Theme of the Week: Reconciliation
Bible Verse: “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’. . . . ‘Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’” Genesis 3:12, 16b
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4
Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-24, Isaiah 2:1-22
Perhaps you’re noticing a theme here with where we are spending our time. The need for reconciliation goes back to the beginning, so that is where we are spending our time so that we can see that God has been about His program of reconciliation since the beginning.
We looked at these verses earlier in the week. This is the breakdown of human relationships. With the entrance of sin into the world, the relationship that God explicitly created for humans to enjoy was fractured. They had moved from the idyllic into a great chasm of the unknown. From a space of comfort, provision, and safety and into a void where chaos may once again reign.
We’re going to fast-forward in time to a populated earth, an ever-increasing number of humans stretching out to fill the earth—scattered by further efforts at autonomy from God (you can read that story, and you probably should, in Genesis 11). With that scattering came the formation of different cultures, nations, and societies. The organization of and multiplication of the strife that humans had previously only known between individuals. Now, instead of broken people dealing with each other, there would be groups of broken people dealing with other groups of broken people. Sin’s fissures exposing new depths.
Conflicts between cultures and nations is no new experience for any of us. Most times it seems so ever-present as not to exist. War and conflict, on individual and global scales, seems to be the backdrop against which we live our lives. Has there been a time in history when one nation was not warring against another?
We need reconciliation between nations, between different cultures, and societies. This isn’t to say we need a single society or culture. This is not about the rightness or wrongness of social ideologies. Rather, this is about seeing God’s intentions for a full and flourishing creation. God intended the world to be full of people, and he created us to live in mutual flourishing. Reconciliation requires that disparate peoples living in different places live in harmony with one another . . . and people within those societies living at peace with one another (a task that seems nearly unimaginable).
But tucked away in the promise of crushing the serpent’s head is the implication that things can return to what God intended for His creation. And though the first (and second and third) seeds were not this promised head crusher, God continues to communicate His promise. Through the prophet Isaiah God speaks of a time when the unimaginable is the status quo: nations turning their weapons of war into implements of food production. “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
There’s too much to unpack in the symbolism of food production, but the dramatic shift is impossible to miss. Nations giving up war . . . and creating resources (that are meant to be shared). This is reconciliation that our world dreams of; that it needs deeply. However, the point not to miss is that it is God who is (again) the mover in creating this peace. God is unwilling to leave His creation to the predicament we have placed ourselves in.
Prayer: God, it seems like there will never be peace between nations, or even within nations. The brokenness brought by sin is deep and pervasive. Help me to see past differences to be an agent of peace in your kingdom.
Reflection: Where do you see your role in the public conversation? How do you, as a follower of Jesus, use your voice in matters of culture and society.
Copyright © 2023 Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada. All rights reserved.