Why do we need eschatology, or the doctrine of last thing? Obadiah points to God’s sure promises of retribution, redemption, and restoration. We are encouraged to live hopefully as we await God’s final victory, applying our future hope to our current struggles and sharing our confident story with others.
Why We Need EschatologyAugust 6, 2023 | Brandon Cooper
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
if you want to go ahead, grab your Bibles, open up to Obadiah. Again, we will finish up Obadiah this morning.
As you’re turning there one of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow is called freezing cold takes. And it is a sports-themed Twitter account. And it brings out, just draws your attention, to the worst possible takes that, you know, talking heads sport show kind of guys have had. So you know, it’d be the kind of thing with a guy way back when or whatever said, you know, Jordan is never going to make it in this league. He’s too small, he will never be a starter he’s going to wash out in a year or two. And you know, looking back, you’re like, that was a terrible, terrible take. So a lot of that kind of stuff. My favorite ones, though, are the ones from just yesterday. And it’s usually a player who’s talking trash about the game that’s about to happen. And then you know, when it’s not your team, at least, it’s fun when they get just absolutely demolished. And there it is, you know, right there for you. We’re gonna we’re gonna crush this team, all that kind of stuff, and it didn’t happen. The thing about trash talk, of course, is that it only works if you win. So you’re taking a little bit of a gamble, because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. Now, I don’t want to draw it too tight an analogy here. Obadiah is not a collection of God talking trash or anything like that. But still, everything we talked about last week, everything we read last week only works if God wins. And if he’s certain he’s going to win, if he’s certain how the future is going to turn out. That is if our hope is sure. So it is no comfort to say for example, oh Death, where is your sting? If we’re not confident Jesus is gonna walk out of the grave in three days. Or if we’re not confident, even today that we’re gonna walk out with him. At the end of time, we need to know with certainty that these things are true. So last week, you may have noticed the title of the sermon was why we need history. That is why we need a sense that history has meaning and direction, significance and purpose. This week, we’re gonna talk about the fact that a why we need eschatology. Eschatology is already learned justification and sanctification. I’m sorry, three in one morning is just too many. But I didn’t know that was the Catechism question this week. Eschatology is the doctrine of last things. It is the doctrine of how is it all going to turn out in the end? Exactly. And we need to know how it’s going to turn out with confidence with certainty or else very quickly, our religion does become kind of an opiate for the masses that we talked about. It’s just a way to numb us and in however it turns out, and we need to know if this is going to be true. This is so key to Christianity, Juergen Moulton, the German theologian in his theology of hope, says that at its very core, Christian faith is eschatological that his Christian faith is all about how the story is going to end. We live in light of the future. What Jesus is going to do what he has done, yes, but what he is going to do for us. We need that because there are a great many grim realities in this life that we could not endure. If we had no hope. No certain future No, eschatology.
And Obadiah is writing in the midst of one of those grim realities. He’s speaking to a people in the midst of a grim reality, their nation has just been wiped out the temple destroyed their being deported to a foreign land, what hope does he offer and how is that instructive for us, we’re gonna look at three key elements of eschatology that Obadiah directs us to. Let’s look at the first one, retribution verses 15 and 16.
The day 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
paused there. Last week, if you were here, if you looked at the passage just before this, you may have noticed the repetition of the phrase the day it actually shows up eight times and verses 11 to 14, you get the day of disaster, the day of their trouble, the day of their calamity, you know, over and over and over again, we get the same phrase here in verse 15. Except there’s this huge shift in content. It’s no longer the day of disaster, the day of calamity, but the day of the Lord. And that is a key phrase in Scripture. You can almost capitalize the D because it refers to such a special day the day of the Lord is that last day it is the day when Jesus comes again. It is the day when all the not yet of our promises become known.
Now, and finally, every promise faithfully fulfilled and justice fully done, because our King has come again. What’s interesting here is that Obadiah refers to this as a day of the Lord for all nations. Similar to what we saw last week, that is this God, the God of the Bible. He’s not just a territorial deity. He’s not the God of Israel, only this little slice of land in the Middle East. He is the God of all nations, the one true God. He is the God of Edom, and Babylon as well as Israel, and the day of the Lord for all nations.
We have to acknowledge the fact that this is not a uniform day for all people. For those who believe it is a day of unspeakable joy, it is the day that we are longing for but for those who do not believe it is a day of judgment.
