A collection of past contributions…
Years ago while in the Philippines I visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. It is a huge sprawl of 17,206 military grave markers including fallen from the Philippines and from other Allied nations. Of those 17,206, there are over 3700 that are unknown. The marble crosses and Stars of David, neatly arranged in huge circular patterns around the central memorial, silently witness to the unfathomable cost of war. It’s hard to imagine the personal loss that the thousands of individuals and families represented here experienced.
When will wars stop? Will wars ever stop? Sadly, if we look for Biblical answers to those questions, the answer is disappointing. No, wars will never stop. At least not voluntarily. And the pain and grief that wars bring will continue until there is active intervention.
That intervention that will terminate wars will have to be from strong leadership, with immense power, that can impose worldwide peace by force. Enter the One who will rule with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15) – the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus Christ. Finally there will be peace. When the “Lamb of God” returns it will be as the “Lion of Judah”.
But will that peace be enduring? Not totally, because at the end of a thousand years, there will be a resurgence of sinful rebellion on the part of large portions of mankind. There will be an uprising, and the last battle, if it can be called a battle at all, will be fought. It won’t last long. It will be a slaughter. There will be great loss of life on the side opposing God. There will be no Memorial Day services for those fallen at the Battle of Armageddon (Ezekiel 39, and Revelation 19 and 20). The final war will have been fought.
Soon after will come the New Heaven and the New Earth. War will finally be done.
Now that Mother’s Day is over, remember, it’s not all Mom’s fault – and she should be glad to know that (a little wordy, but it captures it)
Spell check does not help very much with tongue twister names like Hephzibah, Meshullemeth, Jedidah, or Hamutal. Yet they are real names of real people who are remembered as being the moms of a sequence of kings of Judah. Probably some of those moms would wish they could have been more effective in influencing their sons’ decisions in life. Perhaps, like every mom, they learned something about the limits of motherhood while trying to do their best for their children. The kings of which these women were mothers were Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoahaz. All related, their respective ages when they became kings were 12, 22, 8, and 23. Only the youngest, Josiah, did well. The others did real bad, especially Manasseh.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, makes interesting observations about these kings. Of Josiah he says, “He was of a most excellent disposition, and naturally virtuous, and followed the actions of king David, as a pattern and a rule to him in the whole conduct of his life”. (Antiquities, 10.4.1)
But of the others Josephus reports differently, and of a fifth king, Jehoiakim, we find, “He was of wicked disposition, and ready to do mischief…” (Antiquities, 10.5.2)
Josephus doesn’t blame the moms for their sons’ messes. Neither does the Bible.
Do we really get a “blank-page-to-write-on” when we become moms (or dads)? Not really. Newborns come with an agenda, not a blank page. Their “disposition” will help or hinder their ability to respond to instruction. It’s not all Mom’s fault.
Keep praying for your children; keep seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5). Ultimately they will answer for their own choices, whether good or bad.
Recently a www.spaceweather.com article announced the arrival again of the “Lyrid” meteor shower. The meteors are actually debris from comet “Thatcher”, and they don’t really “arrive” on earth, the earth passes through Thatcher’s debris cloud. The moon’s brightness often obscures all but the brightest meteors, but it’s still fun to watch for them. Just to be out there at night or early morning and seeing all the stars, and being able to pick out the Milky Way swath across the sky, is fascinating.
It is a privilege and a unique opportunity when we observe a meteor or witness an aurora. A privilege because these are not common events, and a unique opportunity to praise God for the beauty of His creation. We may be the only human to observe this particular event, so we would be the only human who can praise God for it. That is definitely special.
Individual meteors are random in that they do not follow a pattern of frequency or intensity.
Putting two events in the Bible together then, we can see an example of God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty. The two events are day four of creation, when God made the stars and many other heavenly bodies, and the other event is the “star” the Wise Men from the East saw announcing Christ’s birth. (Matthew 2:2)
According to Genesis 1:14, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years’.” (NASB)
Note it includes for “signs”. That means that way back at creation God arranged for there to be a unique “star” at just exactly the right time beginning its journey light years away from earth, to arrive at earth over the Persian sky when these guys happened to be looking up! That is awesome! But then, God is awesome! Certainly worthy of our praise!
Image thanks to Joe Lefevre, www.joelefevrephotography.com.