Zephaniah 1:14 (ESV)
The great day of the Lord is near,
near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;
the mighty man cries aloud there.
In the 1883, Captain Sampson of the British navy witnessed one of the greatest volcanic eruptions in history which took place in Indonesia. The eruption was so powerful that its shock waves traveled around the world seven times. The volcano shot miles of debris into the atmosphere which fell to earth as far away as Madagascar - over 2000 miles distance. Captain Sampson wrote in the ship's log: "I am writing this blind in pitch darkness. We are under continual rain of pumice-stone and dust. So violent are the explosions that the ear-drums of over half my crew have been shattered ... I am convinced that the Day of Judgment has come."
These men witnessed something extraordinary, and it caused them to ponder the inevitable question -- Is this the end? What was the crew thinking and feeling as they were deafened by the massive explosions, and blinded by the clouds of smoke and ash? To them it must have been as if the sun had become like sackcloth! Did this experience change their lives? Were they now powerfully aware of how fragile life is? Did they suddenly begin to examine what their lives had consisted of up to that moment?
Imagine yourself in that boat as these events are taking place. Now picture yourself at the present moment ... are you thinking about what your life has been about, or what it is now? Are you thinking about what it could be??
We need to recognize that eruptions are already taking place, and these are the Lord's warnings to this sleeping world; warnings that His return is NEAR! We are privileged to be witnesses and participants in the most extraordinary times as the end of the age draws near. But God is looking for people who are awake, who are wise, who understand the signs of the times, and who know Him and will shine like stars in a darkening world-- will you be one of them?
Dear Lord, help us be the shining star in this dark world. Help us show Your love to those around us in all that we say and do. In The Name of Jesus, Amen.