And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. ~Matthew 28:2
Here in California, we live in earthquake country. We have both the San Andreas and Hayward Faults running through our landscape. Some island countries such as Taiwan and Japan are also prone to earthquakes. A strong, violent earthquake that is more than 6.0 on the Richter scale and lasts for more than five seconds is very frightening and disastrous. When there is an earthquake, you literally are shaken up! This morning, let us see the message behind some earthquakes in the Bible.
We see the revelation after an earthquake.
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Elijah was going through a time of great discouragement and, possibly, depression. He withdrew himself and went into seclusion in a mountainous area. Whenever great discouragement or depression sets in, God’s will is not for us to withdraw and hide. God sent a series of “natural events” to get Elijah’s attention. First, there was a hurricane-type wind, then a strong earthquake, and this was followed by a fire. Following all of this was the still, small voice of God. God needed to speak with Elijah, and He used powerful events to jar him so that God’s voice could be heard. Sometimes, God has to shake things up in our life just so that we listen to Him.
We see the retribution from an earthquake.
“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13). During the Seven-Year Tribulation, earthquakes will happen very frequently and very powerfully all over the world. There will be earthquakes in diverse places. These earthquakes will be one of many forms of judgment that God will send against the people in the world. It will be God’s payback time for the Christ-rejecting and apostate spirit that will circle every part of the world. Men will blaspheme the name of God and only make things worse for their situation. Many will be killed and terribly injured because of great earthquakes.
We see the resurrection from an earthquake.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.” The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was preceded by a great earthquake. This earthquake shook the mountains and the landscape, but, most importantly, it shook the consciences of the Roman soldiers and citizens of Jerusalem. Jesus arose out of the grave! The grave could not hold the eternal Son of God. The stone that covered the tomb entrance was rolled away; rocks were rolling down mountain landscapes; the earth was quaking and shaking; and Jesus arose victorious over sin, Satan, and death. Those who felt that quake were shaken and changed. May the resurrection shake us in our soul to know Him and its transforming power.
We see a release from an earthquake.
“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed” (Acts 16:26). God sent an earthquake of epic proportion to jar open the prison doors and loosen the bands holding Paul and Silas. Many of us are being held back from being an effective witness for the Lord. We need an earthquake like Paul experienced to open doors and loosen the bands that are keeping us from boldly proclaiming the gospel message.
Are you ready for an earthquake? Are you prepared to listen, to worship, and to preach? Be prepared: the next big one might come any time!
Have an earth-shaking God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 11-13