As you have done Obadiah says it will be done to you. This is a day of perfect justice. No one is getting away with anything. It is a day of reckoning, really, and that’s a good word for it. No day of reckoning, we usually just think in terms of judgment. Do you think what the word record means? It’s like an accounting word. Basically, that’s it exactly. This will be the day when every debt is paid. And all accounts are settled when the ledger is perfectly balanced once and for all.
Answers a lot of our questions from last week the questions that the Israelites were asking, What about wholeness? Like they understand that, yes, Israel sinned, Judah sinned, and therefore they were deserving of the exile that they’re experiencing now. But what about Babylon? Didn’t they sin too? And God says, Well, yeah, of course. And that’s why I’m bringing Persia in. Okay, but what about Persia didn’t basically Yes, of course, and there’s gonna be Alexandria there. Okay. But after Alexandria, what about Rome? And you just keep going and going and going, never mind the fact that these nations are not uniform, different people within the nations probably have different experiences. How is God gonna bring perfect justice? So it always feels like there’s, you know, the checkbook isn’t balanced checkbook isn’t balanced on the day of the Lord, the checkbook is balanced. The ledger is perfect.
And Obadiah uses a common image, then for that day and for the coming very just and righteous retribution of the Lord. The image that he uses is drinking, just as you drink on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually, they will drink and drink drinking. What exactly here says Edom drank on God’s holy hill, that’s Mount Zion, it’s where the temple is. What does that mean? Exactly? It doesn’t mean they literally drink there. But he’s using the image of them going into the temple where they do not belong and actually drinking from the vessels of the temple like the Lord’s holy vessels, and therefore desecrating this sacred site. A little while later, one of the Babylonian kings will actually do that he’ll drink from the vessels from the temple, and will be the last night of his life and his kingdom as a result. So this is a serious, serious offense.
As a result, Obadiah says they will just go on drinking along with all the nations who are unrepentant. What is it that they’re drinking, they’re drinking the cup of God’s wrath and will drink it until it says, if they had never been there at all, so complete with their destruction be. Now why do I say this is the cup of God’s wrath? It doesn’t say it here and Obadiah but it’s such a common image. In the Old Testament, we know what drinking refers to in these situations. Here’s Psalm 75, verse eight, for example, in the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices, he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs. Sounds very similar to what Obadiah is talking about here. It reaches its climax in the book of Revelation, chapter 14, verse 10, says they too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength that is not diluted with water but poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. This is what we’re talking about. This is what the nations will be drinking.
And if we’re honest, these are dark, disturbing passages. And what happened to the whole idea that God is love, where’s forgiveness in the midst of all of this? So what will what can we say to our questions here about this this intense language? It said, there can be no hope, without justice.
Unless God removes sin, wickedness evil from humanity, Heaven will very quickly become hell. Because we will just bring all that right into the next place, we’re going to keep talking about the fact that God is going to bring history to its purposed end. And that purpose to end is to reconcile Heaven and Earth to bring them back together again, like, like it was in the beginning, like Eden, where there’s Adam and Eve, but God is their dwelling in their midst, he takes afternoon walks with them. That’s the hope. But then we brought hell into earth by our rebellion against God, we ripped Heaven and Earth asunder, because God can’t dwell in the midst of sin. So we ripped Heaven and Earth asunder and lit hell’s fires. And really the rest of the Bible from Genesis three honors God bringing them back together to reunite them. But in order to do that, he’s got to kick hell on earth. He’s got to get it out of here. How’s he going to do that? As is a good reminder that we talked about this in our people, God killed series some time ago. But it’s the reminder that Hell’s not down there, hell is out there. That’s the key in Scripture. Hell is being cast outside the new heavens and the new earth, in the same way that Adam and Eve were cast outside the Garden of Eden, if cast outside, so it can’t defile, and destroy anymore.
