Joyful hope for us refugees and exiles

The last 2 Sunday mornings, looking at Genesis 3, have brought us face-to-face with the reality of human death, and with the reality of much toil and trouble in this life. David Earl helpfully reminded us that these toils and troubles cry out to us, calling to us and urging us that we need a Saviour. For the non-Christian, they urge us to trust in Christ.

How can the Christian, already trusting Christ day-by-day, respond to the realities of Genesis 3? How should we respond to being refugees (or ‘exiles’ in Bible-speak) in this world?

Moses, the man of God, asked (and answered!) exactly that question in Psalm 90. I’d been thinking about this, so was thrilled to see it so clearly laid out in Scripture. Let me quickly share some reflections with you. The Psalm spends the first 10 verses linking our plight as humans with our sin and with God’s anger against that sin. So what do we do as Christians? Grit our teeth in this grim world and ‘hang on for heaven’? Moses prayer and response is much more positive and hope-filled than that. Here’s how he teaches us to respond (verses 12 to 17) …

PRAY for God’s mercy and gracious PRESENCE. PRAY and look to the LORD God, every day, for SATISFACTION, JOY and GLADNESS … because He alone is our dwelling place. PRAY for God’s work and GLORIOUS POWER to be shown to us and our children. PRAY for GOD’S FAVOUR to be upon us and for Him to establish our WORK in HIM. 

What was lost in Eden is only fully restored in the new heaven and earth (remember Rev 22:1-5 that Steve read on Sunday). But Moses reminds us that if we respond wisely, finding our home and joy in God himself, life in Christ is already LIFE. And our work in Him is not in vain. And the best, of course, is yet to come.

My prayer is that we all at MNC will respond like Moses in the coming weeks to what we’ve seen in Genesis, in our hearts and in steadfast, hope-filled prayer.   (Written by Clive: 25 May 2015)

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