by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Matthew 24:3-6 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
At the beginning of the recent conflict with Hamas, we discovered an app called "red Alert", which we, (along with millions of others around the world), installed on our iPhones. The app sounds an alert warning each time a rocket is fired into Israel, and identifies the city or area where the rocket(s) are expected to land. On the first day of "Operation Protective Edge" we were amazed at how often the alert sounded as hundreds of rockets flew out of Gaza. Driving with friends from the Galilee region back to our home in the Negev, the eerie warning sounded over and over again. With each warning we knew that potentially hundreds of people were in danger. And this has continued day after day for the past 11 days. Even today my phone has gone off incessantly.
As the days wear on, some of us here have begun to be accustomed to a life in which alarms are always sounding. Our senses are becoming dulled by the constant sounds of danger, especially as most of the time the rockets have not headed our way. But recently our own town of Arad heard 3 separate real alarms warning that rockets were headed in our direction! And yesterday, following the warning, a rocket fell in a Bedouin town, an Israeli-Arab community, which killed a man and injured a few children, just a few miles away.
This was a real lesson for us … hearing the warnings for those nearby, over and over again, can make you numb, like the boy who cried "wolf!" But when the wolf actually comes for you, when the rockets are really heading your way, the adrenaline rushes and you are fully awake and activated!
This is so similar to the days in which we're living…as alarms are constantly going off "nearby" to all of us, but for many, not yet hitting "home". The Lord clearly warned of particularly troubled times as His second coming drew near, and He wanted us to read these signs and be aware of their message. "Behold, I am coming soon."
Let's not become dull to the world's "sirens" because of how often we hear them. These warnings are intended to quicken our attention, accelerate our preparation, and excite our expectation. Our Bridegroom is coming soon. If we're living to please Him we'll be about His business, keeping one eye on the Heavens. Then, whatever happens, even if the siren sounds for us, we'll be ready for whatever follows.
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