Yesterday, Tanya had the usual battle with Katy (our two-year-old) trying to get her to eat her breakfast. Tanya set the timer and told her if she didn't eat her eggs before the timer goes off, she would get a spanking. Katy took a bite and then began to amuse herself with everything in the world that she could find other than her breakfast. She would turn this way and that in her chair, at times turning her back completely on the table, gazing at who knows what. She would grab this thing and that, letting her mind and attention run this way and that, chasing every red herring of distraction that ran across her little mind, when suddenly, "beep, beep, beep..." the alarm went off. Katy looked up with wide eyes, her mouth hanging open as though suddenly and rudely reminded of a short grace period squandered, and I said to her, "Uh oh, Judgment time."
Tanya administered the "judgment" and replayed the previous seen, setting the timer, redirecting Katy, and promising her the consequences of further rebellion. Katy squandered the second more lengthy time of reprieve and once again faced the judgment of a mother determined to teach her little one to obey her mother and to stop playing when she should be eating - a little one that thirty minutes after forsaking her cold uneaten meal usually asks mama for cereal. Finally, Katy ate her eggs.
I remember years ago our brother awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of his smoke alarm going off. He and his teenage son tried to find out why it kept going off and were attempting to silence it when Jordan, the son, recognized it as God's prophetic warning that His alarm is sounding. That was in late 1998.
God has been warning his people through the prophetic that time is short and that we must be consuming Him, feeding on Him rather than the things of this world. He has said many times, "Put away your idols." However, we have found ourselves pursuing this diversion and that, our adulterous hearts looking every where but to the Bread of Life for our sustenance and our amusement. Our restless hearts look this way and that, grabbing for this trinket or that pursuit until our religion has grown so cold it's so unappetizing that no one would desire it. All the while our faithful Father warns us, "The alarm is set, if you don't find life during this short time of grace, judgment is coming." Jesus said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53). He pleads and warns, "Come to my table, I have spread a banquet for you. Come now while there's time to get life and light within you. If you continue to wait, the time of grace will end and you will be found with no life within. You will then go to others asking them to give you what you should have for yourself, but they will be unable to give you what you need, for the time of grace will be over."
While many were pursuing there idols, God's alarm sounded. Those who heard the alarm go off said, "Judgment time." Those caught unaware were shocked and perplexed when tragedy came. How could this have happened? Where is God? He's right there, administering the very thing He promised. Over and over he pleaded with his people, "Come to my table and eat of Me, for only in Me will you have the life giving nourishment that you truly need." However, we, lacking any understanding whatsoever, saw no compelling need to eat what we never truly desired. After all, when we do get hungry, we can go to this meeting or that movie or this vacation spot and fill our bellies with Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats. Like little children we've had no appetite for Him but we've longed after the things that please our flesh, whether religious or secular. We've starved to death, malnourished while our bellies are full of television, sports, and entertainment. Our flesh is gross, but our spirit man is anorexic.
Beep, beep, beep... the alarm sounded, catching many by surprise and our loving Father administered the judgment promised, but in a measured and merciful manner. He has attempted to redirect our attention, and has admonished us of our need to eat His Son, and has again warned of the judgment that would surely follow should we ignore His warnings. The alarm has been reset.