Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)
TITLE: Redemption's clock is ticking
By Sharon Kane
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Over nine generations mankind expands across the world; exploring, inventing, toiling, building. Each takes his place in the never-ending cycle of marrying, bearing children, growing old, and returning to the dust. God gave them to be lords of creation. They were to rule over the world that its fruitfulness and harmony should be a victorious shout of praise to His glory. Instead they stain the earth with envy, lust, violence and bloodshed. Multiplying wickedness, they pierce the heart of their Creator.
A mere eight are saved when God pours out all His wrath upon the world. He thunders in judgement. The earth convulses with the anger of its Maker and pent-up floods burst from the deep. Lightening slices through the sky that is black with His fury. Torrents crash to the earth, battering the world, unleashing God's holy rage against the polluting tide of sin that had indelibly defiled His perfect handiwork.
His wrath satisfied, God turns again in love towards His image-bearers. He patiently teaches them to live in harmony with themselves, with each other and with Him. He reveals the heavenly rhythm of freedom and rest. Every seventh day man shall enjoy respite from his labour, every seventh year the riches of the land itself shall be replenished and slaves liberated from their burdensome toil.
As the priests pronounce the six-fold blessing over God's people, they catch a glimpse of how His heart bursts with passion for them. He desires to bless them and keep them! He longs to make His face shine upon them and be gracious to them! He yearns to turn His face towards them and give them peace!
God's people fail to conquer five famous Philistine cities. As foretold these become snares and traps to them; whips on their backs and thorns in their eyes. Seduced by foreign gods, the chosen ones bow to worthless idols and practise vile abominations. Thus they despise their birthright and incur God's wrath.
God rejoices in David, a man after His own heart. In life, in song and in kingship David displays God's righteousness. Yet four of his sons die before their time in consequence of his one abhorrent murderous sin, for the holy God makes no exceptions to the moral Law.
Three righteous men, exiled in a pagan land are saved from the flames when God himself walks with them through their fiery trail. The Lord's eyes search out the farthest corners of the earth to reward acts of faith and devotion.
Two astonished old people reluctantly believe the heavenly messenger and become parents of the Saviour's forerunner.
One holy embryo nestles into the womb of a most highly favoured lady.
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Ten tiny fingers ball into tight fists. Parted lips hungrily search for the breast that oozes with life-sustaining milk. A perfect toothless mouth closes around the mother's nipple... Life's melodies explode upon the globe. The Father's heart exults and angel choirs shout for joy as redemption's clock chimes the coming of our glorious salvation.
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