Wait on the Lord, NOT Wait and See, 31AUG – #1234

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Many years we hear of devastating earthquakes and floods, they are not new, yet each one brings newness of crisis for each affected person. We are so sorry for their struggles. We also get glued to our TVs and now phones because can even pick up the local hurricane TV stations and severe weather chasers with the click of a button on our couches. It’s RIVETING but are we learning anything by just watching it? Hmmmm… I felt like I was goofing off watching, but I did anyway… And how is it that we pay SO much attention to the damage affecting our own countrymen but there is no news on the TV of the simultaneous situation even worse just one country over from ours (Hurricanes Grace and Nora in Mexico vs Ida here in the US). Hmmmmm…. How local we have become!!! How mesmerized when other times we are oblivious… I know it will also become old news very quickly. (and yes it did – by weeks end unless you drove by those areas you would not know of any issues)

Hurricane warning – Tornado watches – Would we evacuate? Would we stay put? Honestly where would we go if we did have the money? Every accommodation seemed full. What would we do especially if we DIDN’T have the money? That is probably why most people don’t go anywhere. And some just choose to ride it out – like life – and I understand that, I don’t leave my house in a blizzard, I just prepare, so they don’t leave in a hurricane. How can a whole 3 states worth of people wander somewhere else anyway when there’s no gas stations to power their trip anyway? How long can people live without electricity and can they prepare enough food and water to live a week or a month. How so advanced in society we have become but can’t live basically on the basics, without creature comforts. And how many people see the services of conveniences and riches as our God-given rights to have.  THAT IS DANGEROUS, to think of God-given rights over God-given gifts. We all do on occasion, but it’s dangerous to think that way.

Moses’s people (and there were lots of them) had God providing for them in the present but also knowledge of a life in the past, and were promised a life in the future, but did they appreciate the time in between? Some did not. Do we? Our earth, no matter how cushy or harsh, is desert wilderness if you don’t prepare for life in it, our desert is now like our “in between life” after Eden and before restored life of a restored Eden comes. Our desert, even if we are camping in it, now does come often with luxurious life privileges too (as I sit here writing while wasting gas and A/C, idling in my car) – and yes life comes with challenges, many people have many challenges. But we must rise above and keep going. Helping others along the way. 

Moses had MANY challenges and challengers, even WITH God present. Moses had to witness and warn, teach and lead, beg for his people’s forgiveness all the while they didn’t forgive him for making the tough calls of where to go and how to live. What happened to the sections of Israelite people in the desert going against God? They got swallowed up!!! The earth opened, the plagues came, they who rebelled were LOST as a group, even their kids. GONE. (But not forgotten, as teaching moments are written in the Bible like scars on Jesus’s brow). A plague rolled thru as well until Aaron stepped in between to offer forgiveness sacrifices. 

What will happen to us and our generations if we challenge God, challenge God’s Ways, if we turn against Him? Swallowed up. Gone. And probably forgotten, like old news, except God Himself has written these stories in His Heart and in the Word. They are not victory stories but sorrow statements. Scripture also tells us ahead of our time (in Revelation 6) of God completing His wrath, finishing sorting the goats from the sheep, and of all earth rolling away. Read ahead, He tells us our future. 

How are we SAVED from this wrath? By learning and WAITING ON THE LORD, not waiting and seeing what’s next. God is a loving God, but we must fear Him in respect. He has given us an advocate with Him, to absorb His anger – His Son Jesus. Like the moment Moses’s brother Aaron stepped in between the plague and the people, and the plague stopped – JESUS STEPS IN THE WAY OF OUR DEATH TO GIVE ETERNAL LIFE. We have the ability to step away from the chaos, just like we stop watching the news, and instead go live as we believe in the Good News of life everlasting. But how? Thru God and God alone. We are sheep but not wanderers, we are WONDERERS. We have a choice. God desires us at His Wedding Supper with Him in Heaven, let that be our life direction over lostness…

We have the history and the future known to us. We just have to WAIT ON HIM, grumble less, praise more. 

Be Grateful… God gives gifts, not rights.  God gives His Life to be with us.

Amen

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Deborah of Judges 4:14 said “[…Go! This is the day the Lord has given…. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?…]

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Read Moses’s story in Numbers 16

Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”

Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”

Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves? No, we will not come!”

Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”

Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow—you and they and Aaron. Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the Lord. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.” So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the entire assembly. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.” So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”

As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”

And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy— the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”

So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar, as the Lord directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the Lord, or he would become like Korah and his followers.

The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the Lord’s people,” they said. But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.  Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord said to Moses, “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.” So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.

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Read the future (after followers of Jesus are raptured away)

Revelation 6:12-17

There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

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