Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 10, 2014

The Unsettled World in Which We Live

 Is Your World Unsettled?

This morning I was reading a devotional sent by Jeff Wells, the senior pastor at Woodsedge Community Church, titled, “Michelangelos.” The devotional referenced the restoration of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings and included a quote from a 1993 issue of Time Magazine on the subject which included this sentence:

“The 40-45 foot fresco on the west altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, on which Michelangelo labored for five years, is also a searing, unsparing personal document – both of the unsettled world in which Michelangelo lived and of the artist’s inner torment and fear of approaching death.”

While the major thrust of the devotional was on man’s sin and God’s grace, that one part of the quote from Time Magazine on the “unsettled world in which Michelangelo lived” jumped out at me.

As I reflected on that thought I began to consider the fact that no one has ever lived in a world that was not unsettled; unsettled is the norm for this world and seems to characterize the experience of every generation that comes along.

It has saddened me to think of the world that is being handed over to our children and grandchildren, but then I reflect on the world that was handed over to my generation, a world in the midst of The Great Depression which was to be followed shortly after by the Second World War and then followed by a succession of trials and tribulations which continue to this day.

It would appear the world we’re handing over to our children and grandchildren is, historically speaking, a fairly average unsettled world; not too much at all out of the ordinary. That does not mean I am pleased with the world condition being turned over to them because I am certainly not pleased, but perhaps I am becoming more resigned to the reality of the situation; they, in turn, will have to labor and strive to build their lives in their own unsettled world.

Fair Warning

God, in His grace, has given us fair warning that our lives on this earth would have problems. Starting back in Genesis 3:17-19:

“17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

This may sound bad enough but it is only the tip of the iceberg because Adam’s disobedience also caused the spiritual death of the entire human race; all humanity with human fathers is born spiritually dead and that most specifically includes you and me and everyone any of us have ever met or known about.

Now the Good News

As we read through both the Old and New Testaments it is easy to find many additional warnings about the unsettled condition of our world. We also find some exceedingly good news, which includes the fact this world is not our home, this world and our mortal lives on it is not the beginning and end of who we are.

While the world was cursed because of Adam’s disobedience, God had also developed a plan for mankind’s redemption from the penalties of the curse. The plan required that God pay a great price for mankind’s restoration and the removal of the curse from the earth; God would have to become a part of His creation, He would have to become a human being and shed His blood as the atoning sacrifice for Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden; our eternal God would have to actually die and rise again to life on the third day in order to restore mankind and provide the deliverance mankind so desperately needed.

God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, took on human form and was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; He was named Jesus and became God’s revelation of Himself to a fallen humanity; the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We can now look forward to death with the absolute certainty that our eternal home is with the Lord; death is our doorway to Christ.

Looking Beyond our Unsettled World

One of the great joys of being a Christian in our unsettled world is the sure knowledge the best is yet to come. While it pleases the Lord to leave His children on this earth while the process of being conformed to the image of His Son is begun in each child; the Lord has also blessed us with the opportunity to look, by faith, beyond the confines of this unsettled world to the spiritual realities which will ultimately prevail.

In Romans 8:18-25 it is written:

“18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

As we approach this wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, our Kinsman Redeemer, let each of us determine to set aside our concerns about this unsettled world and simply rejoice in the Lord and the promises of the blessings to come.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

 


Responses

  1. David, this is another great exposition regarding spiritual matters. It does seem to me that while there was great turmoil in the early to mid 20th century, there didn’t seem to be the utter disregard for God that is evident in so many areas of public and political discourse as we find in the beginning of the 21st. However, this is no surprise as we view scripture. We are thankful God is in control. His plan moves forward. Thanks, Dick

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  2. Beautifully written. I am so glad we have a HOPE that is bigger than the problems of this world! Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

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  3. Thanks David for this great message, but we have to consider what are the reasons behind this unsettled world? If you just look around the world, you see that Islam, as a Sanatic religion, teaches hatred and Jihad. Jihad means to fight the infidels who are the Jews Christians. This is evident by the fact that the terrorist groups in the world are committing their barbaric crimes in the name of Islam. In the west, Islam is promoted as a peaceful religion, but it is not due to the fact there many verses in the Book of Islam, the Quran that urges to kill and hit on the neck, as it says in Surat Alanfal verse 16. So any mosque in any city could be a place from which this teaching goes. This is the bad news, but the good news: “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). Jesus is the solution for this unsettled world . To fight terrorism, we have no choice but to promote the Gospel to Moslems around the world. Thanks Hanna

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    • Dear Hanna,

      Thank you for your comment and for signing up as a new subscriber. Your life and ministry in Jerusalem places you in the center of the action that is happening now and will happen in the future. I agree with your assessment of Islam and assure you many in the United States join us as well. I have written and taught on Islam many times and have five parallel English translations of the Qur’an on my computer for reference purposes. My most recent articles on Islam are a three part series which started on September 17, 2014 with https://rdavidbower.com/2014/09/17/isil-isis-and-islam-by-david-bower/. I would be interested in knowing what you think about the series.

      Your brother in Christ,

      David

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  4. Am catching up on your writings and your comments on feelings struck home. Not sure we even realize how many times we talk and agonize about our feelings. Knowledge makes for firm ground. Thank you for this blog. Actually I say that about all of them.

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    • Kathy,

      Thank you for your comment. Adele keeps me informed on you and David; I hope you are close to finding a church that pleases you and honors the Lord.

      In Christ’s love,

      David

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