For four hundred years a hope had smoldered, waiting for the winds of freedom to fan it into flame. Whips and curses, leering gods and the ignominious force of tyranny threatened to extinguish even its spark, but God had remembered His promise to Israel and seizing Pharaoh on his throne crushed his dynasty into oblivion. Hope surged, freedom blossomed into reality and leaving Egypt and its oppressive darkness behind, skipped across the heaving waters of the Red Sea and into the very presence of Jehovah.
The river was running red, blood red from a new wound opened in the heart of Heaven's mighty monarch. The sword of judgment, unsheathed and dripping gore flashed angrily in the hand of Jehovah Himself. The bowl of wrath, brimming with four thousand years of man's rebellion and cruelty had tipped, its contents flooding over and soaking into the very soul of the righteous and unresisting Son of Man, convulsing Him in wave after wave of darkness and the death dealing horrors of humanities sins, settling forever the score engendered.
Eternity held its breath, watching as the ember of hope dimmed and blinked out. Deep darkness covered the earth and the earth trembled as in death throes, gasped in a shuddering hopeless sob and clasping hope to its stony breast, wept with the damned—for hope was indeed dead. But, Hope revived when hope was lost and as the cold and silent ember pulsed to life, it ignited a conflagration in the lifeless fields so that hope reborn became and remains the anthem of saints.
The bowl of mans' folly is overfull and canting precariously. Already the deadly sword is descending and the winds of judgment are beginning to blow. The very air is electric with fear of things to come and because of its uncertainty, humanity is ready to accept the man with the answers. And like ancient Egypt whose arrogance and pride set them in direct opposition to the God who is able, our present world is ripe for the calamities that nation endured. The river is running red, blood red, and though the sword remains uplifted as the bowl brims with judgment, and the cruel ungodly world grows daily more corrupt, the river, carried into the heavens by Jesus Himself is pouring down; bathing the mountains, filling the valleys, and spreading across the plains; covering the earth and filling the hearts of millions with renewed hope. The prince of darkness has gnashed his teeth in vain. He has incited his hordes to no avail, for each and every martyr created by him becomes a spark that ignites faith and instills hope where there was none. Heaven's army grows daily larger as saints, following the Master in his mastery of death, ascend with Him in anticipation of the final victory.
The river is running clear, crystal clear and issuing from beneath the throne of God. No longer bleeding mortal red, the river is the river of immortality, the water of the river is the water of life and the life it bestows has its origin, not beneath the throne from which it flows, but in a garden tomb where death succumbed to life and the embattled King and His church was birthed anew. Hope lives.
[Editor's comments: Ronald Gadberry has accepted my invitation to be a Contributing Writer for Hugh's News. He is an ordained minister of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and a member of the New Horizons Ministries. He is offering his services as an evangelist and singer to pastors of churches who are now preparing their 2016 revival and preaching mission services.
You may contact Ronald Gadberry at the following address and/or telephone numbers:
The Rev. Mr. Ronald Gadberry
509 Cottage Park Lane
Shawnee, Oklahoma 74804
1-405-834-0479 / 1-405-808-2937
He will do your church good.]