Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 28, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Rapture, What's to Fear? - By Jonathan Brentner - http://raptureready.com/soap2/brentner3.html
What causes fear in us at times regarding the Rapture? Does our apprehension arise from its abrupt nature or its unexpected timing? Does the unknown or the supernatural cause anxiety to rise within us? Perhaps we do not want our dreams for this life to end so soon.
I suspect many of us can identify with a least a few of the above reasons.
Does Scripture give us any help to relieve our apprehensions and hesitations? Is there a way to look at the Rapture that sparks delight and hopefulness rather than dread or even disdain?
I believe there is.
One of the most comforting pictures of the Rapture in Scripture is that of the Bridegroom coming for his Bride. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul purposely used language to invoke images of the Jewish wedding customs of their day when speaking of Jesus' return for His Church.
The Marriage Covenant
Jewish marriages in the first century AD began with the groom making a covenant with his bride. The groom "would drink a cup of wine with her which sealed the covenant and he would pay the bridal price for her to the father."[i] The bridal price ensured that the groom would follow through on the covenant.
Do you see the similarities with what Jesus did for us in purchasing our salvation on the cross? He paid the price with His blood so that we, His church, might become His bride.
Jesus' words regarding the cup of wine He drank with His disciples in the upper room resemble those spoken by a groom sealing the marriage covenant with his bride, "In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood . . .'"[ii]
The drinking of wine from a cup and the announcement of a covenant both spark images of the Jewish marriage customs as well as point to fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the new covenant.
Once he confirmed the marriage covenant with His bride, the groom announced he was going to prepare a place for his bride in his father's house.[iii] He would not see his bride until he completed his work on the honeymoon chamber and returned for her.
Jesus' words in John 14:2-3 mimic this announcement of the bridegroom, "In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." I believe Jesus purposely chose words to show how His actions resembled a groom leaving to prepare a place for his bride with a promise to someday return for her.
The Return of the Bridegroom
Similar to Jesus' words regarding His return, the Jewish bridegroom returned later to take his bride back to the place he had prepared for her.
The Jewish groom enjoyed coming as a thief in the night to quickly snatch away his bride and take her back to his father's house. He arrived at his bride's home with much fanfare as his friends shouted and blew a shofar or trumpet to announce his surprise arrival. The groom then took his bride back to his father's house for seven days.
In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul speaks of Jesus coming for His church with a shout or the "voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God" (v. 16). In John 14:2-3, Jesus stated that the purpose of His return for us will be to take us back to His Father's house. There we will remain for seven years while the Great Tribulation takes place on the earth.
The Comforting Message for Us
The brides of Jesus' day did not fear the arrival of the bridegroom. The bride looked forward to the surprise return of her bridegroom; this was an expected and exciting part of the wedding festivities.
This picture of the rapture provides much comfort for us because of the following reasons:
1. He is preparing a place for us!
Jesus is now preparing a place especially for us. This is frequently overlooked in teachings regarding the Rapture.
We can be sure this place will be amazing beyond anything we can imagine. Jesus is designing and preparing it with our specific needs and desires in mind. The best five star hotels on earth cannot compare to the place Jesus is getting ready for us.
The rapture represents Jesus return to take us to the place He has prepared for us. Would not the brides of Jesus' day eagerly anticipated seeing the place their grooms had prepared for them?
2. The Rapture is a Groom returning for His Bride!
While the element of surprise in the rapture may alarm us at times, it helps to remember this was part of the excitement for Jewish weddings of the first century AD. The groom was not coming to harm his bride, but to take her home to begin their exciting adventure together.
Rather than be something to fear or even dread, the bride joyously anticipated the day when the groom would snatch her away and take her to his home. Her groom's surprise appearance represented a key part of the love story they would share for the rest of their lives.
So it is with Jesus' return. He's taking us away from this life to something wonderful, to an eternity full of wonder and amazement, which we will enjoy in new immortal bodies that will never be subject to illness, pain, gaining, or death. Jesus is coming as a Bridegroom coming for His Bride; it's an act of love to give us a much better life than we can imagine.
