“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire is cometh, it is the tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
You gotta have hope! I love that verse because think about it, when we get discouraged and life throws everything at us, “but the kitchen sink”, as our Southern sayings go, we can lose hope and nothing is worse than feeling hopeless.
As that verse tells us it literally sickens our heart. It also destroys our health, peace, and withers away our very souls, but when the thing we had hoped for and almost given up hope on, finally comes to be, we have such joy, such newness, that brings a fresh breath not only to our life but to our very soul.
And you may be thinking,” Okay Lady, aren’t you supposed to be working on the judgements?’ To which I would surely answer, “Why yes, actually I am. But the really really tricky part with dealing with the judgments is to attempt to deal with it without being overwhelming, it is heavy and it is doom. destruction, and peril, and if not dealt with correctly could lead to a feeling of hopelessness for anyone studying it.
Which is maybe why many ministers have a hard time embracing the very necessary teaching of it. I love a good sermon myself, but God gave us the entire Bible, including the books that make people uncomfortable, or more like terrified.
So bearing all that as I was working on a little something about “climate change”, I felt that we may need to have a little intermission to restore our hope and remember the end goal and the beauty that will come after all the pain.
As I pondered which way to go with the thought, I was out walking yesterday and it was so absolutely beautiful as autumn has come and the leaves were brilliant with the sun peeking through the trees some still quite green but now mingled with golden yellows, flaming orange, and gorgeous shades of burgundy, the sky perfectly blue scattered with a cloud or two, enough fallen leaves to crackle underfoot as I walked, and the air so crisp with the unmistakable scent of hickory nuts, many of which are now scattered about.
And I love it! And it always amazes me how something so beautiful can be the result of its actual death, it is loveliest just before it finally falls to the ground, surrendering to the cold, snow, and ice to come.
Much like the judgments, their impending doom and destruction does indeed mean the end of what was known or what will ever be again but just as those trees will restore completely renewed after winters assault, so will earth and those who have chosen to serve Jesus, restoration and beauty, peace and eternal joy, as never experienced before.
And like in our own lives when seasons change, all things change in order to produce greater things.
To be restored something had to be lost or damaged, and God restores to conditions even better than before.
To be revived something has to be on the edge of death.
So before we move on to more judgments we’ll look at what we have to look forward too.
My favorite, I have used it in many a post, it is a picture of the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the church at the return of Christ, and it is actually compared to the seasons of earth.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13:“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the signing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (turtledove) is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs and the vines with the tender grape gives a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Jesus is our beloved and his church is his love, his fair one and what a beautiful picture of the times of trouble, the winter of earth over and all the rain of sorrows, fire, brimstone from the heavens that will come with the judgments will also with his reign over earth, be gone.
I was reminded of this verse a few weeks back, as I walked by my father’s grapevine, the aroma was heavenly, and these verses are such as blessed reassurance that one day, everything will be made new.
And you probably know these final verses well, but this is our hope and this is why we want to share not only the Gospel, but to share the judgments to come, because if they do not know what is coming and why, how can they possibly repent and be spared all those dreaded events that will come upon earth?
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow. nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new, And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of teh water of life freely.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; And I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful ( This usage means cowardly) and unbelieving, and abominable, and murders, and whoremongers (sexually immoral),and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is teh second death.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the last seven plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
And the wall the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
And the city lieth foursquare (;aid out as a square), and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs (fifteen hundred miles) The length, the breadth, and the height of it are equal.
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits 216 feet), according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
And the building (construction) of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
And the foundations of the wall city were garnished (adorned) with all manner of precious stones.
The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; and every several (individual) gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten(illuminate) it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it.
And the gates of it shall not be shit at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
And they shall bring the glory and honour of nations into it.
And there shall in no wise (no way) enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh(causes) abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And the shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; no need no candle (lamp), neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done (take place).
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 21:1-27 & Revelation 22:1-7
You have to have hope in these things to endure the knowledge of those things which are to come. I do pray that this has been a pleasant intermission, please stay with as we go forward learning about the judgements from various books of the Bible and we will also talk about what life on the new earth and new Jerusalem will be like, and I promise you this, it will be beautiful beyond our wildest dreams!
Have a blessed week! Love & Peace to you and yours, thanks for reading!
Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson