Commentary: God Has the Last Word
Hold Fast to His Promises
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 21-Mar-09; 10 minutes
This commentary is titled, "God Has the Last Word." I think that you will find that Charles' sermonette glides right into this which I plan to give.
In the book of Revelation, God refers to the city in which our Lord was killed as "Sodom and Egypt," and I think that we have no doubt as to the identity of that city. In Ezekiel 16, He speaks of the harlotry of Israel and Judah, and he refers to Sodom as their sister. These are vivid comparisons because anybody with any familiarity with the Bible knows that Sodom, Gomorrah and Egypt are held before the eyes of all to see as pinnacles of perverseness, in which it seems that every extreme of evil flourished with mass participation.
Ezekiel 16's prophecies carry right on into the end time—right into our day. God explicitly says that Judea has exceeded their sisters, Samaria and Sodom too. Did you notice the relationship? They are sisters, not by blood, but by occupying themselves in similar conduct. One of the things that I take from this is that we are living right smack dab in the middle of modern, end-time Sodom and Gomorrah, and everybody is familiar with God's judgment on them: The nation is doomed.
This is a reality because God has already revealed at least part of His pattern. However, there is a difference between us and Sodom and Gomorrah. According to God's judgment, they were blasted to smithereens in a moment of time. Destruction is coming, but that sort of judgment does not lie in store for the Israelitish nations.
It's only a matter of time until His judgment unfolds completely. When looked at from God's point of view, this is good news. It is good news because this nation's ultimate devastating destruction is only part of the story, and that missing part is marvelous indeed. The bad part is that this nation hasn't hit its immorality bottom yet, and that each and every one of us is, according to God's judgment, going to go through all or part of the downward spiral of this nation into the very pits of human experience.
Our faith, in the form of trust, is going to be tested perhaps as never before. We are going to have to hold fast to the fact the His truth endures forever, His mercy endures forever, His righteousness endures forever, and His righteous judgments endure forever, too. We must never, ever allow ourselves to lose sight of the undeniable fact that the Creator God has a purpose that He is working out according to His plan, and He has the last word. Proverbs 20:22 says,
Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; wait for the LORD, and He will save you.
Not long ago, I read of an intriguing dream that a preacher in Denmark wrote that he had. He said that in the dream, he was observing the activity in a major city square with all kinds of automobile and foot traffic going through it. He added that there was a marble monument in the center of the square with large letters inscribed on it that said, "God has the last word." In his dream, he was very agitated because, whether driving or walking, people passed right on by the monument as though is were not even there. He began preaching to them, urging them to understand that it is not the circumstances, the crises, or the catastrophes that have the last word, but God. He urged them not to be afraid. "Do not be distressed; do not become so desperate that you do something foolish. God has the last word."
"It's not the business collapse, the bankruptcies, or the inflation. It's not the illnesses, it's not the mockers, or the atheists. God has the last word." He said most people acted as though they did not even hear, but a few of them actually stopped and agreed with him. But their pause was only momentary, and then these, too, moved on.
When he awoke and began meditating on the dream while it was still fresh in mind, he was shocked at the unconcern of most and the indifference of even those who had some awareness. But most impressive of all him was the overall sense of a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the times we are living in and of their responsibility in it. It seemed as though the people had no motivation to do anything except what they always did. In short, he concluded that they were almost like zombies, fixated on a course, unaware that they were walking to their doom.
I close this commentary with two familiar, yet very important, scriptures that touch on the dream and the times that we live in.
Ephesians 5:14-21 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Romans 13:11-14 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
God has the last word. At the end, it will be his purpose that stands. What is your choice to do with your time?