January 18, 2015

“Tomorrow is another day.”  I hear people say that when they are usually having a bad day.  I suppose that it is supposed to bring about a glimmer of hope that today is an aberration in our years of days.  I understand that we want to continue to press on but do we have an unlimited amount of tomorrows in front of us?  Are we guaranteed to wake up the next morning?  Can we tear down our storehouses and build bigger and better ones because we have excess?  Some of us need bigger barns because of all the excess baggage we carry, with myself at the top of that list.

But the writer of Hebrews that I must call on the Lord while the day is still called “Today”.  Why?  Perhaps tomorrow is just another chance for me to harden my heart with earthly success and treasures.  Perhaps if I experience earthly success here I will forget that it is temporal success, that it will remain in my storehouse when I am put into a six-foot hole.  Perhaps I will be as Cain, build myself a city to show God that I do not need to rely on His providence and His seasonal rains.  Other people can do that and bring their crops and animals to me in my city and I can keep what I need and sell the rest to those who are like me.

Then Jesus reminds us that someone else holds our days in His hands.  The heavenly Father has allotted us a number of days and we do not know how many He has given to us.  Some have more because we are so stubbornly resistant to His voice that we that time to recognize His voice.  Some have less because He has His reasons.  As He says, “I will have compassion on whom I have compassion, and mercy on whom I have mercy.”  We do not know which day is our last.

That is why Today is always the most important day.  Tomorrow might not come for some of us.  This was Jesus’ warning to the man who tore down his old barns and to build bigger ones.  And this is why He teaches us to not worry about tomorrow.  He does not tell us not to plan, just be careful in that we are always keeping the providence and will of the Almighty in our plans when we are planning our plans.

Hebrews: Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God[b] would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

 

January 17, 2015

I read the account of the tower of Babel.  The people were getting together to build a tower to reach to the heavens.  They thought they could build something that would reach into very heavens of the God of all creation.  Perhaps they sought to use it a way to combat the Almighty and try to throw Him off His heavenly throne.  Who knows what the purpose of it was.  Are we not trying to do the same thing today with all of our skyscrapers?

But I digress.  God had come down to see what they were up to.  I don’t think it was the tower that was the real issue.  It was the cooperation and coordination of the people, how they were able to plan and organize such a great project.  It’s not that God felt threatened by man.  Quite the opposite.  He realized they had not learned the lesson of Noah’s Flood.  They were still focused on the evil in their hearts.  The still wanted to pursue their own interests and not pursue the holiness and righteousness of God.  So God confused their languages and then dispersed them to the corners of the earth.

What would scare me more is if the coming of Jesus was similar to what happened at the Tower of Babel.  What if the coming of Jesus was a reconnaissance mission.  What if He could not believe the reports of His angels about the evil and callousness of the hearts of men.  What if the Father, even He had planned for the birth and life of Jesus, decided to leave it in Jesus’ hands.  What if He told His Son that during His ministry He could decide if the people on earth were worthy of being saved.  And Jesus, seeing the hopelessness, the callousness, the hardness of heart, the delight we took in sin and doing evil, and how we thought our oppressive religiosity was the right teaching of Mosaic Law, and made a decision.  He reported to His Father that our state is beyond the point of redemption and that the decision was to let man pursue their sin and suffer the consequences.  We were to be left to our devices and God would give us over to our sin.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus did what had to be done.  We were hopeless, which he knew already.  We were incapable, within the scope of our will and ability, to seek after the things of God.  We had to see something spectacular, something unthought of before, something we did not believe would be possible, something so utterly selfless that it would leave some of us speechless, standing mouth agape, humbled and thankful.  Those, who did not believe in the probability of the Son of God dying for His creation, scorned and mocked and created alternate stories, pursued with utter vengeance to destroy those who believed, because they did not want to believe in the impossible being possible, an immortal dying for the mortal, so that the mortal can share in His immortality.

Thank you, Lord, for not altering the plan of our salvation.