Yesterday the Stock Market lost over 700 points. Today there will probably be more loses. Many fear that a very severe recession is possible, and some even say a depression. The leaders of the United States are scrambling to shore up the financial markets.
In this trying and difficult time, many are looking for the Bible to tell them what is going to happen tomorrow. Some are looking at the Bible as a soothsayer looks at the crystal Ball. We gaze into it hoping to find the answer for tomorrow.
Why do you Want to Know?
But why? Is it so that we can know when to stock up on canned goods and bottled water? Is it so that we can show off our knowledge? In Matthew 24:42-44 we are told to be ready. Not because we know exactly when the end will be, but because we don’t know.
Certainly there are signs that point to the end, and we can know when the end is near or even at the doors. (Mark 13:29). But that end is not necessarily tied to an economic implosion of the United States. We must remember that we have seen great economic crisis in this country, including the Great Depression of early 20th century, but the end was not yet. Perhaps we are looking in the wrong place.
What does God Say?
What does God say? in the scripture we are told to “be ready because we don’t know.” Today, I look at all the prophecy teachers and prognosticators telling us what will happen with certainty. I can’t do that, but I can say “be ye also ready.” Some still are telling me that the economy will crash today due to it being the last day of September, all I can say is “be ye also ready.” Instead of trying to look into the crystal ball why not just do what we are told to do, be ye also ready.
In too many cases we think about sin and forgiveness as being a thing only between ourselves and God. We may lie on someone and think that our asking forgiveness from God is our only responsibility. We praise God for the blood and the damage that we have done stay unaddressed. We may steal from someone and we feel happy about the forgiveness that God has given to us without ever going to the one we have wronged asking for forgiveness and providing recompense for the wrong. In some cases I have known one to steal from someone and then condemn the one they have stolen from when they desired the stolen money back. They argue that “If God has accepted my apology why can’t you?”
Restitution in the Tabernacle
The ancient Tabernacle Service had in them what are called “Trespass Offerings.” These include making restitution for that which we have taken. (Numbers 5:6). Numbers 5:6-7 gives us the steps to be forgiven of sins. First was confession where the sinner acknowledges the sin. Second, there is restitution including an additional part (Numbers 5:7). Third, there is a sacrifice (Leviticus 6:6). Then there is forgiveness (Leviticus 6:7).
Zacchaeous and Forgiveness
When Zacchaeous was converted he caught a glimpse of this and was willing to do even more than the law required. He wanted to restore four times that which he had stolen in fraudulent dealings. (Luke 19:8-10). In today’s era where we want a Christianity that makes no demands on us, Trespass Offerings remind us that we must make right the wrongs that we have done. It reminds us that the relationship that we have broken with others should be resolved to the best of our abilities. It reminds us that Zacchaeous demonstrates the mindset of those who are truly forgiven.
We are commanded to remember that God created on the seventh day. (Exodus 20:11) We celebrate God’s ability to make things out of things that do not appear. (Hebrews 11:3). In revelation we are reminded that there will be a movement and a message that celebrates God’s creative power when it has the everlasting Gospel. (Revelation 14:7).
God Creates Out of Nothing
God creates out of nothing. When we celebrate this idea we celebrate that God needs nothing to make something. Such an idea implies that God has a way out of or through all of our situations because God doesn’t need something that “appears” to create. When we find ourselves in need of rent money. We know that God can take care of it in God’s own time and in God’s own way. Even though we may not be able to see how God is going to do it, we can know that God will do it, because God specializes in making “something” out of things that do not “appear.” It may not be money that God provides. I don’t know what God will do, but how God does it is up to God, we just trust in the power and ability of God. In other words we trust God’s creative power.
The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow
Our ancestors were right when they said, God will make a way out of no way. They were simply saying that God has the creative power to change any situation into a better situation. And even though we may not be able to see it, we can know it.
But how can we know it? God has commanded us to remember the Sabbath that we may have time to think about God’s creative power. We can know it, because God has given us time to internalize the fact that God creates things out of things that do not appear. God has given us the Sabbath to remind us that when our back is against the wall, God is not surprised and that God can see you through the situation.
The Sabbath Helps Us Know It
If it weren’t for the Sabbath, many of us would spend our lives in the constant worry of trying to take care of our needs and planning for our future needs. However, the Sabbath gives us time to sit back and think about how Jesus has been with us in our past, and anticipate God’s continued presence with us.