Before I jump into this intro. I think it is important that we all remember that these teachings we are listening to, even the introduction I am about to read were delivered back in 2011. It continues to be so interesting how many of these thoughts we are about to hear remain true still today.
We all know that we live in strange and troubling times. Someone once called this “the age of anxiety,” and it is. Hurricanes are striking odd places. Catastrophic floods and catastrophic droughts are found worldwide. There are devastating earthquakes leaving tens of thousands of people dead in dozens of countries. There are senseless terror bombings happening across the globe. As of 2011 when this was written, there was a horrible war in Afghanistan and continuing violence in Iraq. Of course in the current day we have a war happening in the Ukraine and many geopolitical situations of courcern around the globe.
Taken together, this creates a spirit of fear, and this spirit of fear makes us angry, uptight, tense, hostile, sullen, and very impatient with each other. We see this in the increasing incidences of road rage, domestic abuse, and criminal acts. The sad truth is this: we Americans appear to hate each other equally.
Anger seems to lie just beneath the surface of every human being, but this anger is just another symptom of society’s ills. In fact, the Bible predicts that in “the last days” God will shake the nations so that “those things that cannot be shaken will be shaken” (Hebrews 12:26-27).
When Eugene Peterson paraphrased the last part of verse 27 in The Message, he said that God will shake the earth, “getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” Unshakable essentials---that says it all. God is shaking the earth so that we will figure out what matters most.
But this situation is not totally unique to our times. The prophet Elijah felt many of these same strains and stresses, so much so, that he virtually had a nervous collapse. Pastor Harris will discuss his circumstances in this episode.