And that’s good. Like, make no mistake. Wherever you are today, in your spiritual life, we all long for this kind of justice. If we’re judgmental and love the word judgment, but what does judgment mean? It means a just decision. And we do long for those. And when the Tree of Life synagogue shooter is sentenced, there’s something in us that goes, good. That was right. That’s what needed to happen here. Were you longing for justice, every time you’ve ever asked, Where was God, when this happened? What are you asking for? You’re asking How come God didn’t step in, and judge to stop this from happening? So we all long for this kind of justice. We want God to remove evil. How’s he going to do that? There are only two options, you can either pull the sin out of our hearts or, if we won’t let him do that., he’s got to pull sinners out of the world. Out of heaven and earth. Those are the only two options. Either kick evil out of our hearts or kick evildoers out of his place. So God’s judgment is necessary and right. It is an act of love, protecting any and all who would turn from evil, an act of love. I meant that when I said that, here’s why Tim Keller expresses it. I think he’s spot on here. He says, when we think of God’s wrath, we usually think of God’s justice. And that’s right. Those who care about justice get angry when they see justice being trampled upon, we should expect a perfectly just God to do the same. But we don’t ponder how much his anger is also a function of His love and goodness, God loves everything he has made. That’s one of the reasons he’s angry at what’s going on in his creation. He is angry at anything or anyone that is destroying the people and world he loves. So it makes no sense to say, “I don’t want to wrathful God, I want a loving God.” If God is loving and good, he must be angry at evil, angry enough to do something about it. That’s exactly right. And that’s exactly what Obadiah is expressing here. But you may be feeling uncomfortable still, just these first two verses because the problem was that so far, in this passage, it seems like we kind of got good people and bad people. And the lines are a little too neat. Like they’re almost like old country western where like the good guys are actually wearing white hats. And the bad guys are actually wearing black hats and the bad people get theirs and it feels a little bit more like karma than grace. As you’ve done, it’ll be done to you your deeds will return upon your own head. But there’s more to the story. That complicates our simple narrative because Christian hope is a hope for more than just retribution, of course, in large part because we all deserve to drink the cup of God’s wrath. And the people to whom Obadiah is speaking they know that because again, Babylon just got sacked, or Babylon just sacked Jerusalem, and like they’re experiencing punishment for their sin. And here’s Psalm 60, verse three, you’ve given us a wine that makes us stagger. That’s the people of God speaking we’ve had to drink this cup also. But it’s not the end of the story doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Isaiah 51, verse 22. The prophet Isaiah gives us a preview of what’s coming. He says, See, I have taken out of your hand that cup that made you stagger from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again. And how can that be?
Because now just sounds like maybe he’s letting us get away with it. Is that what we’re talking about? Not at all. Let’s keep reading, looking at our second hope, which is a hope of redemption, verses 17 and 18.
But on Mount Zion will be deliverance, it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance, 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.
So this holy hill is now named it is Mount Zion. Again, that’s the place where the temple rest. This is the place where God’s people enjoy God’s reign. And that hill is both a place of judgment, as we saw in verse 16. But deliverance here in verse 17, reminds me of the cross, of course, the place of God’s judgment on sin, and yet the place of our deliverance as well.
If all we have is karma, like it’s up to us to get our lives in order and do enough good that it kind of outweighs the bad, you know, or something like that. We’re all getting cast outside the new heavens and the new earth, like we are not going to make it because we’ve all got this wickedness inside of us. But there’s grace. And go back to the cup. Isaiah 51, right, and God says, I’m gonna take this out of you, and you’re not gonna have to drink this anymore. Why did he take it out of our hands?
Because he gave it to someone else to drink. Mark 14, verse 36, says Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you. Take this cup, from me, but not what I will, but what you will. We know what cup this is like. I’ve read a whole bunch of passages. Now we know what the cup is, he understands he’s about to drink the cup of God’s wrath, full strength poured out on him, Jesus drank the wine of God’s fury poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. That’s what the cross of Jesus Christ is, so that when we turn from our wicked ways and turn to Jesus, no cup remains for us to drink. And better still, we won’t get into this a lot. But the poison of evil is gradually drained from our hearts as a result of the grace that we’ve experienced, replaced with gospel goodness. It’s like you know, flushing your coolant system in your car or something like that. The impurities, the pollution is removed, and is replaced the very character of Christ. By the way, I’m not reading into this. That’s exactly what Obadiah says next, on Mount Zion will be deliverance, it will be holy. It will be changed, it will be transformed. That’s the sanctification we just talked about. In our catechism question, God will remove wickedness and evil and injustice. How will he do it? In verse 18, through fire,
Jacob and Joseph, it’s interesting. We mentioned Joseph here Jacob is standing in for the southern kingdom, Judah. Joseph almost always refers to the northern kingdom. So we’re back to the whole people of God, the northern kingdom has been wiped out. It hasn’t existed for 150 years. And yet here they’re back together and the whole people of God will be a flame engulfing itams stubble. Literally, this just means that there’s going to they’re going to be instruments of divine justice and itams future. But we’re talking about far more than military conquest here. What we’re really talking about ultimately, reading this through the lens of the New Testament, is that through Messiah, who comes from Jacob and Joseph, all of this will happen. Our God, Katelyn read for us earlier, is a consuming fire. He’s a consuming fire, but what does fire do?
