Signs of the Times

Our Lord’s challenge to us – to understand the signs of the times. Jesus said to the crowds:

You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Luke 12:56

But God has promised prophets who can write the Lord’s inspiration, interpret the present time for His people:

Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?

Amos 3:6-8

Though long ago historically, there are parallels between 8th and 9th century B.C. Israel and today’s world. We and they enjoyed a time of prosperity but the world scene was dark with the threat of an invasion by the rising superpower Assyria. Isaiah and Amos prophesied to a nation largely turned away from the living God and full of sin. Isaiah 2 5-8 shows us that occult practices were rife, the land was filled with the love of money and idols of many kinds. Idolatry today is not about wooden and stone figures but the worship (giving “worth-ship”) to created things rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). They even sacrificed their children to false gods (2 Kings 16:3). So God accused them, “your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:5). Can we not see here an anticipation of the massive abortion of babies in our day? Yet there is a remedy. God continues:

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice…

Isaiah 1:16-17

There is a hope and a promise given to God’s people through King Solomon after he dedicated the temple in Jerusalem:

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

What a promise! Let God’s people act accordingly. In addition we have the security that we are sealed for redemption by the tremendous holiness of the Holy Spirit by virtue of our baptism (Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30). As in the days of Israel’s redemptions from slavery in Egypt, the blood of the Passover Lamb on their door posts and lintels protected them from death.

The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:13

So in these last days (see Hebrew 1.2) He seals His people (Revelation 7:24). Those who have washed their robes (their deeds and lives) and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14)… He seals them BEFORE He looses the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, including the last one whose rider’s name is Death and “who kills by sword, famine, and pestilence” (Revelation 6: 7-8). So God promises us His protection:

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honour them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

Psalm 91

So:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

Psalm 46: 1-3

Remind yourselves of these things, by the Holy Spirit and receive again Christ’s peace (John 14: 26-27 and Philippians 4:4-7) and praise God in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Hallelujiah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns (Revelation 19:6).

In this way:

He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.

Isaiah 33:6

I feel these are the words the Lord has given me for your benefit. Of course I’m not infallible! I ask you to test them as we are instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Please leave your comment below or call me if you wish at (902) 977-0808. May God bless us one and all. I hope to add other words as the crisis continues.

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Twelve Promises

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Fr Jim O'Connor
    2020-04-10 7:29 am

    Thank you, Tony, for sharing your reflection on Scripture as it applies to our times. We are blessed by these passages and your ministry among us. May I add that the protection our Lord wants to give us is primarily spiritual, though it can be physical. For it is our spiritural souls that live on, not our physical body. Often, I believe, it is physical too, in varying degrees. Let’s take the richness of this reflection into our hearts. Let us then repent and believe and witness to others with our steadfast love of Jesus and, with His help, our neighbour.

    Reply
  • Tony, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and these passages.

    Reply
  • Maxine Anne Freeman
    2020-04-20 7:40 pm

    Thank you, Tony! Grace be with you!

    Reply
  • Laura cano
    2020-04-21 5:35 pm

    Encouraging and hopeful reflection, thank you Tony for doing this, it brings hope and pray to my spirit . May God bless you and keep you safe.

    Reply
  • Ernie and Wenda
    2020-04-24 5:00 pm

    Thanks Tony.

    Reply
  • God Bless you Tony for sharing these scripture passages of hope and joy in these difficult times of loneliness and insecurity for many.

    Reply

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