It was both scary and very funny … “in the video the groom shared on Instagram you see him, Aaron Sawitsky, standing opposite his bride Denice McClure as they prepare to say their vows. Just before he declared his love for her though, Aaron made sure to reference the rocky start to the year. ‘Let’s face it, 2020 has not been the best year,’ Aaron tells his guests, drawing a laugh from those in attendance, right before a huge bolt of lightning struck right next to him. Thankfully, nobody was injured as the lightning missed the ceremony and everyone in attendance, with Aaron saying: ‘Thankfully no one got electrocuted and we finished our vows before the rain started! Mother nature has one wry sense of humour.’ Bride Denice said: ‘it perfectly sums up the year so far’.” Lightning can be beautiful. I recall traveling on a farm road in the late 1980s near Ventersburg, a small town 148 km north of Bloemfontein. It was night time. The rain flooded down and lightning lit up the skies. The only time we could see the gravel road was when the lightning hit. Beautiful, yet scary. Lightning is mentioned about 46 times in the Bible. Look at these three passages from Exodus in the context of the plagues:
Ex 9:22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that hail will fall all over Egypt—on men and animals and on everything growing in the fields of Egypt.” 23 When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt; 24 hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.
This plague was in the context of Pharaoh’s stubborn, wicked heart! Once out of Egypt and in the desert, they came to Mount Sinai. In preparation for the giving of the Ten Commandments, we read
Ex 19:16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
And immediately after the Ten Commandments were given, we read:
Ex 20:18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
Lightning reminds one of two important things … The first is the absolutely holiness of God and the second is the sinfulness of man. Lightning can be so beautiful, but it depicts the awesome power of the Almighty! Each time we see a lightning bolt, it ought to be a reminder of God’s holiness, almightiness and stupendous majesty!
Sometime ago, I wrote about Riaan Swiegelaar and Adri Norton who started the South African Satanic Church. In the free newspaper, The Record, dated today, an article is headed by “Reverend” eager to teach about Satanism. Tristan Kapp, aged 23 is completing his MTH in theology and wants to “educate the public to what legitimate Satanism is and, more importantly, to address the misconceptions that exit in South Africa.” He lives in Centurion and oversees the Gauteng Chapter of the South African Satanic Church. They base their belief system and teaching on Anton LaVey’s nine Satanic Statements. He also wrote the Satanic Bible. Their core values include indulgence instead of abstinence, giving kindness only to those who deserve it instead of wasting it on ungrateful people and vengeance instead of turning the other cheek. It’s interesting to see how many people have started religions, written their own ‘sacred books’ and persuasively convinced people to follow them. This is nothing new. It has happened from the earliest of times … even in the early Christian Church … Paul writes to Timothy saying:
1 Tim 5:15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
To the Church at Thessalonica Paul writes:
2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
(See John 8:42-47.)
John writes in Revelation:
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Rev 20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Will you believe the Word of God about Satan or what man writes about Satan? There might not be a lightning bolt falling on the enemies of God … but their fate is recorded. How wonderful to know Jesus is the Victor and the end result is known!
Dear God, strengthen Your Church to stand against the enemy without wavering. In Jesus’ Name, amen.