Yesterday was quite long and intense. We attended the wake and funeral of a young man, a cousin of Kea. There were some good things: the gospel was preached — at times at, not to — his friends who heard that there is but one way to deal with our sins, and that is through Christ. That our hope is Christ, and Christ alone. And it is in the sure hope of our salvation that we will see him.
The church offered their building without charge, allowed everyone in (noting that we were “at capacity”) and ignored the mask and social distancing mandates. This was caring, kindness, and mercy for Kea’s family, and for that I am grateful.
And yes, the authorities are watching. They want us to fear. We however, should not fear.
The thing is, it should not distress any Christian in the slightest to know that we are often under surveillance both digital and physical. Do not fear the evil eyes of Man, rather fear the all-seeing eyes of the Almighty God. Even the virtuous pagans understood this.
God hath placed by the side of each a man’s own Guardian Spirit, who is charged to watch over him—a Guardian who sleeps not nor is deceived…. So when you have shut the doors and made a darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone, but God is within, and your Guardian Spirit, and what light do they need to behold what you do?
In the service I had various thoughts about the future. This you man will be spared the witness of the coming distress planned for my nation. He is at rest.
But when I look at the passage for today, I see that the rulers themselves can be disposed faster than they think. The very king of Babylon could not be removed by constitutional means. That did not stop the hand of God.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! 20 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him’, 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
If God oould disarm the ruler of the an empire which remains to this day a byword for power used corruptly, then he can deal with our situation. In his time.
Kea and my mate in the mountain remind me, over and over, as does Hearthie, that we have been bought to this place. Not by our will: at times kicking and screaming. We seem to be in the process of making ourselves able to withstand the pressures that are coming.
The fragile are the ones who think they have power. All political careers end in defeat, and you cannot use public relations to say that the country is doing well when young people are dying.
Those in power need to recall, in the land of the living, that we will have to give an account. There will be a judgement.
God was merciful to the King of Babylon. He stripped his sanity away, and taught him he was not the soverig of this world. The king repented.
The preacher today discussed repentance and Christ. May we always do this.
For by this, many will indeed be saved, as the difference between evil and good becomes clearer.