3. The Rapture will lead to much celebration!
Once the bride and groom had spent seven days together, the feasting began. They joined their attendants, friends, and invited guests for a huge celebration of their wedding.
This is in our future as well. Revelation 19:6-10 describes the "marriage supper of the lamb" that occurs in heaven before we return to earth with Jesus. Just as with the marriage celebrations of Jesus' day, I do not believe this will be just a sit-down dinner lasting a few hours; it will last several days, at least!
4. It's the alternative that should be frightening to us!
Here is where the comparison breaks down a bit. During the seven days the bride and groom spent together in the honeymoon suite, the bride's attendants and friends of the groom began celebrating.
During the seven years we are with the Lord in heaven, however, the Great Tribulation will occur on earth. Evil will flourish. Humanity will experience God's wrath as a final call to repentance. It will be a time of great suffering and much death upon the earth.
Whenever I am tempted to fear the Lord's return, I think of the alternative. We will be so much better off being with the Lord than remaining on the earth. I believe the "sudden destruction" mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 happens shortly after the Rapture.
Truly, it's the alternative of Jesus not coming for us that should frighten us. Jesus is coming to lovingly take us out of this world before the terrible judgments and destruction of the Tribulation.
Just as with a groom coming for his bride, the rapture represents Jesus' love for His church. Will Jesus' return surprise us when it happens? Most likely! Will He in love tenderly welcome us to the place He has prepared us? We can count on that.
The wedding imagery of the Rapture helps us see it as an act of love rather than something to fear or dread. It's meant to change our perspective, to help us look forward to Jesus' return for us with excitement rather than anxiety.
When anxious thoughts of the Rapture creep into your thinking, remember it's not about striving to replace fear with hope but of looking forward to Jesus' appearing as a bride getting ready for her groom's arrival.
Jesus does not want us to fear His return for us but rather eagerly anticipate it as the beginning of eternity. He's coming to rescue us out of this world and take us to a place of amazing beauty and joy, beyond all we can imagine.
[i] Winston, Joy, "Jewish Wedding Ceremony" - Article on the Rapture Ready Website
[ii] 1 Corinthians 11:25
[iii] Winston, Joy, "Jewish Wedding Ceremony" - Article on the Rapture Ready Website
Jonathan C. Brentner
North Liberty, Iowa
Obama Has Learned Nothing About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - By Mitchell Bard - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=686
President Obama's failure to learn anything in the last eight years about the Palestinian-Israeli dispute was evident in his final speech to the UN General Assembly.
In the mere 31 words that he devoted to the subject, he laid bare his ignorance: "Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel," he said. "But Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land."
Sounds reasonable enough, doesn't it? Both sides have responsibility for the conflict -- except they don't.
First, the Palestinian side of the equation was severely understated. Yes, the Palestinians must reject incitement, but they must also actively prevent terrorism. They must stop using US and EU taxpayer money to pay terrorists and their families.
Yasser Arafat said he recognized Israel, but it has been clear since that 1993 letter to Yitzhak Rabin that the Palestinians do not accept the legitimacy of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.
Furthermore, the Palestinians are unwilling to make any territorial compromises that would lead to a two-state solution.
They continue to show support for the strategy whereby they would accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza only as a first stage in the eventual liberation of all of "Palestine" -- a goal reflected in Palestinian media, maps, crossword puzzles, textbooks, Fatah insignias, and every other venue one can name.
Worse, the possibility of a political solution to the conflict has been eliminated not by Israeli actions, but by the ascendancy of radical Islam -- best represented by Hamas -- in Palestinian society.
The Islamists, who have co-opted the "secular" Palestinian leadership, will never accept the existence of a Jewish state in what they consider the Muslim heartland, nor will they tolerate a situation whereby Jews "rule" over Muslims.
