this is necessarily brief.
Leaving in a VERY short time to take Dear Wife in to the gastroenterologist's office in nearby town (about a 15 mile drive) where we will probably be for much of the rest of the day, depending upon findings. They're supposed to start with a colonoscopy with her knocked out under general anesthesia. Then the coming-out-of-it time. And, the docs and specialists, etc. etc. need to view the results, both during the procedure and thereafter. At which point they may or may not conduct more thorough and pointed exam here or there, or schedule a future visit, or whatever. And then The Meeting with the docs. We already know she has autoimmune-caused gastritis, and some cells in the esophagus that may be pre-cancerous. Or not. Again, waiting to learn.
So it is shaping up to be a heavy-duty day, a long one. She hasn't had real food since about 6 p.m. Wednesday, had a cup of black coffee, some lemon jello, and a couple mugs of chicken bouillon yesterday, plus water and some white grape juice. And that's it. I hated to eat or swill coffee in front of her (we're both of us notorious "coffeeholics") but she took a few short naps and I grabbed a sandwich during one of them. We're in this together, always. I had some things out of the house that I'd have liked to do, but after the last few days of having to help her get out of bed or out of a chair, etc., I just did not dare to do so.
Last visit to this doc, just a week ago, we had some interesting interactions with some of the other patients or their families. Some people who very evidently don't know the Lord, at all. Others who may have some dimly-remembered things from early childhood but nothing since then. And going through some very very tough situations, asking the eternal "Why me?" and "Why???" along with a barely-voiced cry for help. I believe that the Lord puts us in the path of some of these, so perhaps there are several reasons for all of this. Perhaps we can do His work in the midst of all of this. Perhaps.
Today we complete the passage through 2nd Kings, chapters 23, 24, and 25.
Some of us have been parents, and all of us had some learning experiences growing up, either at home or elsewhere, like school. Most of us have been there when, say, Mom, finally says "That does it! I can take only so much, and you've tap danced on my last nerve!". And then bad consequences follow. I've "observed" one or two of those.
The Lord is patient and kind. But, like a parent, there comes a time. The account here is of such a time, such a confluence of disobedience, deliberate wickedness, and just general evil, that He says "ENOUGH!". The account here is of that. This gets into stuff that the modern church doesn't like to talk about, which is when the Lord gets to that point, and judgment falls. Some of the awful behaviors described throughout the books of the Kings (and of the Chronicles and much else) that drew His judgment, are to be found in our own lands, and quite often within the church as well. I see reports and hear personally-related accounts of such, quite frequently. Sadly, some of those reporting these things are proud of them! Have to be "with it" you know. Mustn't be "judging", after all. I think the Lord sees, and I don't think He is pleased, but that seems to be the least of their concerns.
We see here what happened in Israel and in Judah. And it can happen again. I think it will. Soon.
II Kings 24
II Kings 25
Our New Testament reading this Friday is taken in chapter 7 of the Gospel of John, verses 1-31.
Jesus is in Galilee, which was part of the northern kingdom, somewhat autonomous of the region around Jerusalem, and having a history of rebellion and banditry. Not quite "our kind of people" as the Boston Brahmins would put it, not where respectable Jews would be found. But after all, He came to seek and to save that which was lost, so you go where those can be found. He went, with His people. But there came the time for the feast of Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles. (Still celebrated, date this year sundown October 4 to sundown October 12). That was one of those annual feasts for which the Jews were commanded to present themselves in Jerusalem.