Well, it burns up the chaff, the stubble, absolutely. But that’s not what it does to gold, or silver. It refines as well.
That’s what this flame will do for those who repent. Remember, God must eliminate evil. That’s his justice. But he can do that for those who turn to him for the repentant that the flame of His judgment. burns up are impurities, like separating the gold from the dross so that only holiness remains. This can be because, much like the cup, the fire of God’s wrath fell on Jesus first. And so if we hide ourselves in him, the fire of judgment becomes the fire of redemption. Only for us, two choices lie before you today. I want to make this absolutely clear for all of us in this room. You can either drink the cup yourself
or you can trust in the one who drank it for you. Those are the two options. The day of the Lord is coming. It is sure and certain every debt will be paid. Gotta pay it yourself, experience the punishment for your sin or bow before him who paid it for you. Just exactly what he said on the cross, Jesus cried out it is finished. That’s what they would stamp on bills. Once the debt was fully paid, the debt is paid, It is finished. This is the glory of the gospel. As RC sprawl reminds us, the one from whom we need to be saved as the one who has saved us. That is the hope of redemption,
a hope of redemption. But that’s not all. The gospel is not just about escaping punishment. It offers us more than a negative hope. We don’t have to experience that the gospel offers us a positive hope as well. And that’s the last piece we want to look at, which is the hope of restoration verses 19 to 21. Read it for us now. People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau, and people from the foothills will possess the land of the Philistines, they will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria and Benjamin will possess Gilead, the company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan will possess the land as far as Arafah. The exiles in Jerusalem who are in sefirat will possess the towns of the Negev delivers will go up on mountain Zion to govern the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
Let’s just be honest, we can be honest together, right? This whole passage is strange and just a little bit uninteresting to our ears, in large part, because we don’t know our ancient Near Eastern geography quite as well as we should. So let me just simplify it for us. Like I don’t think we need to put a map up and make sure you can see this all just understand what Obadiah has just said, he has said God will enlarge Israel’s territory until it reaches its historical borders, like the zenith of its power under King David. You think okay, that’s kind of weird. But again, imagine how his audience would hear this. We’re talking to refugees, to people who have just been deported from their land, they’re now in Babylon. So picture, you know, a French soldier who’s in a German Nazi prison during World War Two hearing, look, the borders of France will be restored. When you go back to your hometown, it will be French. It won’t be German, any more like how sweet that would sound to their ears. That’s what Obadiah’s audience is hearing. The land is part of God’s covenant promise to his people. You remember this, you know, as he speaks to Abraham, you know, all this land I’m going to give you. So really what God is saying here, he’s promising to restore the covenant with His people. And the best part of the Covenant was not the land. The best part of the Covenant was, you will be My people, and I will be your God. That restoration will happen. Now, as you’re reading this, two things might bother you. Number one, it didn’t happen. All right, so there’s an issue. Did God’s people return from exile in Babylon? Yes, yes, they did. That was Ezra and Nehemiah Zerubbabel. Guys like that. They came back, but they were a diminished nation. It was a puppet regime. They never really had their independence, they certainly did not have their historic borders, or anything like that. And then, of course, within a few centuries, they’re destroyed anyway, by AD 70. It’s done. It’s over. The Romans take care of them. So that’s one problem. The other problem is it still feels a little icky to us. Remember the quote from last week. It’s that muddy channels that the pure water of God’s revelation is poured through is feels like no nationalist expansion. It’s just a little too close to, again, Nazi Germany, like we need some more living space. Not sure this is what we like, what can we say to this? Quite simply, we need to remember that all of God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus. All his promises are yes and amen in Jesus, including the promise of land. I know that’s complicated because Jesus has not a chunk of territory. But even that promise is fulfilled in Jesus. We’ll walk through it. So, that reminder transforms the nature of the restoration that’s being described here. It’s not territorial expansion. It’s not biblical colonialism or anything like that. So let me explain. We’ll take a moment here. Let’s do it. You’ve been in Christian circles for any length of time, you know the Prayer of Jabez. Better than you should. Okay, because this little two-sentence prayer in the middle of nine chapters of genealogy is not the key that unlocks the Bible. But all right, you’ve heard it. You know all about it. What’s the big petition in the prayer of Jabez is enlarge my territory which feels so self-serving, especially for an American church that is absolutely wrapped up in prosperity, even if we reject the prosperity gospel.
