WHEN THE WORLD SHAKES
“Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).
It is hard sometimes to look around us at our circumstances in this crumbling and decaying world and remain unshaken. On some level, we all rely on the world’s institutions and when they are shaken, as they inevitably are, we feel the tremors in our own lives. Make a list of the things you rely on the world for—food, gasoline, electricity, city water, police protection, the justice system, free trade. When these things are shaken, we can feel shaken too because we are connected to them. Is there anyway for us to avoid these connections, so we can avoid the tremors in our lives? Not really. It is the nature of living in a fallen world—we cannot escape the corruption of sin here on earth, and we are carried through its cycles of peace and war, plenty and disaster.
People trust that the world will provide solutions and institutions they can rely on to solve the problems resulting from sin, despite the fact that not one institution mankind has ever built has endured. Each has been shaken, and every single one has collapsed, to be replaced by something new or different. Mankind would like to call this “progress,” but history witnesses the genocide, collapse, conquest, and layoffs that result in pain, misery, uncertainty, and distress for millions of people. Kingdoms, countries, and companies fall. Take for example the world’s oldest continually operating family business, Kongo Gumi, which was forced to shut its doors in 2007 after 1,400 years of building Japanese temples because of effects from the 1992 recession. No human institution has withstood the test of time. This is all due to sin—the effects of our sin-nature and personal sin. Death, disease, and disaster shake the continuity of human institutions and personal sin results in betrayal, murder, and all forms of wickedness that shake the very fabric of society. The shaking of entire nations are just the tremors of things yet to come as Isaiah saw in a vision that the earth was “broken asunder, The earth is split through, The earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard And it totters like a shack, For its transgression is heavy upon it, And it will fall, never to rise again” (Isaiah 24:19-20), “so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:27b) —Christ’s Kingdom.
When the world shakes around Believers, we know it is only for a brief while, for we have been given a place, a future in a Kingdom that can never be shaken, and a King that can never be brought down. This is how we can understand David when he says the righteous man “will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever” (Psalm 112:6). Promises and guarantees on earth fall through and people are forgotten, but not in God’s Kingdom—He does not forget us, and His Word is His bond. So, while the world is shaken at times by the horrors of sin and men counseled by the devil, we are not moved, because Jesus is our rock. He is our foundation stretching out to us from the calm of Eternity to get us through the spiritual and physical upheavals all around us until He draws us safely home to the eternal life and peace of His unshakable reign.
When we feel the tremors that befall earth, may we pray, “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2). Amen.