Todays readings … Genesis 3&4, Psalm 3,4&5, Matthew 3&4
“THE CHAFF HE WILL BURN”
It is good to look for positive things as we read the Scriptures and we have them today in some of the verses in Psalm 4. David begins by requesting; “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!” David says I “know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” [v.3]
The Psalm ends with these stimulating words, “You have put more joy in my heart …. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Then in Matthew ch. 3 we read the words of John the Baptist, words of warning that are both appropriate for the Jews who rejected Jesus, and for almost the whole world today who have turned away from embracing the reality of God’s word – so wonderfully preserved for them.
John preached – “I baptize you with water for repentance” but then warned of “he who is coming after me is mightier than I” [v.11] whose objective was to “gather his wheat into the barn” but that which is not counted as “wheat” – is “the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
History shows this is what happened – and this included the dramatic destruction of Jerusalem and its temple about AD 70. But let us recall what we read just 2 days ago, in the last chapter of the Old Testament. The LORD, through Malachi foretold of “the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble.” [4 v.1]
Stubble! That is, chaff, counted as useless by the Creator because they have turned their back on him, most concluding he does nor even exist!
The next words are just as awesome! “The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” But then – there are wonderful words! “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
Let us “fear” God’s “name’ – and believe and sense “that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself” and that he hears when we “call to him” as we read in Psalm 4 and pray ” you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”May we “call to him” more and more as our days threaten to burn more and more “like an oven.”