Obama still fails to see these truths. In fact, he reinforces the Palestinians' bad behavior by continuing to make excuses for them and holding Mahmoud Abbas out as a partner for peace even though the Palestinian "president" has rejected Obama's calls for negotiations for nearly eight years.
In fact, there is no better example of how weak the US has become under Obama than the fact that a pipsqueak like Abbas, who is totally dependent on international aid for his survival, has repeatedly defied Obama by refusing to negotiate and going around the president and the Israelis to the UN in search of international sanctions to impose Palestinian terms on Israel.
President Obama also continues to make the sophistic comparison between Palestinian terrorism and Jewish settlements. He seriously believes that Jews establishing homes on land that has been part of Jewish history for thousands of years is equivalent to Palestinians murdering Jews.
Even as rockets are falling on Israel, bombs are exploding, and people are being shot, stabbed, and run over, Obama finds fault only with Israel.
In fact, with all the violence in the Middle East, and now in the United States, it is mind-boggling that the White House and State Department remain obsessed with publicly chastising Israel over its housing policies.
Public opinion on the further development of West Bank communities is very controversial in Israel; however, in the absence of any Palestinian peace initiative, opponents have little ground to stand on.
Left-wing critics in the US and Israel whine about the failure of the political system to produce a government that supports their minority views, ignoring the reality that the failure of prior peace efforts are responsible for the shift of Israeli voters to the right.
More than 20 years have passed since the Oslo agreement raised hopes for an end to the conflict. Yet Palestinian violence never ceased and the territorial compromises Israel made did not lead to pace.
When Israel completely withdrew settlers and soldiers from Gaza and gave the Palestinians an opportunity to start to build the infrastructure of a state, they demonstrated the Israeli right was correct in predicting that the Palestinians would pocket any concessions, seek more without any reciprocity, and escalate terror.
If the "occupation" ended tomorrow, the conflict would continue and Israelis would be in more serious danger because the terrorists would be unencumbered, and have the capability to threaten Israel's airports, population centers, industrial heartland, and capital.
No settlements existed prior to 1967 and there was no peace. The Palestinians were unwilling to make peace even when settlers numbered in the thousands. They were unwilling to stop the violence when Israel evacuated Gaza.
Today, with a settler population of 350,000, the Palestinians can denounce Israel all they want, but they have only themselves to blame. Their chance for statehood will continue to dissipate the longer they refuse to negotiate and compromise.
Today, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to relocate 50,000 or more Jews from outlying settlements if Palestinians agreed to a two-state solution. When the number of settlers grows, as expected, to 500,000 over the next several years, territorial compromise will probably be impossible.
There's little hope for Obama to figure this out in his last months, and we can only hope he does not make the situation worse -- as he has in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
It would be wiser for him to focus on those debacles and the continued rise of radical Islam. I'm not terribly optimistic given the candidates, but at least there is hope that the next president will have a better grasp of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and not repeat the mistakes of the last eight years.
Iran has missiles that can hit Israel, Revolutionary Guards official says - http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Iran-has-missiles-that-can-hit-Israel-Revolutionary-Guards-official-says-468899
A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tuesday that Iran is in possession of missiles that can hit Israel.
Iran's Press TV quoted Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Division Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh as telling reporters that "we do not need missiles with a range of over 2,000 kilometers. The longest range required for [Iran's] missiles is the [Israeli] occupied lands."
The commander warned that "the Zionist regime is our biggest target."
Hajizadeh stated that Iran's Zolfaqar tactical ballistic missile was set to become operational in March of 2017, which is the end of the current Iranian calendar year.
The Zolfaqar can carry several warheads and has a range of 750 kilometers, according to Press TV.
The missile can carry out precision attacks against airport tarmacs and targets on the ground.
Hamas Brags: We've Doubled Our Number of Weapons Since 2014 War - https://unitedwithisrael.org/hamas-brags-weve-doubled-our-number-of-weapons-since-2014-war/
Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, just bragged at an Al Jazeera forum in Doha that since the 2014 war, his organization has doubled the number of weapons it possesses.
