Oct 21: 2Chr 14-15 | Eze 47 | John 15-16

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Reading 1 - 2Ch 15:2


"Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you" (2Ch 15:2).

"The Scriptures abound with similar declarations. They make the course of every earnest man clear. Seek the Lord in the reading of His word, in prayer to Him, and in the doing of those things He has commanded; and He will guide your way in the darkness without any apparent interference, and cause all things (yea even evil circumstances) to work together for your good, namely, your preparedness for an entrance into His glorious kingdom. But if ye decline from His ways and seek your own pleasure, He will leave you to your own -- perhaps successful -- devices, which will at last work out your own self-destruction" (Robert Roberts, "Ways of Providence" 43,44).


Reading 2 - Eze 47:1,8

"The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east... He said to me, 'This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh' " (Eze 47:1,8).

Or, more expressively, as the KJV: "The waters shall be HEALED!". Think of those waters of the Dead Sea, dreary and dreadful! This was the "Chamber of Horrors" in the land of Israel. Travelers describe it as a place of utter desolation. Lying in a deep hollow, some thirteen hundred feet below any other sea, the Dead Sea was sunk deep into the earth, like the mouth of the abyss. Masses of tar float upon its surface, and line its shores. Poisonous gases abound, and on its banks are hot sulfur springs. Swimming, or rather floating, in its thick brine is unpleasant; the skin tingles with its acid salts long afterwards. It is not desirable to linger upon the brink of it, neither is there anything to tempt one to do so. Very scanty is the vegetation, few are the birds, and rare the living things. It is the place of destruction. Nothing may live there, at least for long.


The doomed lake has dark mysteries buried in its heart -- down deep in its depths lie the destroyed cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah, whose sins provoked the wrath of God. In this respect the Dead Sea is a fit picture of our fallen humanity, a truthful symbol of the whole world, which lies in wickedness. It may be said that the world is a vast "Dead Sea", and its cities modern "Sodoms".


God is at work creating new heavens and a new earth, and in the process forms of beauty are developed -- little "outposts" of the Kingdom of God which is coming -- but to this day the old decadent cities of our world remain easily-recognizable matches for the depraved and debauched cities of the plain, where Lot first pitched his tent, and then finally took up residence.


And the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Can it ever be purified? Can its "waters" be healed? Yes, God says, they WILL be healed! Let us believe His promise, and take courage. Let us believe that, one day, the worst hell-holes of sin will yet be made holy. Even when it seems to be the least likely expectation, even when we are shocked at the sin which surrounds us, we are still to believe that Yahweh shall reign for ever and ever, and the serpent and sin shall be crushed under our Redeemer's heel. "The waters SHALL be healed": all the brine and tar of the Dead Sea will not be enough to forestall the hand of the Almighty. The worst that Calcutta, or London, or New York can offer will yet be made sweet as the pure water of Siloam. The atrocities of war and oppression will cease, and the reign of evil will end; for the Lord has promised it, and it will be done. The kingdoms of this world must become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and every heart and every mind will be truly and wholly his. "The waters shall be healed." Thank God.


Reading 3 - John 16:22,23

"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (John 16:22,23).

Here is a profound reassurance: not that all our perplexing questions will be answered, but that -- when that day comes that we see the risen Jesus -- many questions will not even need to be asked! Why? Because our sins will be totally forgiven!


And NOT that all our requests -- here and now, or hereafter -- will inevitably be answered in the affirmative, BUT that, when Christ returns and gathers us to himself, there will be such joy that there will be no need, and no thought, of anything beyond, or of any disappointment. In that day we will have our Savior, and we will need nothing else!

 

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