Hosea 3:5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
This is a marvelously encouraging verse to anyone involved in ministry to the Jews! It also seems very appropriate for the first Sunday in Advent, since Jesus is the Messiah of the line of David that this verse speaks of. When the Jews as a people were restored to their land by Cyrus the Persian, it was not as an independent nation but as an element of the Persian Empire. When Israel was restored as an independent nation in 1948, it was not as a kingdom but as a democracy. However, in these days more and more Jews are indeed seeking out Yeshua ha Messiach and receiving the blessing of eternal salvation. That is truly another sign that we are in the Last Days, to go with the many that are all around us. We cannot make things happen on our own or impose our schedule on God, but it doesn’t hurt to recognize the signs He gives us, and we certainly need to be available for however He wants to use us. In this Advent season we do well to look forward to His return as King, offering ourselves as His disciples and representatives, for His glory.
I’m preaching to myself here! My message for this morning is titled Advent, considering what this season is and why, and I certainly need to include this element. I have long felt that Christ would return within my natural lifespan, but I recognize that countless believers have felt that for the past 2000 years, and I certainly make no demands on my Lord. At the same time, I couldn’t begin to count how many people are convinced that we are in the Last Days. Recently as I was interpreting for a pastor from Brazil, she said something about “Since we are in the Last Days….” She wasn’t trying to convince anyone, she was just stating the obvious, and she’s a lot younger than I am! That’s not to say that I’m not to prepare for my wife and for this church should the Lord decide to take me home individually, but it is to say that my priorities need to reflect an awareness that everything material is going to pass away. In any case, I can be pretty confident I won’t be around for more than another 30 years at the outside! I am to use the time I have been given to serve my Lord however He directs, allowing His love to flow through me to draw others into His family, His kingdom. I desire that their number be great, but that is not something for me to decide. My ultimate goal is to be fully in sync with my Lord, totally open and responsive to Him, so that His purposes may be accomplished in and through me for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder, and for the confirmation of this morning’s message. May I deliver it in the power of Your Spirit, so that Your Word may accomplish everything for which You send it, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!