Friday, June 05, 2009

The Stability of Your Times

There can be no doubt about it - our world is unstable. Whether it be the disappearance of a transatlantic plane, or the uncertainty of the stock exchange; the political world of exorbitant and outrageous expenses or the very position of the Prime Minister. The times we live in are unstable.

This is not a modern diagnosis though. Unstable times are not the exclusive privilege of the twenty-first century, nor even just of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For all people in every generation, the times are unstable. Things are uncertain, with the rise of disease, the threat of war and ecological disaster, and the always present reminder of death - the one certain thing in a confused world.

The residents of Jerusalem were living in unstable and uncertain times when they looked over the city walls to see the advancing threat of the Assyrian army. King Sennacherib had defeated and conquered many nations and many cities, and Jerusalem was firmly fixed in his sights. The army must have been huge - 185,000 were to die in one night, with many more left, and the threat of siege hung over the city like a pall.

Into this situation, the prophet Isaiah speaks God's word, and what a relief it is:

The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.
(Isaiah 33:5-6)

Assyria might threaten, but God is on the throne.

War be on the horizon, but God is on the throne.

The godless enemies bring violence, but God will ensure that righteousness triumphs.

Virtues are in short supply, but God will supply salvation, wisdom and knowledge in abundance.

Many trust in riches, wealth and money, but the fear of the LORD is the city's treasure.

We live in uncertain times, but the LORD is the stability of your times.

The LORD is immovable, immutable, and does not change. We can depend on him for all that we need, because he is the faithful God. No wonder one of the titles for the LORD God is the Rock.

Are you on shifting sand today, unstable and uncertain? Build your house on the rock, the LORD, and know his peace and the joy that comes from knowing him.

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