Friday, May 01, 2009

The Song for the Eleventh Hour

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

The Eleventh Hour is an expression referring to the last moments before a deadline, or the imminence of a decisive or "final" moment. We are now in the Eleventh Hour. And the Clock is ticking.

In 1997, William Strauss and Neil Howe co-authored a remarkable book called “The Fourth Turning.” In it they show that History unfolds in a cyclical series of four turnings, much like the seasons move from Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. In Chapter Ten, A Fourth Turning Prophecy, they write, “Sometime around the year 2005, America will enter the Fourth Turning. A spark will ignite a new mood. It will catalyze a Crisis. The spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party.” (pg.272).

Now, here we are twelve years after those words were written, and we are seeing it unfold right before our very eyes. Winter has come.

Do me a favor. No, correct that – do yourself a favor and read carefully and prayerfully Psalm 11. It’s only seven verses in length, but it so fits these days in which we live that you owe it to yourself to ponder its timeless words. I call it the Song for the Eleventh Hour. Here, I’ll even post it for your convenience.

“A David psalm. I've already run for dear life straight to the arms of GOD. So why would I run away now when you say, "Run to the mountains; the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness at every heart open to God. The bottom's dropped out of the country; good people don't have a chance"? But GOD hasn't moved to the mountains; his holy address hasn't changed. He's in charge, as always, his eyes taking everything in, his eyelids Unblinking, examining Adam's unruly brood inside and out, not missing a thing. He tests the good and the bad alike; if anyone cheats, God's outraged. Fail the test and you're out, out in a hail of firestones, Drinking from a canteen filled with hot desert wind. GOD's business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we're standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye” (Psalm 11:1-7).

This is from the Message Translation, but I encourage you to read it from as many different translations as you have available. There is much here for us to consider.

In fact, for the next few days we will take a devotional walk through this Psalm, and together we will discover that it is filled with “meat in due season” which will feed our spirits and strengthen our faith and resolve in these faithless and dissolving days.


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