Several months ago I was reading the prophet Zechariah and some words right at the beginning of the book I found truly chilling and frightening. Zechariah is challenging the people about their pattern of disobedience. Then he says,
“But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers?”
We all know that often – usually – God decrees punishment with much advance warning. He is desirous that men repent and turn from their sin and thus avoid the need of punishment. That is the beautiful character of our God.
But let me tell you the picture that the words quoted above put into my mind:
When God pronounces pending judgment, it is like a heat-seeking missile, or the most inerrant and high-tech/sci-fi of drones is put into action. It is coming closer, seeking, seeking its prey. There is not a thing in the world the targets of this pending destruction can do about it. It has locked onto them.
But you know what? They are not worried about it. The very time lapse that God intends unto mercy, they understand as laxity on God’s part, a failure to judge, a getting away with their sin. They eat, drink and make merry.
And God’s judgment, that drone of annihilation, moves closer and closer….
The only way in heaven or on earth that it can be disarmed is through repentance.
Otherwise, it unerringly finds its mark.
And our culture – blind, deaf, dumb – goes along its course worrying about ten extra pounds, holidays and mortgage payments.
And all these have a place, of course. Without a doubt.