The Auspicious Moment

Read Daniel 7:1-10

 “As I looked,

thrones were placed,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
    and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
    its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
    and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
    and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
    and the books were opened.         – Daniel 7:9-10

 

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Henry Leu Gardens | Orlando, FL | January 2018

I attended a funeral at which an acquaintance who happened to be a pastor of a non-liturgical church presided. It struck me that there was very little “weightiness” in that service. It seemed to me (although it may have been quite appropriate and normal to him) that on the occasion of this funeral some ceremony or liturgical element would have been appropriate. Some events call for those moments of importance; the weightiness of the occasion welcomes an acknowledgement that something of significance is happening.

In this passage from Daniel the phrase, “and the books were opened,” surely conveys a most auspicious moment.

We have here a picture of the eternal celestial judgment hall, with the Ancient of Days presiding. There will be none who will forgo their moment of reckoning. There will be no failure to uncover whatever was theretofore hidden. This is a moment of eternal significance. This is the judgment of God.

Some want to think of God only as One who helps us in our time of need. But that does not go far enough. Truly God is gracious, merciful, kind, and compassionate. God is also just, mighty, holy, pure, and righteous. He does not wink at sin. He does not gloss over failure. A brief look at the events of Good Friday will bear this out quickly.

Don’t think too quickly of God’s mercy on that Great Last Day. God’s mercy will indeed come our way, and we can anticipate it with joyful hope. But we must stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account of our ways and words, our thoughts and actions. Thrones will be set. Mirriads of servants will gather. The books will be opened.

What will you say? May I suggest that you say, “My account has been paid by Jesus. It was a horrific price that he paid. But he paid it and declared it finished. I am eternally grateful to him and delight to call him my Lord and my God.” You might simply say, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” And at that auspicious moment the Ancient of Days will look to the Son of Man and for his sake, welcome you into his very presence. That will be the most auspicious moment of all!

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