I was reading in Isaiah 17 this morning about Damascus being shaken like a tree so that all its fruit falls off, all but a few pieces on top left to point to the Lord who shook the tree, and cause the people to look to God above.
“In that day man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will look on the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands, and he will not look on what his own fingers have made, either the Asherim or the altars of incense.” Isaiah 17:7-8
The devastation brought by the earthquakes in Kumamoto has been great, but every time the earth is shaken, walls break and idols tumble. Don’t think me careless, I love the people of Japan and I have friends in Kumamoto whom I care about greatly. But my hope lies in a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and I rejoice to see the idols and walls that hold people captive break so that they may be set free. This is my prayer for Kumamoto, for Japan. I pray that the chains which hold them captive to idolatry, materialism, and self service will be broken off, and that God will introduce the people of Japan to Himself, and salvation and freedom in Jesus Christ so that they too can be citizens of an unshakeable kingdom. Will you pray with me?
…He has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:26-29
Looking through the images of the aftermath, I saw several things shaken. The wall of the Kumamoto Castle was broken and the gigantic rocks it was built with littered the ground. Wine in stores crashed and spilled. Idols, both in the city and in individual homes had fallen. With everything shaken, the people flocked together for safety in the streets, and the things they sought to rescue revealed what is most important to their hearts. I have several friends from Nagoya, Osaka, and Chiba, including some of our teammates waiting for us to come to Osaka who went to help provide relief in the name of Jesus. I read an account of a Christian woman being trapped in rubble, and responding that recalling Scripture helped her through the ordeal when asked by a news reporter how she survived. Please, Christian, pray that these witnesses will not go unheard. Pray that their eyes will be opened to the Light breaking through the darkness around them, and that they will surrender their broken hearts to the One who can purify and make them whole.