Good Saturday. As you can see by the calendar, we are about to change the page for the last time this year, and then into 2010. Anyone remember the 'Y2K' scare? Back in late 1999, just ten years ago, many of the scaremongers were out and about, assuring us that All Would Go Kalfooey at midnight on New Year's, when the clocks moved to 2000. Quite serious about it they were. Didn't happen, of course. I think some of the same professional fearmongers moved on to other projects, some to predict The End Of The World in 2012, many of the others to sing the songs of doom over Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever the latest version is of Doom, Defeat, and Despair Unless You Give Us all Your Money and Let Us Run Things. Sound familiar? It should.
It is possible, of course, that a giant volcano will open up under Yellowstone today. Or the New Madrid fault let loose. Or a Islamopigfascist will set off nukes over NYC generating an EMP that knocks out power and communications over a good bit of the country. Or that a new Ice Age could set in: Jerry Pournelle's site has some discussion to indicate that the last Ice Age, the one that had much of North America under half a mile of ice at its height, started up in a matter of months. So all of that could happen. Or the Last Trump may sound in the next 39 seconds. But I don't think that sending money and power to D.C. or the the UN will deal with that, it's not worked for any other issues.
This morning's passage is chapter 40 of Ezekiel. Only one chapter. But it is full of great imagery. Oh, and by the way, it takes place after they were captives for TWENTY FIVE years!! Perhaps part of the reason, just part, for the vision was to assure the people that the Lord was still there. We are often tempted to beleive He neither sees nor cares. A terrible mistake either way.
There are those who pay a great deal of attention to the place descriptions given here, I've seen representations of what it would look like. There are also those who find import in the particular measurements given here, translating cubits to years and so forth.
1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me, and brought me thither.
2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.
3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.
5 And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about, and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed.
6 Then came he unto the gate which looketh toward the east, and went up the stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad.
7 And every little chamber was one reed long, and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed.
8 He measured also the porch of the gate within, one reed.
9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward.
10 And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side.
11 And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
12 The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side, and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side.
13 He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of another: the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door against door.
14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, even unto the post of the court round about the gate.
15 And from the face of the gate of the entrance unto the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits.
16 And there were narrow windows to the little chambers, and to their posts within the gate round about, and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward: and upon each post were palm trees.
17 Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement.
18 And the pavement by the side of the gates over against the length of the gates was the lower pavement.
19 Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront of the inner court without, an hundred cubits eastward and northward.
20 And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured the length thereof, and the breadth thereof.
21 And the little chambers thereof were three on this side and three on that side; and the posts thereof and the arches thereof were after the measure of the first gate: the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
22 And their windows, and their arches, and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looketh toward the east; and they went up unto it by seven steps; and the arches thereof were before them.
23 And the gate of the inner court was over against the gate toward the north, and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate an hundred cubits.
24 After that he brought me toward the south, and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured the posts thereof and the arches thereof according to these measures.
25 And there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
26 And there were seven steps to go up to it, and the arches thereof were before them: and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, upon the posts thereof.
27 And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south an hundred cubits.
28 And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures;
29 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
30 And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad.
31 And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps.
32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures.
33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
34 And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
35 And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures;
36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
37 And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.
39 And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
40 And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables.
41 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices.
42 And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
43 And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.
44 And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.
45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.
46 And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto him.
47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house.
48 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.
This evening's passage is chapter 5 of 1st Peter. This completes 1st Peter.
Pay attention to verses 7 and 8
I Peter 5
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.