Key Word:- FEAR
Title:- Inform Your N.O.K. to flee the W.T.C.
Isaiah 13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
During our life together, my wife and I have spent some time living in Florida, ‘The Sunshine State’, and for the best part, dodged a number of nasty names. Thankfully, the ‘eye walls’ of Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Katrina and Rita all passed us by stealing only one side of the house in which we lived. Many in those times, had not been so fortunate.
Before powerful Hurricanes make landfall, the local authorities have the power to issue mandatory evacuation notices on areas close to the coast, where they fear the winds and associated tidal surge pose a serious threat to human life. Mandatory, does not mean what you think though as people can in fact choose to stay! In cases like this it is reported that the local authorities, police, national guard etc, simply visit the people staying behind, to get from them the names of their next of kin. Now imagine that conversation!
“So despite the warnings and impending disaster, you have decided to stay then?”
“Well, we won't be here and we cannot provide you with any further help. You are on your own. Give us the name of your next of kin so we can inform them of your unnecessary demise!”
It's quite a sobering thing to have someone shake their head and ask you for the names of your nearest and dearest to so inform them of your impending death! It would certainly make me think about staying in the path of perilous and pernicious storms. Indeed, the safe and the sane would regard me as a foolhardy idiot to remain in such a condition, but oh my friends, hasn't the blindness and deafness and all the other gross insensibilities of sin made fool hardy idiots of all of us, even of the whole wide world? For judgment is quickly coming upon us and yet, we choose to remain in its terrible path.
Our verse today proclaims to us on two levels.
First, Isaiah speaks to his contemporaries about the coming judgment from God’s hand in that the rising world empire would like a flood, overtake them and wash them away. If you read the whole passage you cannot escape the horror of what God Himself is about to do to His own people.
As well as this, as in most prophetic discourse, there is also a secondary proclamation which in this case is an allusion to the Final Judgment: A coming day of unspeakable destruction and devastation. Jesus in anger, when He saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Matt 3:7-8 Yes indeed, it’s been a long time coming but coming it is! God allows us to run on a while in our sin but He will cut us down.
Yes, God is Holy and needs to be respectfully 'feared'. However, God is also so very, very scary, especially when He's on the rampage and I tell you, we had best be scared, we had best be frightened, we had best be fearful of Him in this cringing and trembling way. Don't try and scale this horror down friends, don't try and dress God up in a white beard and a red suit, don't create an idol of your own nice 'enlightened' thinking about the Lord Most High! In the real sense of the phrase, God is awful! Did you hear that? God is awful and says and does awful things.
Like trembling Rahab of old, who knew of the coming destruction of her land and her people, we need to follow this wise prostitutes example and get our 'Next Of Kin' into the redeemed house of shame, that now flies the crimson stained banner from the but one waiting window in the falling walls of this old and smelly Jericho. It is not a new message that should be on the lips of the church but it is a fearful and forgotten one that we should at the last, begin to proclaim again.
A day is coming when God shall judge the living and the dead. Inform your N.O.K. to flee from the W.T.C.
Listen:- ….Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:8b-10
Pray:- Lord, no angry, self righteous, mad, malicious and masochistic prophet is needed to spread this message of the fearful Wrath To Come. But rather, please send Your weeping Jeremiahs into the world once more, whilst there is still time O God. In Jesus name we ask it, amen.