Snuff the Punks
It’s been a while since I have written anything Bible-related, and I aim to change that today. Basically, I want to talk about the End-times. While I know that is a huge subject (much bigger than a blog post will allow), I wanted to talk specifically about the Return of Christ. Many people can tell you about Revelation 19, which is a very complete overview of Jesus’ coming, but I always enjoy finding details in cloogy places. Into the Old Testament we go…
Lets start with Joel 3. To be sure, the Minor Prophets are an intense read… and Joel is no exception. To give you an idea of how intense the Minor Prophets are, take a look at Amos. The priest of Israel tells the guy that he needs to go to Judah and prophecy there because he was distressing the people too much. In reaction to this, Amos tell him “because you have rejected me, your wife shall be a harlot in the city.” That’s intense. Now, Joel 3 has a lot of insight into the battle for Jersualem (what the Western Church often refers to as “Armageddon”), as well as a lot of insight into why God is making things happen the way they are. For instance, God declares that He is judging the world for Human Trafficking (Joel 3:3), destroying Israel (3:2), and for looting the temple of it’s treasures (3:5). The thing to remember is that when God is saying He will draw the nations of the earth into the valley of Jehoshaphat, He is talking about the same battle pictured in Revelation 14 and Revelation 19. The one that had blood to the horses’ bridles for 200 miles. The one that gets pictured as a battle in Revelation 19, a winepress in Revelation 14, and a solid butt-thumping in Joel 3.
To get a little bit more obscure, lets take a look at Habakkuk 3. “O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden. Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet. He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.” It sounds eerily similar, doesn’t it? When most Christians think of God, they don’t tend to think of Him being stalked by fever and pestilence. The thing that is so strange about this passage in Habakkuk is that the Prophet says that when he heard this, rottenness entered his bones… and then says two verses later that no matter what he is going to praise God and that God is his strength. And yet, when he hears of the works of God, rottenness enters his bones. That is craziness.
How many people know that Egypt is going to be decimated and then all the remaining people are going to get saved? Isaiah 19 flat out says as much. How many know that 2/3 of the Jews are going to die and the remaining third will be saved as one man? Check out Zechariah. If nothing else, I hope this has shown that there is so much more about the end of everything in the Bible than most know. I have kind of been on a theme in my bible study recently… my worship team is studying Psalm 46 (more eschatology!) for one of our Worship With the Word sets… so I start with Psalm 46, then go to Joel 3, and then get stuck in Habakkuk. It’s an interesting meditation if anyone is interested in getting messed up for a while with the awesomeness of God. I believe it is Romans 11 where Paul says “Consider, therefore, the goodness and the severity of God.” It is these two reality that create a full picture of who God is. If you only study God’s severity, you will have a skewed view of who He is. If you never look at God’s severity, you will have an equally skewed view of who He is. That is part of why the discipline of eschatology is so important. Yes, it seems severe… but God is doing it leading up to a wedding.