Numbers 10:11-36  and  Luke 16:19-31

Luke 16:29-31  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”

 

“What Will It Take”

Can you imagine the anguish? How hard it would be to suffer in Hades—the place of the dead—and see those in Paradise! But that is what is being reflected in this account.

The man who suffered sought relief. Who could blame him? The torment did not end. All he asked for was a drink from a finger dipped in water. It’s not much to ask, is it? But even that was an impossibility.

Then comes a plea. It seems like a compassionate plea. It is a request to spare the living from what he is suffering. Send someone to tell my family about this horrible place! Please. In the hope that they won’t have to suffer like this.  

Did you catch the conversation above? They have Moses and the Prophets as well as the writings of Holy Scripture. They have the Word of God. Let them hear that. Let them listen to what God says.

It is too simple, right? They won’t believe it. They need more. If someone came back from the dead, then they would believe. They need a resurrection. Then they will believe!

How many today refuse this witness? We hear of people that have had near-death experiences but people do not believe what they say. We find people that suffer the ravages of COVID-19 and are near death, only to be restored. It must be the medicine.

Do we miss the miracles of God? Do we forget what He has done, and still does, for us? And, still, we are not convinced. It will take more. What will it take to move beyond our skepticism? 

Are we hearing the words of God? Do we listen, do we read, the words of Moses? What about the Prophets? Even more, the words of Jesus? And, do we see His action of love in our lives and the world?

St. Luke, a physician, reports: “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared…. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. (Luke 24:1, 5-6a)

If someone goes to them from the dead, they will believe? Would they? Do they? Do you?

Too often we demand proof and when God gives the proof we either miss it or ignore it. We still have the witness. We still have the word of Moses and the Prophets and Jesus and Paul and some of the disciples that walked with Jesus during His ministry.

What will it take? It takes the power of the Holy Spirit. It takes the realization that we often rejoice in the comforts of this age while neglecting the true comfort in eternity. We have closed our ears. 

God calls us to open our ears. He desires us to open our hearts to Him and the love He would give through His Son, Jesus. He would rather have us in Paradise than suffer in eternity. While many paint God as an angry judge, the truth is that He is just. He will punish the sins of people, but will also showing love to thousands of those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:9)

 

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, we pray that we do not spend time in this kingdom separated from You.  When in fact, we long to be with You forever in Your eternal Kingdom of Paradise. Unite us in the joy of Your forgiveness. Let us turn to the Words You have given us and read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them. May those words be our own as we share with others the hope we have been given through the forgiveness we live, now and through all eternity, because of Your love for us. Amen.