11th January 2020

Settling Disputes

“Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’”
Micah 4:2 (NIV)

When a nation turns away from God it becomes confused. Ezra and his contemporary, Nehemiah, sought to bring their nation Israel back to worshipping the God who had created them. Ezra 9:7, as translated in the King James version says, “for [because of] our iniquities have we, our king and our priest been delivered…to confusion of face.” ‘Confusion of face’! What a great phrase. In modern translations it’s sometimes rendered ‘humiliation.’ Confusion and humiliation are often close travelling companions. The Israelites probably rarely, if ever, were fully obedient to God, but there were times when they did the best they could and showed Him some respect. Gradually, though, they were lured away by their own selfish desires and proud self-reliance. As they lost knowledge of God they became confused and muddled in their thinking, leading to divisions and poor decision making.

What happened to Israel can just as easily happen to a modern ‘Christian’ nation. Can you think of an example?! The good news is that when this happens all is not lost. Nehemiah chapter 9 chronicles how Israel constantly departed and went their own way, getting into big problems, but after a period of correction, a faithful God whose love never fails, would lovingly restore them. Even better, this isn’t just history and it’s not just for Israel!

God says “’Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people” (Zechariah 2:10-11). The Lord is Jesus Christ. Many nations will come and say “He will teach us his ways,” and He “will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide” (Micah 4:2-3). Jesus alone can accomplish this. He loves the people of all nations and has already given His life for their salvation. Theirs and ours. In the midst of confusion lets hang on to these wonderful and sure promises of God.

Prayer
Come soon, Jesus. We need You!
Amen

Study by Doug Bass
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About the Author:
Doug Bass is a member of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Coulsdon
Coulsdon Community Church
Coulsdon Community Centre
Barrie Close
Chipstead Valley Road
COULSDON
CR5 3BE

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Brian Smith
Phone: 01243-699812
Email: coulsdon@gracecom.church

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