“That Which Cannot Be Shaken”
When all else in this
passes away, there is
at least one thing that
One of the great benefits of studying Biblical prophecy is that it helps you appreciate just how solid the word of God, the Bible, really is. Recently I’ve been looking at some of the early prophecies regarding the history of the Children of Israel, such as those given by Moses in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-32, and it has certainly had that effect on me. In particular, I was struck by the prophecy of Ahijah, given around 950 B.C., when the wife of Jeroboam came to him to inquire regarding the health of her son. After telling her that he would die, he went on:
“The LORD will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their wooden images, provoking the LORD to anger. And He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who sinned and who made Israel sin.”
— 1 Kings 14:15-16
Unlike the prophecies of Moses mentioned above, this was a very brief word. Yet, because it came from the mouth of the Lord, it had to be fulfilled. And so, after Israel had seen the rise and fall of so many more kings, and even the prophetic ministries of Elijah and Elisha, it was fulfilled, around 740 B.C., roughly two centuries after it had been spoken:
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria….For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, and they had feared other gods….They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”… Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.
— 2 Kings 17:6-7,10-12,18
In the New Testament the writer of Hebrews reminds us of the Lord’s word:
“Yet once more I shall shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
— Hebrews 12:26; cf. Haggai 2:6
Then he goes on to explain:
Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
— Hebrews 12:27
But the Lord Himself tells us:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away.”
— Mark 13:31
The Apostle Peter, quoting the prophet Isaiah, makes this same point:
All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man
As the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord
— 1 Peter 1:24-25; cf. Isaiah 40:6-8
So one day everything we see in this world will be gone, but the Lord’s word will still be with us. That is, after all the things of the present creation have been shaken and removed, the word of God will remain, for it is almost the only thing in this world that can never be shaken.
Today we need to realize, that is how solid the word of God in the Bible really is. And that should give us the confidence to believe that, just as so many Biblical prophecies of past events have already been fulfilled in a very literal way, so the remaining prophecies of future events will also be fulfilled in the same very literal way, possibly even very soon.
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— 28 February 2023 —