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April 7, 2013
For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them … And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood … See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:18-29)
The world, and everything in it, is shaking. Something that shakes is something that is unstable. Something that shakes is something that will not stand. The above text from the letter to the Hebrews points out that the things which shake are the things that are “created.” These are the things of the physical realm—they are temporary.
The governments of the world shake. The economies of the world shake. Nations rise and fall. Some divide, others merge. Systems of government change. Laws change. New leaders replace old ones. No matter how much man or Satan wants to make his government and economy unified and stable, it won’t happen and can’t happen. Scripture is plain—these things shake. Even more, God is the one in charge. Remember the tower of Babel? “They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” (Genesis 11:4). “Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:9). Remember the message of God through Daniel? “Daniel said, ‘Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:20-22).
The social world shakes. Class, ethnic, and race struggles occur all over the world. Morals in dress, sex, speech, etc. are constantly altered. Homes face upheavals—divorce, unmarried cohabitation, same sex marriage, etc. Again, Scripture tells me these things shake. No matter how many immoral acts and thoughts man comes up with, they are temporary.
The intellectual world shakes. New theories replace old ones in science, medicine, technology, and every other area of so-called intellect. Methods of teaching have been revolutionized. Text books, instructional materials, equipment, etc. are often obsolete by the time they are produced.
The religious and philosophical world shakes. Modernism, humanism, rationalism, secularism have replaced divine faith. The social gospel has engulfed nearly all religious groups. Ecumenicity, unity in diversity, situation ethics have become the standard of authority. Those who claim to be scholars or students of “the facts” spend their time listening to one another instead of God. More time is spent reading man’s “facts” and observations than in reading His word. This is why Paul, through the Spirit, warned Timothy: “Guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” (1Timothy 6:20).
Let all of these things shake as that which can be shaken ought to be shaken and will be shaken. However, there are some things which remain unshaken, which stand, and cannot be moved.
God stands unshaken. God is (Genesis 1:1). Nature shows that God is (Psalm 19:1-6; Job 12:7-9; Jeremiah 5:21-22; compare also Romans 1:20). God is almighty (Genesis 17:1; 35:11; Joshua 22:22; Psalm 50:1; Revelation 1:8; 4:8). God is sovereign (Exodus 3:13‑15; 6:2-8; Deuteronomy 4:35; Psalm 100:3; 46:10-11).
Nature shows God because God is Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 40:28; Romans 1:25; 1Peter 4:19). He created all things (Job 38:4; Psalm 102:25; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 42:5; 45:18; Mark 13:19; Acts 14:15; 17:24). He created man (Genesis 1:27; 5:1; 6:6; Malachi 2:10; Zechariah 12:1).
Only in the unshaken God is there unity. God Himself is one (Deuteronomy 6:4). There is no other God (Exodus 8:10; 9:14; Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; Isaiah 43:11; 45:21; Mark 12:32; 1Corinthians 8:4-6; Ephesians 4:6; 1Timothy 2:5). An idol is nothing. No animal, no stone, no figure of metal, or even a man-oriented philosophy or ideal can stand before God (1Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 4:8; Deuteronomy 4:28; Psalm 115:2-8; Acts 14:15; 17:22-29).
I can trust God to remain unshaken because he is alive (John 5:26). He is called “the living God” (Deuteronomy 5:26; Psalm 42:2; 2Corinthians 6:16; 1Timothy 3:15; 4:10; Hebrews 9:14; 12:22). He lives “forever and ever” (Revelation 4:9-10; 10:6; 15:7). He is “the eternal God” (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:1-2; 93:2).
God remains unshaken (Psalm 102:26-27; Malachi 3:6). Those things shaken are removed, those things not shaken remain (Hebrews 12:27; compare also 1John 2:17).
I am not in charge. I do not have all of the answers. You are not in charge. You do not have all of the answers, either. No man or group of men is in charge. Satan is not in charge, either. God is. God remains. God is unshaken. “In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:4). “In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11). “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). “We confidently say, ‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?’” (Hebrews 13:6).
Where does your faith lie? In the truest sense, do you put your trust in God who is unshaken? Do you dwell more upon the things that are shaken or the One who remains?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.