Most of us saw the news–Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced major advances in Iran’s nuclear program, and the New York Times claims he is one step away from “the big bomb”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately chimed in, “I told you so,” and remains to be one of the only forceful voices to stand up to the Iranian dictator. Of course, the Iranian president is less a few scientists because a couple of nations have sent snipers to kill his nuclear scientists so he can’t blow up the world.
One day after Iran’s nuclear advance (threat) is broadcast (today), it appears that Ahmadinejad’s announcement is swept off the front pages of major internet news sources, perhaps to downplay the potential hysteria of the public or block the bolster to Ahmadinejad’s sinister ego at having achieved a nuclear science advancement. Face it, he’s already announced he’s cutting off six nations from his oil exports, gas prices are threatening (again) to inch up higher, and what really brings this “show and tell” to the forefront is that much of the world reaction is on the gas climb, not on the potential nuclear threat.
So, where’s the cross? The cross is hidden underneath a sea of knowledge. But trust God, the cross is the REAL nuclear bomb.
God came to Daniel and said:
But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase (Daniel 12:4).
“Back and forth” has to do with the increase of transportation capabilities. My dear Great Grandma Flinchbaugh was born in 1915. She will be 96 years old this year and she tells me how she walked or rode a horse to school and, if rain or snow fell hard, her father picked her up at her one room schoolhouse in Felton, Pennsylvania in a horse and carriage! Now this is in ONE WOMAN’S LIFETIME. Today she drives into the CVS pharmacy drive through window and the clerks are in awe that she is 96 and still driving. When asked how she does it, she says, “It’s the Lord, Honey, it’s the Lord!”
My own grandmother, born in 1895, told me similar stories. In fact, her brothers mounted horses and chased down a boy who was giving her a hard time at school one day. I remember traveling with my grandmother in a car in the 60’s and 70’s and she’d often look out the window and say, “Look at all the people. Where are all the people going?”
You see, there has been an incredible increase in transportation. In the last days God told Daniel that “many will go back and forth, to and fro . . .”
He also said “knowledge will increase”. Little wonder. Since Adam and Eve strayed from the Tree of Life and ate from the knowledge of good and evil, the Tree of Life has been branching out and growing larger and larger until people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are household names and we “ooo” and “ahhh” at the wonder of technological, nuclear, and medical breakthroughs. In fact, we hail as heroes those who discover the “good knowledge” of our times.
Even those who are not brilliant scientists, seek to increasingly fill their minds with knowledge, both good and evil, seeking out degrees and then congratulating themselves on their success. I want to call us back to the Tree of Life. I want to LIFT UP THE CROSS for ALL TO SEE. For in the last days, those standing around the Tree of Knowledge will be cut off unless they cross over, by the power of the cross, to the Tree of Life.
And so, now more than ever it is important to lift up the cross. Paul said he counted all his training, schooling, and degrees as a sewer next to the joy of knowing God. Paul also decided that his teaching and preaching would focus on the cross, because it was the only way to LIFE.
For the cross beckons us to believe and receive and rest.
Knowledge beckons us to attain, achieve, and boast.
So what is the future of the Christian? God told Daniel this:
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Daniel 12:3,10).
Everyone wants to be a star today—American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, and a host of teen and children’s shows with some child on stage calling attention to themselves.
The true star in the eyes of God, however, will be that one who meets daily with his or her maker at the Tree of Life. That star will find all joy in life at knowing God and more and more seek to disconnect from man’s race for knowledge and find himself/herself led to REST NOT RACE.
It is difficult because we are surrounded with increasing knowledge. But with God, all things are possible—even rest at the Tree of Life when the world spins out of control.
And if you really need to know something? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. God is there. Because the increase of the knowledge of man will ultimately result in man destroying himself.
COME. God calls you now, “Return to the Tree of Life. Find rest for your soul, direction for your day, and sweet fellowship with your Savior.”