Patience And Comfort For The Neediest

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Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 25, 2015
Based Upon Romans 15:4

Zeal for God’s temple puts an end to indifference.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

It is not immediately apparent from reading this verse just how it relates to Bible prophecy. Yet, it is referenced often in studies related to prophecy. However, upon closer inspection a wonderful message shines through.

Let’s take a quick look at the three preceding verses. The Bibles says: “But we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good, for the purpose of edification. For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”” (Romans 15:1–3, LEB). Indeed, there is a specific context relevant to these verses, which we discussed in the past from Romans 14 and will not address here.

The lesson I would like to glean here is that there is a principle of selflessness and empathetic living in play. We are not here to live unto ourselves. It is our privilege to suffer with those who suffer. It is honorable to soothe the broken hearted. It is a blessing to lift up those who are burdened down by life’s circumstances. Racial tensions are on the rise, and all involved, both offender and those who are offended need our prayers and help. Murder is on the rise, and all involved, both the families of those who were killed and the murderers themselves need our help. Many of our personal economies are in extreme difficulty and we need to be of service to others, sharing our resources wherever we see the need. We cannot live in a silo. We must be available to serve all whom the Lord allows to cross our paths.

How does all of this relate to Bible prophecy? Why should we care? In verse three there is an allusion to the following verse: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; And the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9). The immediate context was related to King David’s zeal to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Mount Zion and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, which the Lord passed on to Solomon to accomplish. But, the Holy Spirit correlated this zeal to that which Jesus had for the honor of His Father’s house and for those who would go there to worship in spirit and truth. Wicked people trampled God’s Sanctuary for their own material gain and impeded the progress of those who came to worship God. With holy indignation, Jesus removed those wicked people and restored order to His Father’s house.

It was Prophecy that forecasted the Lord’s zeal. It was prophecy that forecasted the Lord’s unwillingness to lay down and sleep while the honor of His Father and the needs of the people were trampled. It is through prophecy, now, that we can experience the righteous example of Jesus and recognize our marching orders. In the last days, we must not lay down while people are being abused and trampled all around us. We find relevance and instruction in the Scriptures for living to serve others and honor our heavenly Father. Remember, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

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