God prepares the way for the IsraelitesIn the 21st century the world faced with many questions: "Does God exist?" "Who is God?" "Is God sovereign?" These questions come about considering the changing world in which we live. There are many challenges which face the world such as war, corruption, injustice and natural disasters. In addition we have media reports of corrupt 'pastors' who mislead and abuse their flocks. These experiences tempt us to doubt God's existence and his sovereignty.
The Israelites, just like us today, were faced with various strange beliefs and practices but had an opportunity to trust and worship one and true God the creator. In Numbers 14:14 we are told that the Israelites had an opportunity not only to see their LORD face to face but also to be led by him in their journey through a pillar of cloud by day as well as a pillar of fire by night.
As this year's mission theme and our reading remind us: God is still present in the 21st century. He is not only present but also sovereign and in control: "The earth is the LORD's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters." (Ps.24:1-2)
The LORD's existence and sovereignty is visible even those who are not yet a part of the church. Moses affirms that other people and nations have 'already heard' how God has been with the Israelites. Our God is at work in every part of the world, even among those nations that aren't at peace, even those that strongly condemn Christian faith and persecute the few that practice it. Therefore, the gospel should be preached beyond the boundaries of our regions. Jesus prayed for everyone in the world when he stated that: "My prayer is not for them (believers) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message" (John 17:20).
It is possible to get distracted by the challenges we face in this world and even begin to think that God is absent and lose our faith and focus. It is important to seek God's grace that he should always open our eyes to see and believe in him despite living in the changing world. In a changing world, God remains the same.
Finally, we are all challenged to recognize the presence of God the Trinity in terms of his plan and purpose for our lives wherever we are and to witness about him to others. We should also not forget that even those who don't yet believe have heard about this same God in some way and they need our witness to them as well as prayers for God's illumination upon their lives.
|"And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night." (Numbers14:14)|
My name is James Lungu and I am a husband to Emelly and a Dad to two boys Joel and Walinase-Emanuel. I am serving as a minister at George Presbyterian Church which is a congregation under Muchinga Presbytery in Zambia.
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