Our readings in Psalms and Mark today provoked many thoughts. Two examples are, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10) and “Blessed are those who strength is in you, and in whose heart are the highways to Zion … they go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion” (verses 5,7).

These examples bring our focus on ourselves – this is the primary value and purpose of our Bible reading. Psalm 83 and Mark 13 are interesting because we see them against the background of world events us today, but they are of no value unless at the same time our minds are exercised about our own faith and the firm foundation that true faith rests upon.

Psalm 83 is an appeal “O God, do not keep silence” (verse 1) as “enemies … lay crafty plans against your people … they say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’” (verses 2-4). Ten enemies are named (verses 6-8) which we can see as having modern equivalents in the same areas. The Psalmists prayer is, “O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind” (verse 13). One day, maybe soon, modern Israel will see how much they need to believe and trust in their God to do this.

In Mark 13 we see how Jesus alarms his disciples by speaking of a time when “there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation until now … if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved … after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling … then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power …” (19,20,24-26).

We understand Christ’s words had a measure of fulfilment when Jerusalem and the nation fell in AD 70 when Christ’s prediction of the destruction of the temple occurred (verse 2) and Israel ceased to exist. But their ultimate application is to judgement on the Gentiles. In understanding and anticipating these events the vital factor is that we constantly have in mind that “blessed are those who strength is in” God.