Interesting that I should choose to read this today, because my wife and I were talking a bit about the 2nd coming last weekend. The second coming shall be like a "refiner's fire", which, of course, is meant to purify - or to burn out impurities. That which abides by the law is sanctified by the same
. A talk I once heard, given by a very popular youth speaker whose name, ironically, I can't remember right now (it wasn't John Bytheway), said that when Christ comes again, anything in a "Telestial state" will be consumed. So, I just hope I'm being governed by at least a Terrestrial law. Hopefully I'll be okay.
Lists... I love when scripture gives lists.. So, the people who need to fear the second coming are the following:
- Sorcerers (I think this may mean people who falsely claim authority of God in one way or another)
- False Swearers (interesting that God always seems to be very, very interested in truth)
- People who oppress their subjects (more specificially, finanancial oppression, and oppression of widows, and the fatherless)
- Those that turn aside the stranger
- Those who don't fear God.
Lots of people may tend to glob God's "lists" into a categorical aggregation, and make assumptions based on it. I don't believe I'm one of those people. God didn't just choose random people who seem to fit within a category. I believe he specifically chose each one of those types of people for a reason. It's up to us to "do the math", and more importantly, do a self-assessment to determine whether we fall into any of those categories. I, for one, don't want to be found in such a list.
Seems like verse 6 means the tribes of Israel. Probably meaning those who are actively living the Gospel of Christ.
"Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts" - Interesting the number of references having to do with this principle - and equally interesting that it is *never* referenced the other way around. First it is us, who has to turn unto God, and then, unequivocally, He will *always* turn to us. I have found this true time and time again in my life - and I've had to turn unto him LOTS.
It then continues on to talk about tithes and offerings. In my life, I've had testimony upon testimony of the truthfulness of God's promises predicated upon tithing and offerings. Really, all ya gotta do is, do it. The blessings which come through faithful payment of tithes, and the selfless giving to those in need will
bring showers of blessings.
Great chapter. It's good to not be in a sick funk of inability to process thought. Really enjoyed reading today. Now I've gotta get home!