Today’s (Fr 08/12/2017) FDR passages are Amos 3 and Luke 14:15-24
Deaf as posts
Amos chapter 3 is the first of the prophetic word reports in this book. These concern judgement against Israel and in Chapter 3 vv3-8 use a rhetorical cause and effect framework of questions that culminate in v8:
The lion has roared –
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken –
who can but prophesy?
The implied question being;
“How is it the prophet prophesies the impending doom of God, but the people do not pay any attention?”
So the judgement is spoken and very little of use will be left. Vv12-15 describes how desolation will be made of Israel and the ineffectual pieces that will be left. This is punishment on a very grand scale.
Celebrations for all.
We can be too familiar with this next passage, Luke 14:15-24. We think it means God invites people who are celebrated guests and they refuse so He invites others, some whom we would not normally consider. Yet it is about those who already know God too.
When we hear the call of God, in what ever means it comes to us, to act either by direct invitation or through a quiet whisper, perhaps as loud to us as a trumpet call, will we recognise it is the Master’s call and promptly obey?
Our passage characterises the first group as those who are too busy. Yet it is the Master calling. Then he gathers people from all places and there is still room. Another call is made, this time with determination – ” . . . and compel people to come in so that my house may be filled.” (v23)
Behind these words is a very clear message delivered by v24 “. . . none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”
SHUT OUT! EXCLUDED! Missed out on the one and only opportunity to celebrate with God, the marriage of the Lamb to His people!
Revelation 7:9 describes the resulting celebration like this:
After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.
There are only two responses possible here;
Yes, Lord I’ll come. Or
No Lord, I’ve something else to do!
An obedient servant
What of the servant carrying out the Master’s instructions? This is the fourth group and they follow the Lord’s direction and keep extending the invitations until the work is finished.
There is no criminal record check, nor talking to the invitees’ referees, nor checking if they are clean and well dressed, nor making sure they don’t already have a religion, nor making sure they are from the right suburb, or town or country.
No prior checks to see if the invitees are qualified. Just asking, cajoling and compelling people to come to the feast. Yes, no strings attached. Everything is supplied by the Lord.
Do we approach our role as servants of God in this “All are invited, no exceptions” frame of mind? Are we taking and making opportunities to bring into God’s kingdom all people?
Whatever role we have in this parable of Jesus the Bible’s 2 Peter 1:3 reminds us, whether we are called to the dinner celebration or are a servant doing the calling, that everything is provided, we need nothing of our own:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
NO excuses – whether we are the servant or the guest we are expected, and equipped, to take our part seriously and be part of the solution.