Our first reading today in 1 Samuel ch. 4 illustrates human folly in trying to achieve victory over the enemy in the wrong way. The foolish sons of Eli took the Ark with them into battle, but they were killed and the ark was captured – and Eli died at the shock of hearing about the loss of the ark. The ‘fall-out’ from this event however was good, it brought Samuel to the fore – to be a great influence as the people developed into a nation..
We can draw a comparison here with the tragedy of the death of Christ. Our chapter 50 in Isaiah echoes this to some degree, but it also reveals that a greater than Samuel was to come! There are verses which pre-figure the work – and even more – the spirit of Christ! Here is an example. “I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord GOD helps me … therefore I have set my face like a flint …” [v.6,7] The prophet of the LORD, especially in O.T. times had to develop this spirit, he had to ” … trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” [v.10]
Surely this is the message that applies today for those who truly believe and “trust” in God’s word. David wrote in Psalm 9, “… those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those whoseek you.” [v.10] May we seek – and find – and then trust today! It will soon be vital to have achieved this.
These thoughts prepare us for our chapters in Revelation. Are we approaching the time when “there would be no more delay” when “the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” [10 v. 6,7] From our human perspective there seems to have been delay. God said through his prophet Habakkuk, “the vision awaits its appointed time …. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” [2 v.3]
Finally in Rev. ch. 11 we ponder the scene as “the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God” saying “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great .…” [v.16-18]
And what happens to “the nations (who) raged“? Verse `18 ends! “… and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” May we so live that that we “experience” the “rewarding” of the “servants … those who fear (are in awe ofGod’s) name” – this will have been essential as “the nations raged” around them. And how soon now?
By Bro D.Caudery
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