Speaking on the topic of "Palestinian resistance and the transformations of the Arab Spring," Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal said, "Hamas has many times the weapons than it had two years ago, due to the strong will of the Palestinians." He proudly claimed that this is the case, despite Israel's naval blockade on the Strip.
Meshaal attended the forum with Hamas' Gaza chief, Ismail Haniyeh.
Whether he is telling the truth or not, it will be interesting to see if there is any reaction to this speech by Gazans, Israelis, human rights NGOs, Arab leaders and the international community.
Meshaal is effectively telling Gazans that Hamas prioritizes weapons replenishment over getting them electricity, building materials and other goods that they need. Does the average Gazan share those priorities? Why isn't Hamas smuggling in things that Gazans actually need?
Meshaal is telling NGOs that Hamas doesn't care about Gaza unemployment or dependency on aid by outsiders. In fact, the external aid is helping Hamas focus its priorities on acquiring arms. How should Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam react when they are being told that their helping Gazans allows Hamas to abdicate its responsibility to its people?
Furthermore, Meshaal is telling Israelis (and Egypt) that despite the limits on goods going to Gaza, Hamas is managing to re-arm. Will this make Israel and Egypt become more or less likely to loosen up its restrictions on materials into Gaza?
This supposedly moderate and pragmatic Hamas leader is telling the Arab leaders that Hamas' main priority is to kill Israeli Jews, not to help its own people. Yet Arab nations have pledged billions to help Gaza. Will this make them more or less likely to pay their pledges?
Finally, Meshaal has re-affirmed Hamas' terror goals. Will this make the world leaders think twice about helping an enclave where their aid is indirectly enabling terror?
Nearing Midnight: Islamic Terror Is Driving Us Toward a Police State - Todd Strandberg - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
The frequency of Islamic terror attacks has become so common in the world that we regularly see multiple events occur during the span of a week. The lack of activity during the latter part of August and the first part of September had me wondering if Muslims were on some unannounced holiday.
It only took one single day for Arab terrorists to make it clear that any respite is just a fluke. Here is a breakdown of events from last Saturday:
9:35am - A pipe bomb explodes near a charity race organized by the U.S. Marines. Because the race had been delayed, there were no injuries. A second device was found near the site.
8:30pm - A loud explosion is heard in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. The source of the blast came from a device that was placed under a metal dumpster. A total of 29 people suffered non life-threatening injuries.
9:15pm - A knife-wielding assailant dressed in security guard uniform stabs nine people at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud Minnesota. Authorities said the attacker is reported to have mentioned Allah and to have asked at least one of his victims if he or she was Muslim.
11:30pm - A second device built from a pressure cooker and containing wires and a mobile phone is discovered a few blocks from the New York blast site. It is safely defused before being sent to an FBI lab. Several fingerprints were later recovered from the device.
The mall attacker, Dahir Adan, is a Somali immigrant. He was born in Africa and had lived in the United States for 15 years. He was shot and killed by Jason Falconer, an off-duty police officer, and firearms instructor. Adan appears to have hate issues against America. In a poorly written Facebook post, he wrote "Osama dead but his people ain't, that's a scary thing cause they going to want payback on the U.S."
The bombs in New Jersey and New York were the work of Ahmad Khan Rahami. He was born in Afghanistan in 1988 and first came to the United States in 1995, several years after his father arrived seeking asylum. The FBI interviewed Rahami's father in 2014 after a violent domestic dispute. That interview stemmed from a tip alleging that Rahami's father was calling his son a terrorist.
If we had a federal government that truly wants to protect its citizens from harm, both of these individuals should have already been placed on an FBI database of potential terrorists. When Rahami's father labeled him as a terrorist, he was already in jail for stabbing one of his relatives.
Another red flag should have been a lawsuit filed in 2011 by The Rahami family alleging discrimination and harassment because it was operating a restaurant in violation of city ordinances hours of operation.
