Pentecost 25  – Tuesday Devotion

Readings:  Daniel 4:1-37 and Revelation 21:1-8

Daniel 4:1-3:  King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth:  Peace be multiplied to you!  It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.  How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders!  His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation.

Revelation 21:3-5:  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 

 

“God’s Mighty Plan for You”

“I am making all things new.”  Don’t we just hang on every syllable of that promise?  We have been through so much in our world this year since the middle of March.  The cancellation of so many things, other things postponed then cancelled later.  So many deaths due to the virus, so many confusing and conflicting reports regarding the elections.  The list could go on, and I didn’t even mention the shortage of toilet paper!

But we look to the Word of God to give us hope during these times.  Perhaps this was God’s doing—to bring His people to the pages of His Word and to share His promises with others who also, like us, have lamented the sad events of this year.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a bad year.  Even though Babylon was a great country, his life ended in shambles.  Reading about his life, he became crazy to eat grass like an ox.  Imagine being down on all fours and chewing on the grass in your front lawn!  Imagine what your neighbors would think as they drove by and saw you!  You probably wouldn’t need to worry about socially distancing from them because they probably wouldn’t want to be seen with you.

While recording his vision of heaven, the evangelist John heard the gracious announcement by God, “I will make all things new.”  Remember what his world and life was like.  Like the Babylonians, the Romans pretty much ruled everything.  They built a system of roads and erected buildings during those years but people’s lives were bankrupt and their spiritual lives were emptied.  

Exiled on an island, water separated John from the land of his family and friends.  Famines and shortages were also common in his day.  But what does John hear?  The reassuring promises of the Old Testament renewed and announced again as we read the close of the New Testament.  

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man (that’s the “Emmanuel” we will hear in Advent!).  He will dwell with them and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.”  We hear this language many times in the pages of the Old Testament.  It’s refreshing to hear them again as we know this promise, along with many others, will be fulfilled in our future.

What will that new heaven and new earth be like?  God’s kingdom will remain an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion will endure from generation to generation—continuously.  God’s might and power will bring the new heaven and new earth.  Written as encouragement for us today as well, the Book of Revelation tells us how God will wipe away our tears forever; putting an end to pain and death.

We reread the trustworthy Word of God again and again.  Soon we will no longer be separated from heaven; the sea of the waters of our baptism shall no longer separate us but they will have joined us to our Lord and Savior in the eternal courts of heaven.  This is God’s mighty plan for you!

 

Let us pray:

Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning.  Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly take them to heart that, by the patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.  (The Collect for the Word)

Our Father…

The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Amen.  (Romans 15:13)