Daily Readings & Thought for March 29th. “FOREBODING OF WHAT IS COMING ON THE WORLD”
Foreboding is not a word we use much these days; the dictionary says it means – ‘have a premonition of something evil or harmful.’ Jesus used it (as translated by the ESV) in our reading today [Luke 21 v.26]; he forecast that just before he returns to earth there will be, “distress of nations in perplexity … people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world.”
In our younger days there was optimism that even better times were coming because of the new inventions in many areas. This was not just in the things we buy for our homes, but the better fertilisers and increasing productivity. Clever scientists and inventers were making life better and better – and when Communism collapsed as the Berlin wall came down in 1989 it seemed the world was entering a new golden era of peace and prosperity. How dramatically the scene has changed since then – still greater changes are threatening now; all for the worse.
As we read Numbers Ch. 11 today we saw some comparisons. The Israelites had had a wonderful and miraculous deliverance from captivity in Egypt. There was a “honeymoon” period at Mt Sinai and a special tabernacle was built using the gold they had taken from the Egyptians. Then “manna,” the bread from heaven, was provided as their staple food.
But today’s chapter starts, “And the people complained about their misfortunes … oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions …”
[v.1,4,5]. Today’s world has so many who are ready to complain about anything that is not just as they want it !
Two hundred years ago nearly everyone believed in a Creator as the source of all things. One hundred years ago, the majority of people still believed this but today a large majority have turned their backs on the God of the Bible. Man is now his own ‘god.’ What happened to the self-centred Israelites in the wilderness will have its parallel to the 21st Century as people faint “with fear and foreboding” and distress and perplexity becomes overwhelming.
Our Proverbs’ chapter again has valuable advice, “Keep my commandments and live … call insight your intimate friend” [v.1,4].
Insight! Inward vision in your heart of the real meaning of life (and Easter) is the antidote to being full of foreboding about what is coming on the world, only God’s word provides the right “food” for seeking hearts..