The key problem we have with the Islamic world is a clash of cultures. The people of the Muslim faith operate under the idea that all other societies need to bow to their religion. They come to the West, and instead of being thankful for having been allowed to escape some horrible situation in the Middle East, they insist we conform to their twisted set of values.
Terrorism continues to get worse because our leaders think that accommodation is the best way to resolve the problem. Unless we are willing to abandon our Christian faith, there is no way to find common ground with a faith that seeks our enslavement.
There is a high cost that comes with this policy of appeasement. With each new attack, we lose another chunk of our freedom. The bomb that went off in New York shut down a large section of the city for two days. If it had been a dirty nuclear or chemical bomb that killed hundreds of people, the whole area would have been placed under martial law.
It was the growing security apparatus that led to the capture of Rahami. He was identified by one of 8,000 cameras that have been added to New York streets since the September 11 terror attacks as part of the city's "Ring of Steel." Big Brother may have an eye out for terrorists, but the growing sophistication of surveillance systems also has him keeping an eye on us.
The only fix for the problem of Islamic terror is to punish those committing the crimes. In the 1800s and early 1990s, the U.S. Bureau of Immigration sent people back to Europe if they thought they were unfit for American society. Back then, a return trip by boat took nearly a month.
Today, we could have Mohammed, Khaldun and Abdul back in sand land in under 16 hours. We've become so timid that we are taking the coward's option by doing nothing. The needed response to this terror should be righteous anger.
"Oppression makes a wise man mad" (Ecclesiastes 7:7a).
"Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry The LORD sets the prisoners free. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous; The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked" (Psalm 146:7-9).
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn Warns America on Temple of Ba'al - Mark Martin - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/september/rabbi-jonathan-cahns-warning-for-america-about-nycs-temple-of-baal-arch-replica
Well-known Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn is speaking out against a replica of the entrance to the Temple of Ba'al placed in New York City earlier this month.
"Another harbinger has appeared in the land -- and this one in New York City," Cahn wrote in an article published at WND. "In the last days of ancient Israel, warnings, prophetic signs and harbingers appeared in the land, foreshadowing the judgment to come. The nation ignored these harbingers and headed to destruction."
Cahn went on to write that Israel's rebellion against God was connected to the god, Ba'al.
"Ba'al was the god to whom they sacrificed their children, before whom they practiced sexual immorality and called good 'evil' and evil 'good,'" he continued. "Baal was the god in whose name Israel persecuted the prophets and the righteous of their day."
"In the last days of Israel, when the harbingers appeared, they appeared in a land covered with the images of Ba'al," Cahn said. "It was the worship of Ba'al that ultimately brought about the harbingers of judgment. Thus Ba'al was the god of the harbingers."
According to Gothamist, the entryway unveiled in City Hall Park is a replica of the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra in Syria. A terrorist attack by ISIS destroyed the actual arch last year.
The arch was the entryway to the Temple of Ba'al, which in time, converted into a Christian church, and later, became an Islamic mosque, Gothamist reports.
The news outlet says the Institute for Digital Archaeology made the replica arch as part of the Million Image Database, a joint venture between the Institute and UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
"We hope to signal the potential for triumph of human ingenuity over violence and celebrate images from the past that unite the cultures they represent," Roger Michel, IDA executive director, said. "We also hope that visitors to the installations will consider the role of physical objects in defining their history and weigh carefully the question of where precisely history and heritage reside."
Before the unveiling, Michel compared London, New York, and Syria -- their abilities to bounce back from tough times.
"It is hoped that the arch, itself an icon of destruction and rebirth, will remind visitors of both the universality of suffering and the indomitable human capacity to rebuild what has been lost," he said.
"Everything that was great about Palmyra is what is great about New York City," Michel continued.
Cahn says no one who put up the arch replica or unveiled it knew what they were doing, "but they did it anyway."
