If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
We’re not in Acts 17 today, but rather in 1 Kings 14:19-15:32; Galatians 2:11-14; Mark 14:1-9 and Psalm 96. And yet, Psalm 96 and Paul’s address on Mars Hill have so much in common – one might think the same author was behind them both. That is the wonder of the unity of the Bible, having been inspired by the same Holy Spirit throughout. And we’ll look at that today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m your host, Reid Ferguson.
God’s people have a commission in Psalm 96:10. A message for all men. It is part and parcel with the Gospel. We have a command to proclaim it to the nations. To publish 3 things. 3 things Paul also majored on in his address in Acts 17.
1st. The Lord reigns. God is indeed sovereign. Man is not. Man is morally responsible for his self-determined actions, and yet there is a God who rules over all. Chaos does not reign. Evil doesn’t reign. Nor do randomness, politicians, tyrants, movements, pandemics or anything else. The Church needs to proclaim to itself – and to the World at large – as our text says: “Say among the nations, The Lord reigns.” They need to know the source of the Christian’s hope and confidence in troubled and uncertain times.
2nd. The earth shall never be moved. Man’s notion that he can destroy this world is nothing but fallen hubris. Another attempt at man declaring himself to be God. He is not. This is God’s world and it will remain until He is done with it. Yes, we will be responsible for failed stewardship of it. Yes, we need to pay attention to disasters we may bring upon ourselves through the misuse and abuse of this present earthly home. But do not imagine we can do so to the utter thwarting of God’s plans, nor the negation of His promises. Because God established the earth for His purposes, it shall never be moved until His purposes for it are finished.
3rd. He WILL judge the nations with equity. There is a judgment coming. Everyone will give an account for themselves, by the standard of God’s own righteousness. Russia and everyone in it will be judged. China and everyone in it will be judged. North Korea and everyone in it will be judged. Sweden and everyone in it will be judged. The United States and everyone in it will be judged. No nation, no person will escape.
Are you ready? For in that day, the question will not be – as we hear so often today “were you on the right side of history?” as we imagine it and as moral (or immoral) movements ask. It will be, “have you been reconciled to the God of all the universe through the substitutionary atonement His Son made for sin on Calvary?” Have you “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come?” 1 Th 1:9–10.
If not, your eternity will be the issue, not the 70 or so years you thought were the end-all here. Not your profession of what you believe, or think or imagine – but where you stand in relation to the Living God – either in Christ, or in your sin.
Turn to Him today.
Psalm 96:11–13 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
That’s something to consider.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.