Exodus 23:14 – 25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 7:24-27
There are days when we just need hope. We need hope that God will lift us out of the pit of our own self-pity, that He will rescue us from our enemy of despairing that things will ever change, that He will save our rebellious sons from their sin and self-defeating behaviors.
There is quite a bit of hope in today’s readings in the Old Testament. The nation has made it safely out of Egypt, God has met their needs for water and food, and Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy elders have seen God (Ex. 24:9). They are beginning to learn what will make this fledgling nation into God’s people. They are learning there will be festivals - times of feasting and rejoicing in God’s goodness (23:14ff) - and there will be offerings - gifts to God from those whose hearts prompt them to give (25:1). Their faith will be a participatory one. A clarity of “who we are as a nation” is emerging. And Psalm 30:7 says, “O Lord, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm…”
But the New Testament is more murky. Jesus’ teaching is not easy to decipher as He talks about distress and darkness and the day of the Lord that is coming. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Exactly what the sign of the Son of Man will be is unknown” (pg. 78). Nevertheless, Jesus admonishes his followers, and that includes us, to be very watchful (Mt. 24:42) and to be alert, believing that the Son of Man will appear again on this planet. Hope. There it is. God is in the future.
The Bible contains mysteries and Matthew’s words today are one of them. We need to think carefully, search diligently and wait in expectation of what God is doing in this world. He is always at work—He’s turning wailing into dancing, removing sackcloth and clothing his own with joy so that we may sing to him and give thanks to the Lord our God forever (Ps. 30:11-12).
He gives us hope—in our lives and in this world.
- Nell Sunukjian
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