Deuteronomy, which we are now reading is, to some extent, a kind of history lesson to the next generation – the children of those who had died in the wilderness.  This is an example to us – to look to the lessons history teaches!  We must specially note its’ lessons about the reasons why God acted in response to human actions: the times of his guidance (and the reasons why) and then the times of judgement and of punishment. In ch. 2 we learn that an “entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn …” [v.14]  They had perished because of their lack of faith – shown by their failure to go up to the promised land.

Our Proverbs chapter (29) states (v.16) “When the wicked increase, transgression increases…” How true today!  But the rest of the verse says, “but the righteous will look upon their downfall” How soon will that be for us? Let us make sure we are among “the righteous.”

In our ch. 12 in John’s gospel we see how the mortal life of Jesus is moving toward its’ climax.  As it does Jesus utters some challenges to the people – some of which equally apply to our world as it moves towards its’ divinely ordained climax.  “I have come into the world as light” Jesus says [v.46].  In those early generations after he ascended to heaven that “light” transformed the understanding of the meaning of life for many, especially as the gospels and letters were written and circulated. It happened again, when the Bible was translated and printed in many languages 4 to 500 years ago.

Jesus says, ” If anyone hears (we can add ‘or reads’) my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”[v.47] So many responded – at first – but soon “darkness” descended again – and  the baser desires in human lives dominated.  We recall what we read in ch. 3 and the observation of Jesus that “whoever does not believe is condemned … light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” [v.18-19]  Our world is full of darkness today.

The words of Jesus which particularly jump out and challenge us in today’s chapter are in v.48 “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”  This is the day of judgement – when Jesus returns – how soon now!?

Could you possibly be among those who do “not receive” Jesus’ words?  May his words really come alive in our minds – for our response to them will “judge” us “on the last day.”  We will take a final thought from the writings of Paul, “if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” [2 Cor. 4 v.3] Let us all make sure – by our thoughts and actions to “the word” – every day – that we are not among the “perishing.”

By Bro D.Caudery

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