Sun am 17 September 2017 – Kobus Swart
Gen. 1:1-2; Isa.45: 18; Isa. 34:8-11; Jer. 4:23-26; Gen. 2:7; Gen. 4:6-10; Num. 35:33; Jer. 12:4 &11; Gen. 6:1-11; (Gen. 19); Luke 17:26-30; Rom. 8:19-22; 2 Chron. 7:12-14; (Ps. 24:1); (I Cor. 10:26); (Matt. 6:10)
It should not surprise us that in the light of all the disasters that are hitting the earth that we should look again at what the Word of God says about that. There are disasters in nature: earthquakes, flooding, storms, hurricanes. What about all the threat of nuclear war? It is time to take a fresh look at what could be behind all of this. What I believe God wants us to hear and absorb is that the devil is not in charge! We should not turn a blind eye to the news; to ignore it is irresponsible, but ask God for the right Biblical response.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) Do you believe and agree that the earth belongs to God? The earth will be covered by the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Creation responded to the Word of God. It is a very fundamental statement. The second verse puzzles me. What do you think it looked like when God created the heavens and the earth? Something must have happened between verse 1 and verse 2. The earth was formless (tohu) and void (bohu) (Gen. 1:2). These two words in the original language ‘TOHU’ and ‘BOHU’ appear in only three other Scriptures in the Bible. For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited) (Isa. 45:18). That word waste is ‘tohu’. For the Lord has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion. …. And He will stretch over it the line of desolation (‘tohu’) And the plumb line of emptiness (‘bohu’) (Isa. 34:8-11). This, in brief, is the result of God’s anger and vengeance. I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the Lord, before His fierce anger (Jer. 4:23-26).
We need not overreact but let us have a better understanding of what is happening. I believe that the book of Genesis is one of the most important books in the whole Bible. All the foundations, all the genes, all the beginnings are found right here in the book of Genesis. This is where the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). The whole universe is a living organism and we are part of that. Man was formed from the dust of the earth and you will see why there is such a reaction from the earth when there is injustice. The first big problem was between Cain and Abel. “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground” (Gen. 4:6-10). I want you to see the interaction, the unity of everything in the universe; it is connected in a very mysterious way. The earth responded to the first murder. So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it (Num. 35:33).
This shows the connection between things going wrong and the earth responding to it. Something went wrong to such an extent that the sovereign God grieved because He had made man (Gen. 6:1-10). What followed was the flood. God wiped out humanity except for Noah and his family, a total of 8 people in the arc.
Genesis chapter 19 is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Two angels came to Sodom and Lot was sitting at the gate. Lot baked unleavened bread and the angels ate. Angels can materialise and become like you and me and they can eat. The men in Sodom heard about the two angels in Lot’s house and they wanted to have sexual intercourse with them. God warned Lot and his family to flee the city. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah; He destroyed the cities of the valley and nothing was left. God responded to that sinful deed and to the culture that was part of Sodom and Gomorrah. The earth was filled with violence and it caused God to respond with anger.
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30).
Dr William Hinn gives these statistics: in 1973 churches in the USA started allowing abortion and since then an average of 3000 babies per day have been aborted; so far a total of 15 million innocent babies have been aborted. The earth became cursed with innocent blood.
How does God see the trend toward same-sex marriage? It is legalised in many countries now. Since the 1990’s natural disasters have affected 217 million people each year. Many scientists agree today that the climate chaos we are seeing is because of human behaviour and global warming cannot be blamed for everything. With this very condensed little bit of information, we can come to at least one or two conclusions. It is possible that the conditions in the world which seem to be on the increase, have to do with the wrath of God, with the anger of God? Many people say God cannot be angry, He is always kind and loving, but we have to read the Scriptures above to and see what happened.
Then, on Facebook people react when they see these things saying: get ready the “rapture” is going to take place any moment. What we have just read in Luke 17, “As it was in the days of Noah, as it was in the days of Lot, so it will be when the Son of Man is revealed. Revelation means to unveil so that we can see what is. Christ in us is the hope of glory. So what needs to be revealed? Christ in us needs to come forth and become visible, the corporate man, the corporate Christ. The revealing of the Son in the sons! Creation is in travail, creation is on tip-toe (Rom. 8:19-22).
Can I make a prediction? The cry of creation is going to get louder and louder. Creation is one and it responds because of its link to the One who created it.
What should the response of the Church be? Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:12-14). The earth belongs to the Lord and the fullness thereof (Ps. 24:1 & I Cor. 10:26). Do not give this earth to the devil! Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Why do we want to run away from earth? The earth belongs to the Lord. What is required of the Church of Jesus-Christ is this response: Humble ourselves and pray! I believe not just here but the Church of Jesus Christ in whatever expression and label, there has to be this response. Not because we want to live a better life but we want to see the manifestation of the Son of God in the sons. Romans 8 is going to become loud because the next step is our resurrection body, a body like Jesus Christ after His resurrection from the dead!