Sunday, August 13, 2017

Is the Earth Speaking?

The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder [was] in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way [was] in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Psalm 77:16-20 NKJV
When I talk with people about the command to watch, the question naturally arises as to just exactly what are the sorts of things we should watch for?  That is a very good question, and one that I believe every one of us should ask ourselves in light of what the Word tells us about signs of the end of the age and the nearness of Christ’s return.

In this passage from the book of Psalms, the author is troubled and in despair so he thinks back to the past and the times that God manifested Himself in human history by actions man could only describe as supernatural. The verses above refer to the time that God led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and through the Red Sea on their journey to the Promised Land. Now I think the important point to make here is that although Moses and Aaron were used by God to shepherd His people, it was God Himself who led them.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.
Exodus 13:21-22 NKJV
Now why do I think this is important? Look closely at the passage from Psalms and notice what the author says the reaction of the earth was to the presence of God. Do you see what I see? We are told the waters were afraid, the depths trembled, there was a downpour of rain, thunder along with lightning that lit up the entire world, and not to mention earthquakes that shook the earth. Yet to me, the most important part of this passage is the fact that it does not say God “caused” these things to happen, rather it was a response of the earth to actually “seeing” the presence of God.

Right about now some of you are probably thinking wait just a minute here; do you really believe the earth can “see”? Well, why not? Not only do these verses say it does, we are told elsewhere that the earth can talk too.
Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: " 'Blessed [is] the King who comes in the name of the LORD!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
Luke 19:37-40 NKJV
So if we are to believe what the Bible tells us, the earth has and can react to the presence of God in physical ways, some of which might surprise us. Is that really so hard to believe? After all, the earth was created by God just as we were created, so who knows what physical reaction could be produced by the approach of the power which created it? This is the question that I would like you to think about in light of some of the things happening in the world right now.

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only [that], but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.                              Romans 8:22-23 NKJV

Why does the entire creation groan? No doubt because of the changes brought about by the fall in Genesis where even the shape of this world was altered by the introduction of sin. Notice that Paul is telling us here that both nature and man are waiting for the exact same event; the return of Christ! And the reason we groan? We as believers know what we will receive when Christ calls us home to be with Him forever. The anticipation of leaving this earth grows every day as we watch the events around us which give evidence that the world is, like in Noah's day, moving farther away from God rather than towards Him.

Most of us would agree the Bible clearly teaches that there will be signs that precede the return of Christ, many of which are physical in nature. Events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis can explain many of the events described as occurring just before Christ returns. Many of these things are beginning to happen right now in various places in the world, and most of those who are watching and waiting for His appearing believe the time is very close. Jesus Himself said this about the signs that would appear just before His return.

For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  2 Peter 3:5-7  NKJV

If you follow the news at all, I am sure you are aware of just how much of the world is on fire right now.  Almost the entire west coast is covered in smoke from wildfires which are burning out of control in Canada and parts of the west coast of the United States.  Another fact that has made the news is the number of earthquakes which have, and are, still occurring around Yellowstone National Park raising concerns of a volcanic eruption.   Of course, we can also throw in the coming total solar eclipse which is set to occur on the twenty-first of this month.  Could these be signs of the nearness of Christ’s return and of our deliverance from this world of sin?

"So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near--at the doors!
Mark 13:29 NKJV
So here is my question for today; does God cause these things to happen, or just like the events in Exodus when God came to earth to lead His people away, is the earth reacting to His approach once again? Is it possible that the increase in frequency and intensity of physical events is because the closeness of Jesus returning for His church is causing a physical reaction by the earth?

"Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry.
2 Samuel 22:8 NKJV
Is the earth speaking?

Keep watching.