Until that day, make me a channel

The day of the Lord is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.
Just as you drank on my holy hill,
so all the nations will drink continually;
they will drink and drink
and be as if they had never been.  Obadiah v15-16

These are the words of God delivered by Obadiah to a particular people in a particular time in a particular place. But nothing has changed. These rules still stand. We don’t know when or where or how God will come and hold us accountable for all that we have done and not done, but we do know why.

As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.

In all our journeyings with the Children of Israel throughout the Old Testament so far, we’ve sensed that strong theme of consequence. Our enemies will not get away with what they have done. But neither will we. Of course, Jesus brings a new dimension into the equation – God’s grace, God’s redemption through Jesus’ death on the cross. But that still demands action. Faith in action. Love in action. Not to earn our place before God but as a natural outworking of it.

And as we saw yesterday, Jesus was keen to teach his followers about consequence too. Just because we may consider ourselves saved, that does not mean we can sit back and do nothing. Or even worse, actively take decisions or back governments or act in ways that harm others.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?   Romans 6:1-2

I’m not advocating that we go through life paralysed by the fear that we will get it wrong and attract God’s wrath. Not at all. As we’ve seen throughout the Old Testament, all of that is far more complicated than we can begin to predict. But I do think we need to live with the perspective of consequence. That that will change how we live. That treating others as we wish to be treated will change our lives and theirs. That living with a sense of responsibility to those around us and to our planet will make a difference. And actually, how we treat our own minds and bodies and spirits will affect our own lives one way or another.

But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;
it will be holy,
and Jacob will possess his inheritance.  Obadiah v17

But for those who trust and obey, there will be deliverance. For those intent on developing a relationship with the one true God, there will be protection. They will be set apart. They will enter in to all that God has promised them.

And God will use them to set things right.

Jacob will be a fire
and Joseph a flame;
Esau will be stubble,
and they will set him on fire and destroy him.
There will be no survivors
from Esau.’
The Lord has spoken.  Obadiah v18

God’s people will be part of the equation. Part of the solution. They will be instrumental in bringing God’s justice here on earth. When we pray ‘Let your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven’, we have to be prepared to be a part of that We need to actively be working for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done.

Obadiah talks of how all the surrounding nations will move into the land of Edom to possess it. Including God’s people – This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan and the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad. We will be called on to work with others for good. To collaborate. To stand shoulder to shoulder against rising evil and prejudice.

Whilst God’s people are described as set apart and holy, that is not to be taken in a literal sense. We need to be out there getting stuck in. Getting our hands dirty.

For this is what we are working towards –

Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion
to govern the mountains of Esau.

And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.  Obadiah v21

One day, God’s kingdom will come, His will will be done on earth as in heaven. Until that day, we have to make do with those special daily glimpses of heaven on earth. Those deeply significant moments where we have a strong sense that all is as it should be. Moments when light shines in the darkness, love overcomes hate, hope eradicates despair, kindness defeats cruelty…

Until that day –

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there is doubt, true faith in You
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is despair in life, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *