Monday, November 16, 2015

THOUGHTS ON WATCHING

I've written before about my perspective on watching dates, but here it is again.

We are in the last days, and we have been told to watch for certain events. I think living here in Oklahoma has done more to help me understand watching than any other place I've lived in the US (which includes seven other states).

Here in Oklahoma, our local meteorologists are pretty good at letting us know when weather conditions are setting up for trouble. Does that mean we will get severe weather outbreaks? Yes and no.

Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. There are times when the torcon (tornado conditions) is at a 6, and we can get ONE long track tornado that is half mile wide and wipes out just a barn and 4 cows. Other times, it can be at 3, and we will have 20 small ones in one night that seem to be everywhere.

This past May we had one night where we had to run for the storm cellar 3 times! Tornadoes were that close. We could see debris flying thru the air from the next road over as we were running. It was crazy. Our neighbor's horses were trying to jump their fencing.

All that to say, watching has never equaled 'coming to pass.' It just means pay attention. That is why I have no problem with those who advise to pay attention on certain days.

I think it is dangerous to label anyone who is a watcher as a 'false prophet' if a watch date comes and goes without incident.

This nation deserves judgment. We have killed 50 million babies. That alone warrants judgment. Wrath is deserved. And all the mocking and scorn from Bible deniers won't change that.

Here is a thought I've been having concerning dates that have come and gone: they seem to be 'winnowing' out those who are looking for an excuse to not look for Jesus' return.

What I mean is this: those who understand watching, those who are watchmen, will continue to watch regardless of whether or not a particular event happened on a particular day or not. We understand, like meteorologists, that the conditions were setting up for trouble.

This past week, when I posted about severe weather setting up from Houston to Chicago on Weds, we were told here, 60% chance of rain and some severe weather was possible. We did not get a single drop of rain, not one hailstone. However, we had winds that roared at close to 60 mph for most of the day. I have downed tree limbs, overturned yard stuff, toppled planters, and because we are at the top of a hill, I watched my car shaking back and forth so hard in the wind I would not have been surprised if by the end of the day it had been laying on its side in the driveway. What a mess! We were told it might be windy. So even professional forecasters with ginormous computers can't get it right sometimes.

As a different example, various groups were very interested in 'watching' the meeting that took place between Obama and Netanyahu. This was an important meeting. Two very important leaders met and because they have a history of not really getting along and both are policy makers in their respective home countries, many wanted to 'watch' to hear what they said to each other, and to try and, perhaps more importantly, read the tea leaves on their body language towards each other. The relationship between these two men has been described as 'stormy,' 'on collision course,' and 'volatile.' People (TV talking heads, Congressmen, think tank brains, political writers and even humble bloggers) 'watched' to see these two men interact because their past interactions have proven that there is usually nothing dull about these two men when they meet.  Conditions were setting up for a potential storm.

Again, another example: 'watching' the interaction between Obama and Putin at the G20. Putin is another man that President Obama cannot stand, and while he is often civil when speaking with Putin, Obama can be counted on to say something ugly once he is away from Putin. Interestingly enough, Obama pushed the video of him meeting with Putin so people could 'watch' him (Obama) looking all 'tough' and 'serious' while talking with Putin about Syria (see previous post).

And on a much lesser scale, a few scientists and amateur astronomers 'watched' a piece of incoming unknown space junk on Friday the 13th because no one knew where it would land, or how much of it would burn up in the atmosphere before terrestrial contact, or even if it could be identified before it was destroyed. To not watch would have been taking chances.

No one criticizes those who watch such events (meetings between Obama and other heads of states) if the meetings don't produce fireworks. No one criticizes meteorologists who advise watching the skies because their computers are showing dangerous weather conditions (tornadoes, blizzards, flooding, heat waves) setting up, and the weather fizzled out. (At least no one should.)

Having said all that, I would advise that there be a difference between setting a watch date and setting a date. If you believe you see certain events lining up on certain days and you want to tell people why you are watching that particular day and what you think might happen, then I'm okay with that. (End Times Forecaster takes this approach.) If others are persuaded by your arguments or observations and want to watch with you, I'm okay with that as well.

I know that quite a few people were watching November 11 believing a major event could happen. Though nothing specific happened on November 11, I think it terribly interesting that less than 48 hours after, on November 13, France had a major terrorist attack that has been called their '9/11.' When you have about 500 dead or wounded, people running for their lives, air travel shut down, and martial law enacted, that is pretty significant.

What I am not okay with is being dogmatic and pushing people to 'be ready because it's gonna happen.' There is a certain level of arrogance in this kind of insistence that is not healthy for the 'pusher' or certainly not for the 'pushee.'

At the end of the day, we are to watch because that is what Jesus told us to do. The day will come. Very few will be prepared.

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: --Mark 13:35

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. --I Thessalonians 5:6

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. --Proverbs 8:34