Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mama Bear

"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman(slave), and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:17

Have you ever seen an angry lamb?

Sheep get angry?

Is there such a thing?

In Psalms 23 King David talks of the Shepherd and the lamb as a peaceful oasis of God's love.

Jesus was called "The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!"

This is a precious picture of God who bore the wrath of God in our place on the cross, who cried out "Father forgive them!" and saying in essence, let me bare your wrath and judgment and set them free.

But here in the last book of the Bible and where the sixth seal is being poured out in all of it's fury we see men in horror facing the wrath of the lamb and the foot of the wrath of the lamb is made equal by a world wide earthquake and all classes of people will face a whirlwind of fury from the Lamb.

You know, it was good to see missionaries bringing relief to Haiti this past week and sharing the love of the Lamb of God, Jesus, to everyone. What thirsty souls there are down there, but what thirsty souls there are everywhere. I don't know why the earthquake happened to Haiti or why God does what He does to some and then something different for others who are no more or less deserving of whether it is blessings or calamities.

I do know that earthquakes get our attention, and most of the time you see goodness come as everyone pulls together, but one day there is going to be an earthquake so enormous that every mountain and island will fall into the sea or crumble and everyone will hide in holes. On that day, no relief will come or any aid, but instead the full fury of the wrath of the Lamb who once cried, "Father forgive them! They know not what they do." to those who were abusing and torturing Him.

How can this be?

Well if you go back a few verses and read what is happening during the fifth seal, you will see that the children of God are crying out to Him, the Lamb, for vengeance because of all the abuse they received in this world.

"And they cried, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:10

I can remember during Mountain Warfare Training in the Sierra Nevada mountains, we came across some bear cubs and every now and again a Marine would either whistle at them or call out to them or make some posturing noise. I can remember that every time they did that I could hear mama bear roar not far from us. She was reminding us not to bother her cubs. I never quite knew where she was at, but every time she roared I thought I felt the earth shake a bit....or maybe it was me:-)

It definitely got my attention.

You know, you can read through much of the Old Testament and see that God answered the prayers of his children with vengeance. I also heard a preacher on the radio say that God does not cry wolf like the little boy who cried wolf, when he says that vengeance is is the truth.

Samson, a judge of Israel, who was not much of an example of surrender to God in much of his life, but was indeed a child of God and is listed in the hall of faith, called out for God to avenge him against his enemies, the Philistines, who had plucked his eyes out. He was praying for vengeance because of his eyes and God swiftly answered and gave Samson strength to make a building crumble on he and his enemies. Samson had faith in God in the deepest pit of sorrow.

Many prayers for vengeance are asked in the word of God, but one that stands out to me is the day Jesus and his disciples were being told by some villages to not let the door hit them on the way out. John, one of Jesus' disciples quickly asked Him, "Lord, shall we call down fire from heaven, like Elijah did?"

Jesus quickly told him that he did not know what he was talking about or what spirit he was of.


But I thought you just got done telling me that Jesus, the Lamb, answers prayers for vengeance.

Well, he does, but the catch is, he is not as anxious as we are to see His wrath poured out on humanity as we sometimes are with one another. You know...the ol' "I don't get mad, I get even" syndrome, that all of us have felt at some point in our lives and God spent much crucial time weaning us from trust in the law and judgment to show us just what He is doing in this full dispensation of grace that is still very much alive today.

You see, like mama bear, Jesus only wants to warn us away from danger and in fact wants to save us and make us one of His cubs while it is still day and the sixth seal has not yet been opened.

Jesus told John that day that the Son of God did not come to destroy mens lives but to save them, and later, the more John walked with Jesus, the more he grew intimate with Him and learned to surrender more and more of his life and live in the life of Christ. It is what God desires for all of us in this day of grace.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

You see it is we men that count slackness, not God. He is the one with the mother's heart, but is indeed a Father and so you know that in Jesus he has manifested His love to us and is reconciling the world to himself through Christ.

Only Jesus could have hung on the cross under such torture and face the wrath of God for us to set us free, but if we do not accept that love, then there is no other shelter from God's wrath.

He is also working in His children's lives to teach us surrender to His heart. You can only receive Jesus as a gift and learn to surrender after you have received that power like John did the more he rested on the bosom of Christ. One day He will answer all of His children's cries for all the heartache they have experienced and that will be a dreadful day for those don't know Christ, but until then may we learn more of His heart and ask for His strength to pray, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

I can remember hearing of a missionary to a war torn region of the Kurdish people. The missionaries had arrived with relief, but there was still a man who cried out, "God does not love the Kurdish people."

He pointed to all the heartache, rubble and sorrow around him to prove it to the missionary.

The missionary opened his Bible and pointed to John 3:16 and replied, "God so loved the Kurdish people that He gave His only begotten son..."

Later the man asked to see that verse of the Bible again and he would sit by the fire reading it over and over believing that God gave everything to save him. Will you believe too? Look to Jesus now and flee the wrath of the Lamb while it is still day.

Mama bear is exactly that, a mother and does indeed have a mother's heart and so does God the Lamb, the risen Son of the living God and he longs for you to become His son or daughter of intimacy as well. He did all he could to make it happen. Please believe it and call upon the name of the Lord.

He will save you...that's a promise!