Will you fish?

’Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.’

Jeremiah 16:16-18

I’ve got a bit of an eye for a bargain. I used to go to the cinema every Wednesday with a friend on the “Orange Wednesday” deal, where a customer with Orange can buy one cinema ticket and get another free. I subsequently discovered that the Unlimited card offered by one of the large multiplex chains worked out better value. Consequently, I go to the cinema rather a lot!

One of the films that is being heavily trailed at the moment is called “2012.” From what I gather, the film is about the world ending in 2012, something that apparently was predicted by ancient civilisations and in many religious texts. Now I don’t know if this prediction is particularly accurate, but my experience of Hollywood films suggests to me that it probably isn’t. Or, at least, there’s as much chance of the world ending in 2012 as, say, on Saturday 5th September 2009.

As I read through the Bible, I am always amazed at the extent to which the New Testament fulfils, mirrors, or echoes the Old Testament. Here in Jeremiah we have God saying that he will send for many fishers, who will play an important part in the restoration of God’s people to the land that he had given to their fathers. Then, about six centuries later, in Mark 1, we see Jesus also choosing people to become “fishers of men.” The big difference between the passage in Jeremiah and Mark, however, is that Jesus is demonstrating God’s love and mercy, whereas in Jeremiah we see a more angry God. In Jeremiah, God is using the fishers to hunt down those with whom he is angry; Jesus is using his fishers in order to spread the message of salvation to those whom they meet.

Whether one looks at the Old Testament or the New Testament, it is clear that God wants to recruit people to do his will and help establish his kingdom. Will you answer his call?

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