But it’s not what Jabez is praying here is a claiming of God’s promises. Deuteronomy 12, verse 20, when the Lord your God has enlarged your territory, as he promised you. So there’s this promise that the territory is going to be enlarged. So Jabez, it’s not a self-serving prayer. In essence, he’s asking to be part of God’s mission. As you expand, Lord, would you would you let me be part of this. Aand this is God’s mission. I mean, from the very beginning, the mandate that God gives Adam and Eve we’ll actually look at next week was to subdue the earth and fill it. So we’re supposed to take the Garden of Eden and it’s supposed to expand its territory until it covers the whole of Earth. It’s a similar sort of prayer that comes right into the New Covenant. It’s the same idea except there’s a New Testament version of it, you know, the New Testament version of the prayer of Jabez. I’ll give you a hint at the prayer of Jesus, which is maybe more useful to look at. But what does enlarge my territory become in the new covenant?
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That’s the same prayer. It’s the same prayer that God’s kingdom would keep expanding until he reigns over all. We’re not talking about acreage, we’re not talking about territory. And what does Jesus say to Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world, okay, you don’t need to worry about that. I’m not about to launch an assault on Rome or anything, My kingdom is not of this world, or Hebrews 13, verse 14, here, like on Earth, we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. It is a spiritual and a future kingdom. We are longing to see God’s reign expand. And that will be finally and fully realized in the new heavens and the new earth.
By the way, I’m not even reading New Testament sentiments back into this. This is exactly what Obadiah says, mean, how does the prophecy end and the kingdom will be the Lord’s doesn’t say in the kingdom will be Israel’s. You’re gonna get your territory, but no, the kingdom will be the Lord’s. He will reign and that’s such good news. This is what we want. This is what we all desire, in our heart of hearts, that God would rule. Why because we want justice. Because we want every wrong set, right? Because we want peace on earth. We want an end to human trafficking and racism and abuse and a whole catalogue of evils. And the only way that happens is if God brings history to its purposed and perfect end, if his kingdom comes in fullness. I said this last week, but it’s worth repeating. We don’t have this hope, without the God of the Bible.
So if you’re here today, and you’re still questioning whether all this Bible stuff is true, like this hope what you’re seeking only happens if the God of the Bible is the God who is there. Look, if there’s no God, there’s no history. There can’t possibly be purpose or direction in it. There’s no eschatology. There’s no end. What does Darwin teach? He stripped god of the equation, we just have a nature. You’ve got the survival of the fittest, not the survival of the most righteous, the good, the just. And by the way, the sun burns out, and the universe dissolves and nothing you ever did matters anyway. So, who cares if you were just or not? What have you strip out judgment, Phil, kind of want the you know, like grandfatherly. Pinch your cheeks sort of God, no judgment, no justice. Wrongs go unpunished, in which case, there’s no reason to bother with good in this life. Just get yours while you can. Like if there’s no final judgment, then you’re a German living under the Nazi regime. There is no difference between being like Hitler and being like Dietrich Bonhoeffer whom we met last week, who opposed the Nazi regime. Because you all ended up in the same place anyway. No judgment, no justice. It doesn’t matter. No, Jesus. I mentioned the God of the Bible specifically. There’s no Jesus. Well, there’s still judgment, but there’s no way to escape that judgment. And there’s no way to enter the kingdom of our God and no gospel to change our heart. It’s as well. So here’s the good news. The God of the Bible is real. And he will really do this. Jesus is the Way, the proof and the life. He’s the way we enter the kingdom of God. But he’s also the proof that the kingdom of God is coming, and it will be triumphant. The resurrection shows us unequivocally, unequivocally, that good will triumph over evil, and that God will put sin and death to flight.mSo that’s what’s coming. What do we do in the meantime, this is our main idea, kind of wrapping up Obadiah here as a whole main idea, God will set all things right in the end. So live, hopefully, live, hopefully, we could talk a lot about what this means I’m let you work this out with a spirit, you know, in your community, group, all that kind of stuff. But here’s not an exhaustive list. But at least these three ways that I might suggest kind of broad categories of what this would look like. First of all, it would look like turning the light of the future on in the midst of this present darkness. Whether that is personal or global darkness and a hard time that you’re experiencing, or just as you look around and go, things are not the way they should be. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged and depressed in this life. But we can persevere because the battle is one victory is certain. So what does this look like? It looks a little bit like Sam wise is he’s there in Mordor. And he’s lying down and he looks up and you know, you got the thick smoke from Mount Doom billowing out all the time, and it’s darkened the sky but there’s a little break in the clouds for just a moment and he can see the stars twinkling overhead. And talking says the beauty of it smoke his heart and hope was restored. Why?
