Friday, 25 February 2011

Living in a Shaky World

We live in a shaky world. It is a world that is filled with turmoil and uncertainties. Over the last few weeks the headlines have been dominated by 'shakiness'. The middle east has been shaken by poltical unrest and upheaval, with recent uprisings in Egypt and Libya. New Zealand has been shaken by a devastating earthquake in Christchurch. All of these events make us realise how uncertain and insecure this world really is, and makes us long for security. We live in a shaky world.

Where then should we look as Christians living in the midst of this shaky world? Over recent days Psalm 46 has been brought to my mind. It gives us both a vivid picture of the reality of this shaky world, and gives us as God's people great certainty in the midst of such 'shakiness'. Listen to what the first seven verses tell us:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This Psalm reminds us, as God's people in Christ, that though all things should be falling down around us we have no reason to fear. Why? Because God is our refuge and ever present help (verse 1), He is with us (verse 7). In the midst of a world that seems to be falling down around us we have one who is an unfailing refuge.

In verses 4-7 the Psalm points us to an unshakeable city. This is a city where God is present among His people (verse 4-5), and which "shall not be moved" (verse 5). In the Old Testament this is referring to Jerusalem, but the Psalm  points far beyond a small plot of land in the Middle East. This unshakeable city finds its fulfillment in the New Jerusalem which Revelation 21-22 speaks of, which shall be seen and enjoyed in all its fullness when Jesus returns. It is a place where God is fully present with His people (Revelation 21:3), and a place of utter security for His people (hence the gates will never be shut 21:25).

In the midst of a shaky world Christ's people have an unshakeable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28), and we look forward to the hope of an unshakeable city (Revelation 21-22). We have a city that no amount of miliatary force can overthrow, and no earthquake can topple. This is because we have a king who reigns with all power over all nations (Psalm 2:7-9), and who shall reign for all eternity (Luke 1:32-33), the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, as we find the world around us being shaken, let us remind ourselves that in Christ we have an unshakeable kingdom, and ever look to Him for refuge in a shaky world. When everything is falling down around us, if we are in Christ we have ultimate security and we shall not be shaken.