Sunday, January 25, 2015

The News Alarms and the Good Transcends

Window view, NW Washington, DC, (c)2014 Jean P. Purcell
The Washington Post comes to our house every day. We know it is likely to be full of sad news front to back. 

Our TV brings in many news sources, all telling of dissension and disaster, threats and fright. They do this 24/7. 

News magazines in waiting rooms forecast the future of nations, climate, governance, militia, families, and more, often with dark predictions and falling hopes. 

Life and death, good and evil happen in human events. We are reminded of this every day. Some see or live within it daily.  

Christians today around the world realize that much of the world's news resembles in nature the Roman-ruled world of Jesus' years on earth. In earlier years, from Genesis to Malachi, it was much the same: the earth filled with turmoil, relatively few years of peace anywhere in their experience.  

“You took my sin and shame. Forever I will bless Your Holy Name.” These words run through my mind, from a song I cannot find. 

Good News is eternal, intended for all the world to know, all that Jesus taught by words and deeds.

Those who put their trust in God through His Son have the good news, the gospel, that over-rides and eclipses the distressing news of the day and the night. This good news brings hope to all nations: God made a way for all to come to him through his Son, and they shall not perish.

God’s Word goes forth in power in every language. “God spoke to me in my own language,” said a young man that had lain wounded from a self-inflicted gunshot, a failed attempt at a revenge-killing against the one who had killed his father.   

Someone took a Bible to the young man in hospital. The Bible was printed in a language different from his own, yet a language he knew. He read it, and then God spoke to him about his future.

“God spoke to me in my own language,” he said later. It was the language of his family, tribe, and tradition, not in English, the Bible he had been given.   

God told the young man that the effects of his wound would heal—against the most-assured medical predictions. Sure enough, the young man walked out on his own two feet from that hospital. He walked out a healed man with a transformed heart. The desire for revenge left him, replaced by God. I heard him speak of these things, “live” in his country, along with others with whom he serves the Lord today in Ethiopia and, as years have passed, possibly elsewhere, as well.

Isaiah wrote:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:1-4).

Jesus read those words soon after his 40 days in the desert. This is the record in Luke’s gospel:

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place* where it was written, (*Esaias/Isaiah 61)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

And he began to say unto them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:17-21).

Religions vary, “but the Word of the Lord stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8); 1 Peter 1:25) with power to save. Every soul that is in darkness, prison, sickness of the mind or body in which it dwells; every soul that despairs, without hope in this world, God knows perfectly: “…the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” (Isaiah 1: 5).

John the Apostle wrote: 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne

and the beasts and the elders: 

and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;saying with a loud voice, 

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength,and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, 

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever 
(Revelation 5:11-13).


Scripture source: King James Version (KJV) of the Bible--public domain

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