Sunday, December 25, 2016

Our Hope Made Sure

Ever since Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of the Heavens, ever since John received the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, Christians have been waiting for, as Jesus told us to pray, ‘your kingdom come, your will take place, on earth as it already* is in heaven. ‘ (Matthew 6:10, other translations) In the year 2033, it will be 2,000 years since Jesus returned to heaven. With all that time passing, some may be getting discouraged and wondering “when!” will the promise come.

This week’s Bible reading (week ending December 25, 2016) was Isaiah chapters 11 through 16. (For decades now, all congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been assigned a weekly Bible reading that finishes the whole Bible in about 2 years.) A phrase in Isaiah 15:1 stuck out in my mind. It speaks of the “silencing of Moab.” Although there are other prophecies of national condemnation, this one stuck out because it truly is “silenced” out of existence. For example, ask yourself: “Who was Moab? Where was the land of Moab?” Do you know?

The people of Moab were descendants of Lot, nephew of Abraham. But where did they live? Where was the land of Moab? After opening this link, open the “Alternate presentation” to see the map. On the map, look at the lower right corner of the Salt Sea. The section in blue is Moab. (More here.) Now look at a present-day map of the same area. Do you see even a vague mention of Moab? Indeed, it has been silenced. In fact, an open search on Google for “Moab” yields only the area in Utah. Yet Israel still exists. Egypt still exists. True to God’s Word, Moab is forgotten.

But what does that have to do with us? Coming back to the introduction, the promise is still pending, it has not lost its vibrancy. Just as Moab was forgotten, after spending centuries in God’s Kingdom, we will have completely forgotten about all the divisive national boundaries that exist today. We may be hard pressed to recall what the initials USA meant. Russia will no longer be in our vocabulary. Why? Because “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah” causing all men to live in unity as children of God and not as some national or ethnic designator. Yes, through fulfilled prophecies, we have our hope made “more sure.”

Footnote: Yes, I readily admit to adding the word “already.” It was done to emphasize that God already completely rules heaven without any need for divisive governments.

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