Healing the Nations—Life Application for November 20, 2016

November 13, 2016 No Comments »
Healing the Nations—Life Application for November 20, 2016

By David Faust

faustAmong the images of Heaven in the final chapter of the Bible, none is more striking than the tree of life. This is no ordinary tree. It stands next to the crystal clear river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God. It brings to mind the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) and trees mentioned by the prophet Ezekiel that bear miraculous fruit (Ezekiel 47:12).

Unlimited by natural constraints, this tree is amazingly productive. It bears 12 crops of fruit—one each month—a picture of never-ending fruitfulness. In our heavenly home God will pour out lavish, abundant blessings. Even the tree’s leaves have a special purpose. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2).

The Nations Are Wounded

• Ever since the Garden of Eden, sin has wrecked the health and harmony God intended.

• Ever since Cain and Abel, the human family has been devastated by jealousy, mistrust, and violence.

• Ever since the Tower of Babel, divergent groups of people have struggled to communicate.

• In the days of Abraham, God announced his intention to bless all nations of the earth, but ever since human selfishness and disobedience keep getting in the way.

• Ever since the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrews, nations have misused power to oppress and abuse instead of to lift up and empower.

Nations are severely wounded today. France, Belgium, Syria, Israel, Turkey, and other countries bear the scars of terrorist attacks. In the United States the wounds inflicted by terrorism run deep, and the burning embers of racial animosity flare up in physical violence and emotional turmoil. The news is so bad some days it’s hard to feel a shred of hope.

And yet there’s that last chapter of the Bible. And there’s that amazing tree growing by the river, bearing fruit every month.

The Nations Can Be Healed

The gospel of Christ isn’t some bland little story reserved for naive kids and out-of-touch Sunday school teachers. It “is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

The gospel changes one heart at a time, and that’s always been the best way to change the world. The tree of life is accessible to every individual in every nation who becomes an overcomer through faith (Revelation 2:7). Transformed hearts—including our own—lead to transformed nations—including our own. Dr. Jerry Taylor, a professor at Abilene Christian University, said, “God is the perfect consultant on racial and ethnic matters, and he doesn’t even require a consultant’s fee! We can’t make peace with each other unless we’re in relationship with the Prince of Peace.”

The day is coming (Lord, haste the day!) when evil finally gives way to good, when wounded minds and bodies are made whole, when hatred yields to love, when terror surrenders to peace, when humanity’s broken parts are all mended. If that dream seems too good to be true, then it’s time to let God’s Word reshape our dreams. The tree of life will never experience a crop failure. Until that dream becomes a reality, our marching orders are clear: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

Daily Readings

Nov. 14

M.

2 Kings 5:10-14

Wash and Be Healed

Nov. 15

T.

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 12

Healing River Flows from the Temple

Nov. 16

W.

Psalm 46

God Is Present and City Is Secure

Nov. 17

T.

Isaiah 41:17-20

The Sustaining, Healing Water of Life

Nov. 18

F.

Isaiah 42:10-17

The Lord Acts with Passion

Nov. 19

S.

Matthew 9:2-8

The Paralytic Walks Again

Nov. 20

S.

Revelation 22:1-7

Ready for the Lord’s Return

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017 - Lookout Magazine. The Growing Christian's Weekly Resource.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by KangarooThemes.com