"What about America? If America is following in the footsteps of ancient Israel away from God and to judgment, could there be a link to Ba'al?" he asked. "Of course, no one in America would admit to worshiping Ba'al."
"But the truth is American culture is filled with other gods and idols," he continued. "When a civilization turns away from God, it always ends up bringing in other gods in His place. We just don't call them gods."
"As much as America has driven God out of its life and waged war against his ways, as much as America has sacrificed millions of its unborn children, as much as it has called evil 'good' and good 'evil,' as much as it has celebrated sexual immorality, and as much as it has persecuted the righteous -- it is following after the god Ba'al, animated by the spirit of Ba'al," Cahn said.
Daily Jot: The truth behind police and lethal force - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
A comprehensive and exhausting Harvard study of police data indicates that the narrative of police targeting black civilians with lethal force is patently false while Police using non-lethal force on black suspects, however, is significantly higher than that used against white suspects. The most extensive study to date on police data regarding racial differences is contained in AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN POLICE USE OF FORCE by National Bureau of Economic Research's Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Harvard professor of economics, July 2016. The study found that Blacks are 23.8% less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites. The rest of the study is equally revealing.
Some highlights of the Harvard study are: Black civilians are 30.9% less likely to be shot with a pistol (rather than a taser) relative to non-black suspects. Officers are 47.4% less likely to discharge their firearms before being attacked if the suspect is black; Blacks are 53% more likely to experience any use of non-lethal force; Blacks are 21.3% more likely to endure some form of force; Blacks are 19.4% more likely to be involved in an interaction with police in which at least a weapon is drawn than whites; Officers decisions to use lethal force are not correlated with the race of the suspect. There are no differences in the use of lethal force for black suspects compared with white. There is no evidence of racial differences of the officers who use lethal force.
Fryer Studied 1,332 shootings between 2000-2015 using detailed data from police reports in Houston; Austin, Tex.; Dallas; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and four other counties in Florida; 3.5 million arrests from New York City stop and frisk records 2003-2013; and 500,000 observations from 1996-2011 in the Police-Public Contact Survey by the Bureau of Justice. Fryer, an African American, concludes: "It is plausible that racial differences in lower level uses of force are simply a distraction and movements such as Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behaviors of police and other external forces."
Fryer said, "Much more troubling, due to their frequency and potential impact on minority belief formation, is the possibility that racial differences in police use of non-lethal force have spillovers on myriad dimensions of racial inequality." This means that Blacks live in a form of soft tyranny that doesn't allow them to feel as free and equal to others. As I have written before, it is a vicious cycle. Notwithstanding, the study demonstrates that lethal force is not racially motivated, but harassment may well be. It is in this where there is frustration and the perception to reality of being treated unfairly. What is our response as Christians? Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:12, "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." It's the Golden Rule and we should employ it in all our relations-Black, White and Blue!
Daily Devotion: Always Watching - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" -Matthew 8:25
It was a serious storm to frighten these seasoned fishermen. The disciples were afraid for their lives. Matthew tells us, "Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping" (8:23-24).
In the original language, the word for storm is also used to describe an earthquake. The storm they were facing was a mega storm. It covered the boat to the extent they couldn't even see past their hands. As The Amplified Bible puts it, "Suddenly a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves." And Mark's Gospel, describing the same storm, says, "High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water" (Mark 4:37).
This gives us an idea of how massive of a storm this was. It reminds me of the TV program Deadliest Catch. I'm glad someone is going out there and doing that job. But looking at what some of those guys face, I would never get on one of their boats. It's probably like what the disciples went through at sea. Meanwhile, Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, was asleep.
Has it ever seemed to you as though God were sleeping during your times of need? Maybe you were going through some difficulty and called out to the Lord, but you didn't hear an answer that you knew of. You thought maybe God was just bored, preoccupied, or even asleep. But that isn't true. The Bible says, "He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps" (Psalm 121:4).
When the disciples cried out to Jesus, He responded to their call. And He will do the same for us.
FROM THE HEART
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