The grief was unbearable and tears were my only relief. I grieved for:
- The church
- The lost
My grief started with Psalm 75:
We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. (verse 1)
It would be presumptuous of me to say that I know God’s ultimate purpose for everything He does. That is, it would be presumptuous if He had not told us, and told us often. He said His mission is to: “fill the earth with the knowledge of My glory.” Do you know that the most often repeated phrase in Scripture is: “That they/that you will know that I am God.”
The Hebrew root of “know” יָדַע [yä·dah] is the knowledge (perception, discernment) that comes from intimacy.
So I grieve that despite God’s efforts and desire that we will know Him, we refuse to know:
- His untouchable holiness yet His inexplicable humility,
- His infinite loving kindness that never ends yet His long-suffering that does,
- His daily compassion yet His perfect truth,
- His boundless grace yet His unalterable justice.
If we would only have eyes to really see how close are His wondrous works!
“When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly. The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I set up its pillars firmly. Selah (verses 2-3)
The day has come; God is judging the earth and it’s inhabitants. He is shaking everything; nothing in our lives is stable or secure. Life is changing and so many are oblivious. We continue on as normal as possible, perhaps questioning a bit, maybe changing some habits, but really nothing more.
Meanwhile society is dissolving all around us. Morality has declined leaving our institutions in unrecognizable shambles.
So I grieve for God’s church that is sadly succumbing to the ways of the world.
Despite our current circumstances of this we can be confident, God is still sovereign and in control. He is the pillar of life. And He will judge in perfect righteousness.
But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out; surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down. (verse 8)
Consider the wine. Wine is white or purple, never red. Obviously this is a special cup, one which the Bible speaks of often. It is the cup of God’s fury.
So I grieve for the lost; they are blind to the reality and severity of God’s fury.
“Red” is not the best translation of the wine’s color. The literal meaning of חָמַר [khä·mar’] means, “To boil, to foam, to foment, be troubled or in turmoil.” What is in this wine?
Perhaps a good description of the recipe of this mixture is found in the hand of the woman of Babylon.
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. (Revelation 17:4)
When God brings judgment, those He condemns will drink of their own wickedness. What gave them pleasure, what they reveled in, will now be bitter, horrifying in their mouths. But there will be no turning away; God will force them to drink even the dregs – forever.
Who will be forced to eternally endure this judgment?
The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Revelation 21:8)
Consider that list carefully. Look around; do you see anyone who is exempt?
Despite outward appearances, in God’s eyes everyone is part of that description; everyone is doomed to drink from God’s fury. Is your heart breaking? If not, why not?
Thankfully we have a choice; there is another cup.
I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:13)
The Hebrew root for “salvation” is יְשׁוּעָה [yesh·ü’·ä] or in Greek, Jesus.
But I will declare forever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. (verse 9)
The Psalmist had chosen the cup of salvation and was now able to declare God’s name in praise and adoration.
My concern for the church and for me personally is that we are so grateful for our salvation and/or that we’ve become so accustomed to Messiah’s sacrifice, that we don’t see the horror of our own sin because we’re so blasé about God’s forgiveness. Nor do we grieve for those who haven’t made that choice. Worst of all is that we don’t grieve for the glory of God as His love is being mocked, defiled, and rejected,
I am persuaded that IF we did grieve for God, for the church and for the lost our lives would be different. We’d have different priorities. Our passion would be to lead holy lives, reach the lost and fill the earth with the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus).