Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. "So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. "It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. "Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— "lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. "And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
Mark 13:28-37 NKJV

I find it surprising when so many ask me why I choose to study and teach on prophecy when there are so many portions of scripture like this one from Mark that make it clear what Jesus expects from us. I try to explain to those who question that this is not merely a suggestion from God, but a command repeated over and over again. As such, I try to get the point across that if God commands us to watch, it is because He intends to show us signs that we will recognize as harbingers of the end of this age. One of the points I have often contemplated concerning this passage is if it is possible God is giving us a clue as to when the rapture would occur when He chooses to use the season of summer as an illustrative tool.

The term “dog days of summer” is probably familiar to most, yet many are probably not aware of what it means or of it's origin. Actually, the answer to that question is hazy and debatable, while some believe it may date back as far as the Roman Empire. As to what it might mean, let me make a suggestion based solely on my own observations and educational experiences. One, like most people I have a dog. I also live in a part of the country which experiences summers which tend to occasionally receive triple digit heat late in the season. Just like people, I have noticed my dog gets just a little testy during these days of excessive heat, exhibiting a marked lack of patience and a tendency to growl and lash out when disturbed.

As I considered that, I also was reminded of something I realized back in the day when I was a history major in college. Do you know the vast majority of conflicts in the history of the world have started during the summer months? My point? I just wonder if the conflict that God reveals in His Word concerning the future of Israel and the world, taken along with His command to watch with a reference to the season of summer, should be a major clue to those of us who choose to obey the command to watch?

Consider the following events of just the past two weeks, and follow the links to read more about them.

Death toll rises as Russian wildfires spread

Russia fires pose nuclear threat

Putin bans Russia grain exports due to drought

Moscow deaths double amid smog to 700 people a day

Villagers Missing, Injured as Volcano Erupts in Indonesia

Pakistan floods seen worsening as heavy rains loom

From Fires in Russia to Flooding in Asia, Extreme Weather Taking Its Toll

North Korea Floods Destroy Thousands of Homes, Factories Near China Border

Wave of fires breaks out across Israel

Dozens killed in landslides in China's Gansu province

Huge ice sheet breaks from Greenland glacier

Weather service: Up to 7 tornadoes hit ND, Minn.

Is war in the offing?

On the Brink

All this, and we still have one more month of summer. How hot is this world going to get, and what will be the result? Which dogs will strike out, and will Israel be the recipient of that aggression?

Keep watching.