(Eighth in a 52 part introspective devotional series, weekly more or less, based on the Scriptures that inspired George Federick Handel to write The Messiah.)
[see the entire series here]
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. –Isaiah 60:1-3
History is the display of the supposed advantages of power and intelligence which some men possess over others, of the struggle for existence hypocritically described by ideologists as a struggle for justice and freedom, of the ebb and flow of old and new forms of human righteousness, each vying with the rest in solemnity and triviality…
–Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans (p. 77)
Looking at history it is all to common to see the struggle for power be so prominent. In fact, history could be conceivably described as the running account of sin on mankind since sin originates in the power seeking of Satan himself.
The judgement of God is the end of history, not the beginning of a new, a second, epoch. By it history is not prolonged, but done away with…God speaks: and He is recognized as the Judge…the end is also the goal; the Redeemer is also the Creator; He that judgeth is also He that restoreth all things. –Barth (Ibid)
If history then is a running account of the effects of sin on mankind then our history is not something to be tolerated by God. He, if He is indeed the Holy God described in the pages of the Bible, must end it. In fact, Jesus Christ on the cross was the beginning of the end of history. That was the statement of action that put God’s judgement on all humanity.
The most radical ending of history, the negation under which all flesh stands, the absolute judgement, which is the meaning of God for the world of men and time and things is also the crimson thread which runs through the whole course of the world in its inevitability. –Barth (Ibid)
Yet, we are stumbling around in darkness looking for the light as Isaiah foretold to Judah. Humanity knows its fate in the darkness. Will the church universal hide the light? Will the bride of Christ not look expectantly for her Bridegroom in the dark of the night?
One day the fulfillment of history will occur and God’s final Judgement will bring an end to “this terrestrial ball.” With expectancy, we must look to shine the gospel light into the darkness of mankind, freely weave the thread of the crimson stain that is the blood of Christ for redemption, and bring all “to thy light.”
I pray, Lord, that I will be able by Your strength, to look with expectancy to Your coming. Until then help me to bring out darkness those that would seek Your light and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.