March 26

Deuteronomy 6:23 (NIV) 23But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.

All through the wilderness wondering, the people complained that God had brought them out to let them die in the wilderness. Someone had their ear. Does someone have yours? God's intention is to bring you out of the world to bring you into fellowship with Him. The Israelites kept complaining that God was going to let them die in the wilderness. They feared never making it. That was the worst of both worlds. They couldn't enjoy Egypt nor could they enjoy the Promised Land. All they had was the Desert wandering. When they finally were ready to go in, they had such a lack of faith in God's ability to conquer their enemies that they requested dying in the desert.

The Apostle Paul wrote that if we have no hope of resurrection, if all we have is here, eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. In other words, if this desert wandering is all we have, lets go back to Egypt. In today's verse God declares that His whole purpose in bringing us out is to bring us in. It is not to take away pleasurable things. It is to give you real pleasures (Psalm 16:11).

God will finish the work He started when He first drew you to Himself. He will change you into His image (Romans 8:29). He will bring you into the Promised Land of unbroken fellowship with Him. We struggle with all the distractions of life and wonder if we will ever get there. He brought you out to bring you in! Don't get comfortable in this desert, pilgrim.

Meditation: He has brought you out to bring you in. Are you entering in?

March 26

Matthew 24:37-39 (NIV) 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Jesus taught that His return would not be in secret. He said it would be more like lightening shining in the east and visible in the west. The prophet Zechariah details some of the earth shaking things that will happen at that moment. Then Jesus warned that no one in heaven or earth knew when that would be. He said that only the Father knew. He gave us signs to look for (see yesterday's evening devotion). Yet, He taught that it will be a shock to everyone.

Jesus compares His Second Coming to the great flood in the days of Noah. Noah built that ark over a period of time as he preached to the people (2 Peter 2:5). Yet, the people did not listen or even consider that their world was about to end. They were going about their lives, doing the things that people normally do. If you knew the world was about to end, you wouldn't stop to eat, drink or marry. The last moments would be too precious. Jesus said they knew nothing about what would happen until it came to pass. How could they hear Noah's preaching and see the great boat and yet know nothing? There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Jesus has given us signs to look for. When they come to pass, only the righteous will take it to heart and be prepared. Jesus is the great ark. Only those in Him will be ready for the flood that is to come upon the earth. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:15). The world will be going about its self-gratifying ways when destruction comes upon it. Though the message is preached and the warnings are given, only those that are willing will hear. The cares and pleasures of life can deaden our ears to the truth that is preached to us.

Consider: Are your ears willing to hear?