Because the clouds didn’t do anything to the stars. They didn’t get close to touching the door like on a rainy day. It’s not that the sun stops shining, the rain doesn’t extinguish the sun, the sun is burning just as brightly as ever. So it is with the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It is always there. There are times when it is obscured from our perspective, that has not changed the victory. That is our we can trust that God is working out his purposes, even in our own lives.
He’s making us more like Jesus, in all circumstances refining us we have the promise of restoration to by the way, First Peter for verse 10, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. That’s what it looks like to live hopefully to bring the light of the future into this present darkness. The second way that I would suggest that we live hopefully is you should be spectacles of hope. You know what a spectacle is like something that’s kind of so crazy out there. Somebody’s juggling in the middle of an intersection or something that people stop and look, maybe pull their cameras out. You don’t get the live footage kind of thing. We should draw a crowd because our hope is immovable, unshakable and steadfast. People should look at us
and go, what is it about you that you can do this to people around us when they see our lives? Even in our trials, Peter tells us will ask us to give a reason for what? Not our faith, not our love, even for our hope. I’ll give you ask you to give a reason for the hope that you have within you is that hope on display in your life, even now. As it manifest in your prayers where you’re praying. Lizabeth Elliott taught us the secret is Christ in me, not me in different circumstances. That’s hope. Is it on display in your gratitude, giving thanks to God in all circumstances, not because all circumstances are good, but because you know that God will use all circumstances for your good to make you more like Jesus is that hope on display as you labor for that future kingdom. And I’m thinking here, especially when you’re laboring and what you know, there’s a hopeless sorts of areas, this is never going to change. And yet you go on trying to lift the poor to put an end to human trafficking or to to reconcile difficult relationships, whatever it may be. Why? Because we know what will be done in the end and we want to be a part of it. Third way that I would suggest, tell the whole story. Tell the whole story. We need these biblical categories creation, fall redemption, consummation we talked about last week. We need these categories to make sense of the world. If you’re going to Read you circumstances, hopefully you’re going to need to read them redemptive historically. So talk about that. Do you talk to community groups in your journey groups, even about the difficult things, you got to bring these categories into those conversations, parents, as you talk with your kids, especially when something happens that they’ve heard about that it’s tough to talk about? Do you have the whole story before, then they can see what it was supposed to look like, what went wrong, how God has started to set it right, and what it will look like in the end, if you had those conversations with them, and with your unbelieving friends, and family, and neighbors and colleagues to we all feel these categories intuitively, because we are spiritual beings, and the God of the Bible is real. We tell the whole story. As we talk to them about what’s going on, as we read history together. Obadiah assures us that our righteous and just God will bring history to its purpose, and perfect. And
even in the chaos and wickedness of this world, we can see his hand at work behind the scenes. And so often it looks like it’s humans running the show. And we know we know that’s not the case, we know who’s in control, we know that the story ends in triumph. And so with confidence, and faith, and hope that matches that that surpasses Obadiah, as even we can say not just the kingdom will be the Lord’s. But in the words of revelation 11, verse 15, the Kingdom the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever. Amen. Let’s pray.
Father, replace our hope in you even now. Because we know how the story ends, because we know that you are there because we know what you are doing in history. We know what you have done in Christ, what you are doing, through your spirit, even now, and we know what it looks like when Jesus comes again, we know that there will be justice, there will be redemption, that there will be restoration and we want to be a part of it, Lord, so help us live in light of that hope and live like we have that hope as we labor for the sake of your name, and for the expansion of your kingdom. Lord, we pray like Jay bez, and like Jesus taught us to pray, your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.