Shaken Things Will be Removed
February 21, 2019 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
What can be shaken in your life?
I’m not asking about ketchup bottles, polaroid pictures, or Italian dressing.
What are the things in your life that are unstable, insecure, uncertain, unreliable? The Bible would encourage you to make that list longer than you may think.
The word “shaken” is used in one form or another five times in Hebrews 12:26-28. The author is making a comparison between the giving of the Law at Sinai and the giving of the Gospel through Christ. There was an earthquake at Sinai. The author of Hebrews applies this physical reality to the spiritual realm. That “shaking” at Sinai left the people of Israel trembling in the presence of God. They understood their weakness before a holy and just God. That was one of the purposes of the Law… to uncover for the human heart the inability of humans to be holy before God.
What was shaken at Sinai? Human self-righteousness, as it should be. It’s unreliable.
The writer of Hebrews then quotes Haggai 2:6, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (Heb. 12:26). God is not done with his “shaking.” The context of Haggai 2 speaks about the rebuilding of the temple after the exile and how God would “shake” the nations in order to bring in the wealth of the nations into his presence. The author of Hebrews applies this to Christ (the new temple of God) and the shaking draws together a people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. God shakes the nations through the proclamation of the Gospel.
What does this metaphor of “shaking” communicate about the Gospel?
The author seeks to address this in verse 27: “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.” This touches on two realities:
- The Gospel, rightly heard and understood, shakes our lives to reveal the insufficiency of everything except Christ. When we consider our longings for significance, security, acceptance, and pleasure there is a long list of items, people, achievements, goals, and abilities that we depend on. They all fall short in some form or manner. The Gospel shakes these things so that they are revealed to be what they are… unreliable. Christ alone, by his death and resurrection, secures our salvation, insures our transformation, and provides hope of eternal life. Let the Gospel remove the things that are shaken in your life.
- At the second coming of Christ, there will be a final removal of things that are shaken. Seeking to encourage sanctifying hope, the author calls his readers to cling to those things that cannot be shaken, the things of Christ. The first recipients of this letter sought security and were turning to things that would not satisfy. The call to endure is a call to cling to Christ, even in difficult circumstances. Only Christ and his kingdom will endure to eternity.
So, what can be shaken in your life? Are these things the foundation of your pursuit of security, significance, and acceptance? If so, you will find yourself eternally disappointed.