‘When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and THE HOUR IS ALREADY LATE. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food,” ’, Matthew chapter 14 verse 15.
In this one verse, Matthew gives us a truly ‘atmospheric’ scene. You can almost feel the light of evening fading and darkness gathering. The place is barren of life-saving resources and people are famished. For the disciples, the only solution was to send the multitude away to fend for themselves. They would need to ‘buy to survive’!
I hope you will allow me to take this verse out of its context and apply it to ourselves today. As we gaze around the world, following the pandemic, we could justifiably conclude, ‘This is a deserted place’. Thriving communities have been devastated in so many ways; indeed, so far, nearly 4 million people have died and millions have lost loved ones. Most people have no answer to the hurt and the pain that abounds. They sympathise as best they can; largely, however, they have to leave others to fend for themselves. They recognise that the ‘hour is already too late’ to change the situation.
It is a great comfort to turn to the Bible and discover that God does not abandon us in our HOUR of need. As we have seen, the disciples would have abandoned the multitude in the deserted place and told them to ‘go and buy’ elsewhere! God says, through Isaiah, ‘Come buy and eat . . . without money and without price’, Isaiah chapter 55 verse 1. His salvation is free to us, but it cost Him everything, i.e. the sending of His only Son to die for our sins. All we have to do is turn in repentance to Him and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. The HOUR is already late. Trust Him now, before it is too late! If you do, you will never find yourself in a deserted place. He will always be with you, wherever life may take you!