Meanderings of a Minister


Hello! Is Anyone Home?
August 21, 2014, 9:38 am
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telephone-vector

I have a confession to make.  I hate it when I call someone, with whom I need to urgently communicate, and they are not home.  I hate it even more when they either do not have an answering machine, or the machine is full and cannot take anymore messages.  This is probably a character flaw of some type, but it is true.  The ironic thing is that I can sometimes be a little slow or even irresponsible in returning others’ messages to me.  While most of the time, this is merely inconvenient, at times, it can be dangerous.  For instance, I was told this story by my grandmother, so it may not be totally accurate, but you will get the gist of it…

Once, when I was younger, my uncle called my father to tell him that he was in town and was coming over to visit as he needed a place to stay for the night.  He left the message on our answering machine, but either my father did not hear it or did not check the machine.  Somehow, the message was not received.  At about 1:00 AM, my uncle showed up at our door.  It was December in south Texas and remarkably cold that night.  My uncle had on a long coat with the collar pulled up around his face and was wearing a stocking cap.

My father, roused from a deep sleep by the pounding on the front door, retrieved his gun from his nightstand and proceeded to the front door.  He looked out the peephole to see a man dressed in a dark coat and stocking cap dancing back and forth and jumping up and down and pounding on the door.  My father eased open the door, stuck the gun barrel out the crack and told this “stranger” to leave his family alone or he would be shot.

My father and uncle were on great terms with one another.  What would cause my father to threaten to shoot and kill my uncle?  One simple thing:  Missed communication.

In the book of Joel, we begin by listening to God describe just how He has attempted to get the attention of the people of Judah.  He had been trying to get their attention through famine, drought, locusts and even an invading army.  Sadly, they did not listen, so God ratcheted up the consequences and intensity each time hoping they would hear, repent of their sin, turn to Him instead of their sin, and live in obedience.  This was not to be the case.

This is a lot like the book of Revelation.  While many of us may disagree on the details of who does what when (or doesn’t do what when)(or whether there is a what and a when), you cannot escape the purpose for all God describes will go on.  Consider the following examples and draw your own conclusion:

Revelation 2:5, “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first…”

Revelation 2:16, “Therefore, repent; or else I am coming to you quickly…”

Revelation 2:21,”I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality”

Revelation 3:3, “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

Revelation 9:20a, “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands.”

Revelation 9:21, “and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”

 I could go on with more examples, but I hope you see that God was doing the same thing in Joel as He was describing in Revelation.  Far from being cruel, He has actually been trying to get their attention in order that they might avoid the destruction that was coming their way.

 That brings an interesting question… “How has God tried to get your attention in the past?”  Is He trying now?  Is He trying to get our nation’s attention?  What will we, who know Him, do?

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