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August 29, 2017

Throughout the history of mankind there has been no end of disasters.  For the last fifteen to twenty years, like no previous age,  television has bombarded our senses.   Instantaneous, visual media has brought into our homes horrific scenes of every kind of worldwide disaster imaginable.   The list is long, disruptive and deadly: catastrophic earthquakes, starving babies from drought-ridden countries, tsunamis, deadly plagues, mutilated bodies from genocidal wars and terrorist incidents, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, bombings, vicious attacks using cars, guns, knives, clubs, brutal street violence and deadly drugs!   Nightly, we see it with emotionally numbing effect.

A fore-runner of Jesus once proclaimed, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath which is to come?”   Has the “wrath which is to come,” come?   Is an angry God, weary of His erring, created beings, now warning saints and sinners alike that He will not always strive with us, nor keep His anger forever?  Who dares to disregard His mercy, grace, sovereignty and authority?   Never has the prophet’s word been more applicable, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts; and let Him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Do not think I am over-stating things, or being unnecessarily alarmist –  world affairs are alarming!   God, in His Word, has clearly and repeatedly warned us about devastating, disastrous situations.   We have been told how His children should react in such a time.   Hear the Psalmist’s admonition: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when the morning dawns . . . Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth . . . Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.”

The Apostle Peter wrote, describing the judgments of the day of the Lord,  “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and it works will be burned up.”  He then admonished the believer with these heart-searching words: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming day of God, . . .  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation.”

One tragedy after another seems to be happening so quickly it is easy to be distracted by the incidents themselves.  We need to consider seriously and more deeply the root cause and meaning of it all.   Surely, God is endeavouring to get our attention!  Is He speaking, loud and clear to the moral decay we carelessly allow?  Is He calling us to repentance and to renewed obedience to Him and to His Word?  Is a word to the wise, sufficient?

A fellow pilgrim,   Arnold Reimer



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