Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume
Last week we reflected on Godâ€™s wake-up calls. God is diligent at wake-up calls. He gives us this opportunity of Advent in advance so that we may be prepared. He gave us the first coming of His Son, His life and word as model so we may live awake, active, and expectant for His return.
This week we reflect on His proclamation – proclamation of a truth people so often wish to avoid for God does things in vastly different ways.
Consider the words of Isaiah. Would anyone expect the wolf, lamb, leopard, kid, calf, and lion to live and eat together in peace, guided by a child. Would anyone expect a baby to play together with snakes. Could we believe that a day will dawn where there is no ruin or harm? Thatâ€™s the thing. It sounds all so great, and fanciful, and maybe someday – but youâ€™ve got to be kidding me. Look at the world today!
God isnâ€™t fooling! Those pretty words from Isaiah that begin in justice for the oppressed and right judgment for the afflicted, the casting down of the wicked and ruthless are Godâ€™s design and proclamation. He has told us, His faithful, that this is the way it shall be. This is what we must endeavor to bring about. This is the Kingdom life!
Paul tells us this was: written for our instruction, endurance, and encouragement so that we might have hope. This was written down as our instruction manual so that we might break down artificial barriers and preconceived notions. Who would think that the gentiles might be co-heirs? God did. Thus we rejoice for the gift we have been given in Jesus.
Each of the characters of Christmas brought a part of Godâ€™s proclamation. The prophets gave the wake-up call. The angels exceedingly rejoiced in Godâ€™s gift of His Son, Jesus. John, the Forerunner, proclaimed the way it must be by Godâ€™s design. John came in advance. He picked up sinners (lions, leopards, wolves) so they could eat and rest together with the lambs, kids, calves, and children. Those who confessed were freed. John held out the truth to those who wanted to pretend that things wouldnâ€™t change. Who warned you, he said. He called them to change.
Godâ€™s proclamation is Godâ€™s reality, His truth. He provided it in advance. Advent gives us the chance to live up to His vastly different way.