It seems that the news is bad at every turn. We see in our feeds the upward spiral of the Covid-19 pandemic only to scroll down to watch our cities set on fire by the frustration and anger of protestors followed by stories of despair from those struggling with the long periods of isolation and uncertainty. It can very quickly begin to feel like the whole world is shaking apart.
The clamoring we see from all sides in the comment section shows us that people are looking for answers. We are all looking for a perspective from which we can begin to make sense of the current state of affairs. And people are shouting from every direction with their best opinion about who’s to blame and where the answers come from.
This passage in Hebrews reminds us of our only true hope in the middle of such calamity and turmoil.
First, it tells us that nothing happens apart from God’s sovereign control. The earth shakes only by the voice of God. From front to back, the Bible is a book about our creator God who has established a plan for the redemption of the whole world, and there is no power in the earth, over the earth or under the earth that can thwart the will of God (Isaiah 14:27).
Second, the writer of Hebrews tells us that God will sometimes allow the earth to shake so that we can see that which is unshakable. When we are in Christ, we belong to a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, and even though the world around us seems like it is spinning out of control, it is often in those times that the we can finally see the One who is constant. When the false options we turn to for security and assurance are failing to deliver on their promises, we are almost forced to focus away from the temporal to the eternal and there see the One who has been there all along.
And the writer closes this section by showing us how we connect our shaking experience to the unshakable reality of God’s Kingdom – gratitude and worship. As we focus our attention on the goodness of God and His unchanging love and mercy, gratitude begins to well up in our hearts.
And as we spend more time appreciating God’s faithfulness, we should find ourselves giving Him our whole lives as an acceptable sacrifice and spiritual worship.
The more our lives are centered on the unshakable kingdom the less we are knocked off balance by the shaking that seems to be taking over our world.