How would you get people's attention if you were God?
If I were God I wouldn't need to 'get' people's attention, I could have it if I wanted it, besides, ever since sin entered this sad old world, so have death and suffering - and their awful effects are everywhere obvious, not least within each one of our own hearts, minds and bodies. Their presence along with the knowledge that God is holy must drive us to our knees before Him or drive us away in disbelief and disgust.
In the 6th week of this year, on Thursday night, at 10.21pm on the 12th of February 2009, flight 3407 from New York to Buffalo fell out of the sky killing all 48 people on board and one man in the house the plane crashed into. (The man's wife and daughter miraculously escaped unharmed from the house.) Forty nine souls were abruptly ushered into eternity that day; seven times seven souls.
Does Thursday, the night of the 12th, really have anything to do with Friday the thirteenth? Well, technically, yes because in Judeo-Christian thought, the day starts on the evening before. So, Jews go to meetings on Friday evening because that is when the Sabbath starts, "And there was evening and there was morning - the first day."Genesis Ch. 1v5
Why should Friday the 13th be bad luck? The fact of the matter is that every day lived outside the grace of God is an unlucky day. We don't need a particularly symbolic or unlucky day to find that something bad has happened to a lot of good people. However for a symbolic and religious explanation, just think of the number 6 and 7 which together are factors of 13.
7 is the perfect number, symbolic of the complete work of God and his perfection. The earth was created in 7 days; 6 on the other hand, is the number of man. Human beings always fall short of the completion and perfection of God. That is why we need a savior and atonement.
Friday happens to be the sixth day of a seven day week. When that Friday is also numbered thirteen which is the sum of the number of God's perfection and man's imperfection, then we might keep our eyes open for a sign or a symbol of man's imperfection confronted with the perfection and holiness of God.
Who can stand in God's presence? The lucky perhaps? Or more precisely, those who in God's perfect timing symbolically illustrate the principle found in the following verse from psalms 30 v 5: ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
On the morning of Friday the 13th February 2009, a British Airways flight 8456 from Amsterdam made a hard landing at London City Airport and all 67 passengers and crew on board were evacuated to safety. God is gracious and does not allow anything to happen outside of His Grace and control. While the passengers who lived on Friday and those who died on Thursday apparently did nothing more or less to deserve their fate, it is true that all sons and daughters of Adam depend on God for daily breath and bread. He alone decides when and how we meet Him face to face.
When confronted with the existence of disaster, death and despair we feel our own vulnerability. Despite all of the sophistication and self sufficiency of the modern individual, from time to time we are shaken. That is when the advice of the ancient prophet Amos, "Seek God and live,"(Ch5v4) strikes a very sound note for those still within the realm of time.
My belief and conclusion is that it is not false to say that God has our attention already, but, every now and again he gives us an extra sign, perhaps to remind us that he has already given us his all in his atoning death on our behalf. His resurrected and indestructible life-blood atonement is available to all those who call on him in truth.
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