Echoes From the Campfire

Don’t hang on to your fear.  Let yourself hope.  It is only brave people who find life beautiful.”
              –William MacLeod Raine  (Challenge to Danger)

    “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
              –1 John 4:18 (NKJV)
“Today God may seem silent to you.  The wicked prosper; those who commit wrong get away with it; the poor are crushed.  Suffering is ladled out upon the heads of the righteous from the scalding caldron of pain, adversity, and evil,” states George O. Wood.  
Where is God?  Why is He silent?  Why do the immoral rule and say that evil things are good and the good is evil?  Friends, don’t be like a leaf blown in the wind, for a day is coming when the majesty of God will be revealed.  Psalm 50 gives us a glance of what it will be like when the Lord comes to judge the earth.

    1 – Yahweh, the God of gods speaks; He summons the earth from east to west.
    2 – From Zion, the perfection of beauty, God appears in radiance.
    3 – Our God is coming; He will not be silent!  Devouring fire precedes Him, and a storm rages around Him.
    4 – On high, He summons heaven and earth in order to judge His people.
    5 – “Gather My faithful ones to Me, those who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
    6 – The heavens proclaim His righteousness, for God is the Judge.  Selah
    7 – “Listen, My people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel.  I am God, your God.
    8 – I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or for your burnt offerings, which are continually before Me.
    9 – I will not accept a bull from your household or male goats from your pens,
   10 – for every animal of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
   11 – I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures of the field are Mine.
   12 – If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and everything in it is Mine.
   13 – Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
   14 – Sacrifice a thank offering to God, and pay your vows to the Most High.

    The Lord is coming soon in His majesty, glory, and radiance.  Verse 3 should hold us in silence; a trembling should go through our body and soul.  Look at how He comes.  He will not be silent!  This reminds me of the prophecy of Joel in describing the Day of the Lord.  I like how the NLT puts verse 3, “Our God approaches with noise of thunder.  Fire devours everything in its way, and a great storm rages around him.”
    There is something here that is important for the believer.  God honors us in the fact that we are faithful to Him in the giving of sacrifices, or in today’s terms:  church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines.  However, what are they to God?  We can do all the demonstrating we want but if we do not trust Him what is the use?  Someone I know proclaimed the other day that we must turn on “worship music” (whatever that is) and sing/shout as loud as we can.  Why?  Is God deaf?  Is that what He really wants or does He want a people holy, acceptable to Him?
    Listen, I don’t think that God thinks in the terms of 2020.  We may think, only a few more weeks and this year will be over, but is it the end?  Why has God allowed the things to happen in 2020?  Perhaps it was to get our attention.  Perhaps to wake up a slumbering church.  Perhaps it is to get quiet before Him, humble ourselves, and then truly begin to trust Him.  

              “Not all the blood of beasts on Jewish altars slain
               Could give the guilty conscience peace or wash away the stain.
               But Christ, the heavenly Lamb, takes all our sins away;
               A sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood.”
                         –Isaac Watts

    Let verse 14 speak to you.  “What I want instead is your true thanks to God; I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High.” (NLT)  Ponder, meditate, contemplate, and take action on this verse.  Fulfill your vows!  Have you ever made one to God, if so, it is still binding, begin to fulfill it now.