June 15: 12 Sivan
For as long as I can remember, the word “Change” has dominated the political and social landscape and, most certainly, every election cycle. People want politicians to change, and the politicians say they want politics to change. In some way, everyone wants our society to change to more closely conform to their worldview and almost everyone wants their personal circumstances to change. It seems to me that all of these scenarios are intertwined and, consequently, that’s why laws are always changing – all in the hopes that, as things change, they have to get better. Our world has definitely changed but I’m not so sure that things have gotten better. Actually, they’ve gotten a lot worse and the Bible tells us why that is so.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12:
Now let’s compare our constant desire for change with the fact that God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). The book of Hebrews tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God doesn’t change and, consequently, He doesn’t call upon us to change either – He calls upon us to return. In Hebrew, the word is shuv and it means to “turn around” and “reverse course”; return and go back to where you started. Here’s an example.
“Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.” (Hosea 6:1-2)
This passage is one of many in the Bible that speaks of the restoration of all things. The prophet Amos referred to it as the “restoration of David’s fallen tabernacle.” Other times it is referred to as the “restoration of the Kingdom of Israel,” but all of these terms speak of the same thing: everything will go back to where it began. But before God’s original purpose for Creation and Mankind can be restored, according to Hosea 6, there must be a time of revival. Also according to Hosea 6, before there can be a time of revival, His people must return to Him, which is to say, they must repent. In fact the Hebrew word, shuv, translated “return,” is the same word for “repent.” This process of restoration that Hosea speaks of is validated in the New Testament:
“Repent (shuv) therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing (revival) may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)
The ultimate goal is restoration, but before that can occur, there must be revival and that is initiated by sincere repentance – returning to God. While man screams for change, God appeals to us to return. God wants us to repent so that we can restored in every way, most importantly, that we can be reunited with Him. So our prayer today is that we reject cultural trends and the constant desire for change. Instead let us reverse course and to return to the ancient paths that lead us to the Creator.