Solid (spiritual) food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
By Christopher Wright
By stressing human choices as well as God’s ultimate control, the bible avoids slipping into fatalism or determinism. It affirms both sides of the paradox: humans are morally responsible for their choices and actions and their public consequences; yet God retains sovereign control over final outcomes and destinies.
The Bible presents the public square — human life lived in society and the marketplace — as riddled with sin, corruption, greed, injustice, and violence. That can be seen at local and global dimensions, from sharp practices at the market stall or corner shop, to the massive distortions and inequities of international trade.
Isaiah 65:17–25 is a glorious portrayal of the new creation — a new heavens and a new earth. It looks forward to human life that is no longer subject to weariness and decay, in which there will be fulfillment in family and work, in which the curses of frustration and injustice will be gone forever, in which there will be close and joyful fellowship with God, and in which there will be environmental harmony and safety.
The New Testament carries this vision forward in the light of the redemption achieved by Christ through the cross, and especially in the light of the resurrection. Paul comprehensively and repeatedly includes “all things” not only in what God created through Christ, but what he plans to redeem through Christ.
The final vision of the whole Bible is not of our escaping from the world to some ethereal paradise, but rather of God coming down to live with us once again in a purged and restored creation, in which all the fruit of human civilization will be brought into the city of God.
Your daily work matters because it matters to God. It has its own intrinsic value and worth. If it contributes in any way to the needs of society, the service of others, the stewardship of the earth’s resources, then it has some place in God’s plans for this creation and in the new creation. And if you do it conscientiously as a disciple of Jesus — bearing witness to him, being always ready to give an answer to those who enquire about your faith, and being willing to suffer for Christ if called to — then he will enable your life to bear fruit in ways you may never be aware of. You are engaged in the mission of God’s people.
*Excerpt from Christopher Wright’s The Mission of God’s People, originally posted as part of our Summer Reading Series.
2 Kings 23 (Listen – 7:43)
Hebrews 5 (Listen – 1:57)