Several weeks ago during a prayer meeting I attend I received this word from the Lord:
“Gather, gather together”.
I looked this up in the Bible and discovered there are two places in the Bible that have basically this same phrase:
The first is in Jeremiah:
Jer 4:1 If you will return, O Israel, says Jehovah, return to Me. And if you will put away your abominations out of your sight, then you shall not be moved.
Jer 4:2 And you shall swear, Jehovah lives, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory.
Jer 4:3 For so says Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.
Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and people of Jerusalem; lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that none can put it out; because of the evil of your doings.
Jer 4:5 Declare in Judah, and let it be heard in Jerusalem; and say, Blow the trumpet in the land; cry, gather together, and say, Gather yourselves and let us go into the fortified cities.
Jer 4:6 Set up the banner toward Zion; flee for safety and do not wait; for I will bring evil from the north, and a great ruin.
Jer 4:7 The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the nations has set out; he has left his place to make your land a waste. Your cities will fall into ruins without inhabitant.
The second is from Zephaniah:
Zep 2:1 Gather yourselves together; yea, gather, O nation not desired;
Zep 2:2 before the birth of the decree, the day shall pass like the chaff; yet not before the hot anger of Jehovah comes on you, yet not before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes on you.
Zep 2:3 Seek Jehovah, all the meek of the earth who have done His justice; seek righteousness; seek meekness. It may be you shall be hidden in the day of Jehovah’s anger.
As I waited on the Lord, I sensed that He was saying that these two scriptures are a warning, a call to repentance, and a promise. The warning is that judgment is coming, and coming soon (soon being a relative term – it may be six months, or several years – I’m not claiming to have a date here, but I don’t believe we have another decade, either). The call to repentance is an encouragement to us to prepare our hearts, to make sure we are in right standing with God, and to “clean our houses” – to get things in order. The promise is that if we do these things, God will be our defender, and we will not be moved during the time of crisis. This does not mean that we will not suffer; it does mean that we will have the kind of faith that will endure.
Paula and I ended up presenting this as a message to the Oil City Branch 12..07.2008