to stop this car…” In all my years of growing up, my brothers and I never heard the rest of that sentence. We never had to.
The Israelites had a short memory, having come from slavery. Like the Israelites, we have a tendency to focus on our present circumstances and remember the past as perhaps better than it really was. This is a form of ingratitude like “what have you done for me lately God,” or “why are you letting this happen to me now God.”
My Advice – We may face many “road trips” and “desert wanderings” in this life. They all have a purpose that God will use to grow our character. Let’s do our best to focus less on present circumstances and what is and more on God working in our lives to make them what can be. And while we are at it, let’s not be revisionists about our past, but focus on the reality of how God was with all along, with deliverance from our slavery to sin as He takes us through our own desert wanderings on the road to “the promised land.” “[F]or it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose,” so “[d]o everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:13, 14 – NIV 1978). Because we really do not want Him to “stop this car” or “turn our Exodus around.”
Epilogue: Attaining To The Whole Measure
Prepare God’s people, so that we all become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12, 13)
A: Discovering the Truth
B: Exploring the Truth
Justification – Like Paul, we must realize that we have not yet been made perfect. We have been saved. This was a past event, never to be repeated, where once and forever God made it “just as if I’d never sinned.” Continue reading “Attaining To The Whole Measure”
In The Course Of Time
2 Samuel 2:1 – In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – With God, time has very little to do with the date or the hour. It has every time to do with “when it is right.”
My Advice – Try not to be too impatient for the things that you hope for and desire. They may not seem to come as quickly as you would like, but they will come “in the course of time,” if it is God’s will. Trying to rush things or to force God’s hand can lead to a less than desirous result. God knows this. He sees the end from the beginning. He knows the optimal time for the optimal result.
DISPENSATION – In its verb form the word dispensation means to manage, administer, regulate, or plan. The Biblical usage of this concept, however, has a deeper theological sense, in which certain responsibilities are placed on mankind by God during different ages. In Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9 Paul indicates that the current dispensation (age of grace) has been extended to the Gentiles, a mystery revealed by Christ that was kept hidden in past ages (dispensations – e.g. age of the law). Paul indicates earlier in the epistle that there is a coming future end time dispensation “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” in order to “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). This is something that will not happen during the age of grace. See also Colossians 1:25–29. This seems to suggest that Paul believed Continue reading “Dispensation”
The Battle Is The Lord’s
1 Samuel 16:47 – “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give all of you into our hands.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The advantage or victory is not always to the best prepared, the best equipped or the strongest. With God behind you, success is assured even without these “advantages.”
My Advice – Do not rely too heavily on learning, or wealth or strength or privilege or position to get ahead in life. Make sure you are going the way that God is taking you. He is more than an equalizer, He is the ensurer.
ARMAGEDDON – Another word that is referenced a lot in modern discussions of the end times, but occurs only once in the Bible (Revelation 16:16) is Armageddon. It refers to the place where the last great battle of the ages will take place and has become synonymous with the end of the world. The battle will coincide with the second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:15), when all the hosts of evil will be defeated (Revelation 19:11–21). (1)
MILLENNIUM – The word millennium is derived from the Latin words mille meaning a thousand, and annus meaning year, i.e., a period of one thousand years. Although the concept of the millennium has its foundation in certain unconditional covenants from the Old Testament, Revelation 20:4–6 specifically and unmistakably mentions that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. (2) There are three primary views on the millennium. Continue reading “Armageddon, Millennium and Last Judgment”