Then the Lord will appear...(Zech 9:14a)
When we arrived in Israel in 1983, a very pretty two-storey apartment with a small garden awaited us. It was owned by an orthodox Rabbi from Canada who saw us "gentiles" as a prophetic sign - that the nations would be coming up to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel.
So convinced was he that he actually had his lawyer include an interesting clause in our rental contract. It says, "When the Messiah comes, the Hilsdens must vacate the apartment by the end of the month." He wasn't joking.
When he and his wife dropped by to see us, though, we did kid around a little. We said, "No problem, we may be gone by then, and you'll get all our stuff." He countered, "And when he comes, we'll be sure to ask him if he's been here before."
Jerusalem, it has been said, is a prophetic "epicenter", and even though my husband (who is a theologian) and I have not really parked on a fixed or detailed escatological view, still we agree with the Rabbi - we are living in the last days, and we, with him are living in expectation.
There is a blessing on those who read the book of Revelation (22:7.) The writer John didn't provide us with a commentary. Its meaning is still shrouded, even though men have attempted over and over to apply it to contemporary places, events, and people. There is a stern warning not to add or subtract from the book (22:18, 19.) Yet every time something significant happens, we pore over the prophecies to see if we can connect the newspapers to the Bible.
Sometimes, we do find eerie correlations. Today's Jerusalem does seem like the "heavy stone" described in Zechariah 12. The "mark of the beast" does not seem as far-fetched as it did a hundred years ago. The frequent earthquakes and natural disasters do bring to mind Yeshua's words about "birth pains" in Matthew 24. Don't forget that those who were living in expectation recognized from prophecy the first coming of Yeshua, two thousand years ago.
The main thing is that we must live like servants who are expecting their master to walk in the door any second. We must be "pulling people out of the fire" as if we expected the ceiling to fall any second. We weren't told to live in a panic, but be "on the job" and about the business that Yeshua assigned us to do. He's told us that we can't know when. But He gave us signs to watch for and warned us to be at our post, and be faithful, wise, and watchful.
READ: Matthew 24 (and if you have time, chapter 25 as well.)
I want to be ready, Yeshua, for the day that You appear. Help me to be at your business. Keep me from distractions, laziness and self-seeking. Pull me back in when I stray, because I want You to say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Maranatha! Amen, come LORD Yeshua!