In a dream last night, I was given this sense that, in addition to the One Year Bible program readings which I re-started today, I also ought to read Acts 17. Besides the super-important Bereans passage (Acts 17:11b, “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so”), I noticed this (Acts 17:21, 30-31). It seemed timely:
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. [Many today are also consumed with following the latest news, as if from it, eternal truths might somehow emerge.]
Paul tells the Athenian crowd that:
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
When they don’t take the message to heart, but ask to hear more (for entertainment and endless debate), he simply leaves. Other items that stood out to me this morning:
And on every lofty mountain and every high hill [i.e., every nation and principality] there will be brooks running with water [i.e., churches, providing living water], in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow. Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire; his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.
I found Isaiah 31:2c,d & 3c,d,e particularly challenging/convicting given my corporate consulting:
[The Lord] will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity… When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.
Three other quick hits that hit me:
Isaiah 31:6 (a command): “Turn to him from whom people have deeply revolted, O children of Israel.”
Psalm 1:5a & 6b (a fact): “…the wicked will not stand in the judgment… the way of the wicked will perish.”
Proverbs 1:7 (a classic, tying back nicely to where we started, in Acts): “For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”