Welcome to the final post of our study, Looking for the Blessed Hope. We have studied Israel’s past, present and prophetic future over the past 10 weeks and this is our finale! However, it is a 2-part finale, so if you have wandered to this page without first reading yesterday’s post, please back up and read A Tale of Three Cruises – Part 1: Lessons from Noah’s Cruise.
We gleaned valuable lessons from Noah’s cruise that prepare us for today’s study together. This is a tale of three cruises and we’ve got one more to examine, so let’s get to it!
Our cruise ship is back in harbor and we’re preparing to disembark. But before we do, take a walk with me on the deck of our ship and you will discover that our vessel has been a reconnaissance vessel, cleverly disguised as a cruise ship! Sure, we’ve enjoyed the comforts, but did you notice the radars, satellites and other intelligence-gathering equipment? Indeed, we have gathered intelligence such as:
- A Biblical view of Israel and God’s heart for her.
- God’s plan of the end. We know He has a plan for the Jews and for the Gentiles, and we know what those plans look like.
- Today’s events through the lens of Scripture.
Now, it is time to use that intelligence. It is time to take action. It is time to leave the hot tubs and other comforts of our luxury liner in order to board our new cruiser…
Yes, our new cruiser is a battleship, and Our Commander-in-Chief is warning us to be ready, and He is calling us to action! So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is illustrated in the acronym “S-H-I-P”! You see, we’ve traveled together on a cruise ship because I want this picture to be engraved in your mind! So, what is “S-H-I-P”?
Habakkuk 1:5 encourages us to Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days – You would not believe if you were told. Friends, God has much to show us and to teach us! Thus, He tells us to look, to observe, and to be astonished in wonder! He is doing something that we cannot believe! We’ve studied incredible things over the past 10 weeks, but God is not done revealing things to us! Keep studying…keep learning…keep looking and observing…and watch the Lord do something in our days!
Not only must we study, but we must also heed! Luke 6:46 says “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Our Commander-in-Chief says we must follow His commands! What is He leading you to do? Perhaps He has called you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Maybe He wants you to share these truths with others, or to teach them to larger groups. Whatever He calls you to do, do it! Matthew 25 reminds us that our Bridegroom is coming. We must be ready! Upon His return, I don’t want My Lord asking me why I didn’t do what He said. I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21) What about you?
- In Israel! Isaiah 40:1 tells us to comfort His people, Israel. Go there to show support of Israel. Defend Israel by standing up for God’s view of her. Invest in Jewish friends by encouraging them that Christians stand with them!
- In others! According to Matthew 28:19-20, we are to teach and disciple others in the things we have learned. Dear sojourners, invest in others by sharing what you’ve learned and warning others that time is short. It is our duty to exhort others to be ready for the return of the Bridegroom! Invest in that mission.
- In enemies! We are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), and the enemies of Israel. Invest in prayer and loving acts, even toward enemies
We can all do this, and the Bible is clear about how to pray:
- Psalm 122 – for the peace of Jerusalem. We’ve spent 10 weeks pounding this home! My prayer is that it is habit for many of you!
- Matthew 5:44 – for enemies.
- 1 Timothy 2:2 – for leaders. Believers, we have absolutely no room to complain or criticize our leaders if we have not prayed equally or more for them. We may disagree with our president, our Congress, our governors, our mayors and other leaders, but our duty is to pray…not to complain or criticize. Let’s see what the Lord will do when we are faithful to pray more than we complain!
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 – for our nation. There is no shortage of ways to pray for our nation. In this passage, God calls “My people” to pray. Who are His people….the Jews? Well, of course. But it is also each of us He has chosen to be His children. Believers, we are “His people,” and we must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, individually and nationally. It is not our government’s responsibility to get our nation on track…it is the responsibility of those who the Lord calls “My people!” We simply MUST heed what our Commander-in-Chief calls us to do. We must repent on behalf of our nation.
So, fellow travelers, we are no longer sojourners on a journey together. We are warriors, called to take up battle stations on our battleship. We are equipped and our Commander-in-Chief is summoning us to action. Warriors, remember:
In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but to all who have loved His appearing.
~2 Timothy 4:8
Lord, thank you, and please bless every person who is…