Have you ever experienced a coincidence that seemed just a little too real? Just a little too pointed right at you? I have! Since I became a believer I have referred to these as God-incidences, either because they could only have come from God or because they have pointed me in some direction or to some truth that refers to God in some way. Like just the other day . . .
I was craving some good rock music at work last week so I opened up YouTube at lunchtime and listened to a little Switchfoot. After a few songs I just so happened to looked over to the right on the YouTube page and looked down through their "you might also like" column and saw the name of a classic Christian band - Petra. I have never listened to their music before so I thought I would give it a try.
But before I did I noticed another video just a few selections down. It was of a rock formation. Not a song but a video of some sandstone and an ancient teample carved out of the rock. And what's weird was, I had seen that rock formation before. I was curious so I clicked on the video. The first step of my journey to Petra.
I watched the video, forgetting all about Petra, the 80's Christian rock band. I was fascinated as the
camera panned around through the narrow canyons, revealing intricate carvings in the ancient stone walls. VERY interesting. VERY! But where had I seen this place called Petra before? I went back and searched for my videos about this ancient city. That's when I came across a video that read, "Petra - Indiana Jones." THAT'S where I had seen it before! Petra is featured in the final scene of Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade. Whew! Glad that mystery was solved. Hah! Think again, blog boy!
The next day I was at home searching for something to watch on television. I don't watch all that much TV but I felt like watching something that day. Mhmm. Scrolling down through the program guide I saw the next step in my Petra journey. A movie . . . named Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade. I selected the movie, which was nearing its end. What do you know. When the movie came on, Indiana, his father and Marcus Brodie were riding through the narrow canyons coming into . . . Petra. Just in time.
So I watched the end of the movie, hearing lines like "Penitent men shall pass. Penitent, Penitent." and "It's a leap of faith!" And when the villain drank from the wrong cup and perished the Grail Guard siad, "He chose . . . poorly." Point taken.
Then, a few days later, I found myself watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with my wife. She likes Transformers. She also likes Linkin Park whose songs are featured in all of the Transformer movies. My wife surprises me sometimes. :)
So anyway, we're watching and the hero of the movie and some of the 'bots are headed for the big showdown in some small dessert Middle-eastern village and they come across THIS place. Petra. What is up with Petra? And why is it appearing everywhere in my life lately?!
What's so special about Petra? Here's some info from the Internet . . . so we KNOW it's true, right? (Walk cautiously)
Petra is an archaeological site in the Arabah, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan, lying on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is renowned for its rock-cut architecture. Petra is also one of the new wonders of the world. The Nabateans constructed it as their capital city around 100 B.C.
As I thought about Petra I remembered something else. Have you ever read the Left Behind books? They are a series of fictional novels based on the end time prohesies contained in the Bible. As the series nears its end, and the remnant of believers is about to be attacked, they flee. They flee to a place of safety that God has provided for them. Any guesses as to where that might be? Mhmm. Petra. The following is from an Internet summary I found about that event.
Petra is the location where the remnant of Israel fled to through Operation Eagle and stayed during the last 3 1/2 years of Tribulation. It was divinely protected by God during those years that the Israeli and Jewish refugees, as well as members of the Tribulation Force, stayed in Petra, where He fed the people daily with manna and gave them an endless supply of water, created when weapons of mass destruction launched from Amman struck their targets and failed to incinerate them. Tsion Ben-Judah stayed in Petra throughout the last half of the Tribulation to act as the leader and minister of the people, trying to reach out to the undecided refugees with daily teaching of the gospel. However, one group of undecideds rebelled against Tsion and Chaim Rosenzweig and were consumed by the earth swallowing them up, while another group was lured away from Petra by a false messiah performing various miracles and then were destroyed by fiery serpents.
Why this sudden influx of "Petra" in my life? I have no idea. HOwever, it reminds me that we all must be on guard and be prepared for what is coming. I is NOT fiction! The words of Jesus from the Book of Matthew:
"15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again." - Matthew 24:15-21
So, whether Jesus returns this week or years from now, we have been commanded by Jesus to be ready for His coming. I take all these appearances of Petra" in my life recently as a reminder of that fact. One day Jesus WILL return. There is no doubt because He promised.
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." - Matthew 24:42
Please read Matthew 24 this week. Maybe read it as you listen to a classic Christian rock band from the 80's - Petra! And remember that Petra is Greek for ROCK. Remember Peter? On this ROCK I will build my church. Peter = Petra. Interesting.
Back to the Rock (Live concert) by Petra
Petra in The Bible by GotQuestions.org