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Food for Thought: Escha-what?!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Food for Thought: Escha-what?!

Ok. So I wrote the post about the weather last night, but am making an addition now here with some interesting things I came across today.


Eschatology...is basically the study of end times, and this morning when I was having some time with the Lord I most interestingly (but probably not coincidentally) ended up reading about eschatology.  I started out with some reading in Psalms because our church is reading through the Bible this year.  Somehow a cross reference ended me up in Matthew, and then my eye jumped from the cross reference to some verses that I had underlined on the opposite page.  So I ended up in Matthew 21:18-22 which talks about Jesus cursing the fig tree and willing it to wither and die.  Then subsequently he tells the disciples that if they have faith and do not doubt, then they can do like he did to the fig tree, they can command mountains to fall into the sea and it will happen.  That the things that we ask in prayer and believing, we will receive.

I have a thing about figs.  I've posted recipes with them before and will do more when fig season is upon us later this summer.  And I started thinking about how often I've noticed that figs turn up in scripture, and I got to wondering.  "What is the deal with figs?"

So i googled "fig tree" and also searched it on BibleGateway (which by the way is a really great, FREE resource for different Bible translations, does searches...it's awesome.)  I found 49 instances where figs were referenced in the Bible.  Many of those references point to figs being a symbol of prosperity in Biblical times.  And then i looked up figs on Wikipedia as well to learn more about them.  That ended me up reading about the Parable of the Barren Fig tree that I just told you about, and from that reading about Figs in the Bible.  Figs are mentioned in what is called The Olivet Discourse which is a biblical passage found in the Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21. Apparently it is sometimes referred to as the "Little Apocalypse" because it includes Jesus' descriptions of the end times.  So you see how this happened?  Psalms to figs to end times?
 
I know...it's a serious Biblical ADD...or maybe just what I was supposed to be reading today after posting about the weather and end times last night.  So then I started reading all around about end times and eschatology and tribulation and views on it all, and I determined something....

I will not determine or know what time is the "end time."

And from what I can tell that the Bible says, noone but God will know.  But boy are there a lot of camps about when and how people think it will happen.  I mean, wasn't Jesus supposedly predicted by some people to come back about a month ago?  I'm pretty sure that didn't go like the predictors thought it would.  

I wonder who avoided going to the bathroom all day for fear they'd be raptured while on the can?  Or who didn't drive that day lest their vehicle be abandoned while zooming down the interstate? But seriously...I guess the question keeps being asked and keeps being answered because we, humans, like to be in control.  We like to know things.  We like to have a handle on how to plan, and what will happen when we're ready for it, so that we can get ready.  And what I determined today (and you may most certainly disagree with me,) is that in the realm of eschatology and deciding when and where and how you think that end times will happen, it probably doesn't really matter....because sometime, there will be an end, and I, in my humanity, am not in a position to know just when that will be.

So for here and now, I think I'll do the best that I can to serve well the God who gave me a second chance at a full life through Jesus Christ...and who also gave us all... figs.






PS. If my delving into big words like "eschatology" or topics like "end times" freaks you out, I am sorry...it's just what I've been thinking about lately.  I've also been thinking about redecorating my boys' bathroom with some fun art I found in Montana, so if that's more your speed and interest, stick around...I'll tell you more about that stuff in the next couple of days too!

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