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Welcome to Pastor David Hatch's blog.
Matthew 16 : 2,3 “When evening comes, you say, “it will be fair weather, for the sky is red,” and in the morning, “Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Last week was quite a holiday – especially as we did indeed interpret the red sky in the morning as Storm Ali approached the west of Scotland. The photo is taken from the reception at the resort where we stayed near Turnberry, on the Ayrshire coast.
Fair warning! Of course, the news reports had been giving us fair warning of the approaching storm, and the subsequent Amber warning meant that to try and travel on the roads when the storm struck would be to put ourselves in danger. (All the fallen trees the following morning proved the point.) Sure, the high winds and rain came as expected. It was a wild and windy morning last Wednesday, and the rain lashed down on the windows of the lodge. We decided to stay safe and sound indoors and wait for the storm to pass.
The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to test Jesus and asked him to show them a sign from heaven. Their motives were not at all good. This was a trap, or at least an attempt to criticise whatever answer He gave them. Sometimes we can very often feel that whatever answer we give will be either twisted to say something we didn’t say, or, maligned as inappropriate or extreme. It means that we will hesitate to give any answer – and that then sounds, and looks like indecision. You can’t win.
But Jesus answered these religious bigots firmly, and then left them to debate amongst themselves as to what He meant. They wanted a sign from heaven to try and justify their opinion that “Jesus couldn’t possibly be the Messiah”. But the brilliant answer Jesus gave them would have made them choke on their cornflakes!
They were comfortable with their predicting of the weather for tomorrow or that day, as to what they saw in the sky. Yet, they were blind to what was happening in front of their eyes when it came to who Jesus was. Like the political spirit that disturbed Herod and plied him with wicked schemes and plots, desiring that Jesus perform a miracle for him on demand. So, the yeast of the Pharisees is a religious spirit that blinds people to the work of God, and desires to twist and distort truth so that people end up believing a lie, and sadly reject the truth. This is indeed the day we live in!
Matthew 16: 5, 6 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
The disciples were confused – they thought Jesus was talking about bread to eat, but He was referring to the teaching of the religious elite. They were blind guides – the religious spirit twisting truth with vicious teaching, vindictive behaviour, and scheming plots.
When people believe the lies, that is when spiritual storms seem to rise out of nowhere. We might be able to predict the weather tomorrow, but we seem to struggle to recognise the need for spiritual warfare today. We are often too slow to pray, too slow to stand up for truth, and far too slow to confront a lie - especially if we think that the consequences will be costly. But we do need to be on our guard. Spiritual storms do come, very often with no warning at all - what should we do? Use the spiritual weapons available to us!
2 Cor 10: 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Let’s read the signs of the times and fight the good fight! Ps. David