November 4, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 30-November 5 are provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology. He is married to Annie. They will soon leave for E. Asia to serve as missionaries.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Get Your Hopes Up!”

Genesis 18:16-21

When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

 “Are you serious? Again?” was my response as I read that a 29-year old man named Sayfullo Siapov used a truck to plow through a lower Manhattan bike path this past Tuesday. I had the same response for all these senseless killings that have been happening in United States: from Charlottesville to Las Vegas and now New York (and before the ink is dry, another random violence took three lives in Colorado).  Considering this (and also the tragedy happening abroad, like the recent deadly attack in Somalia that took the lives of more than 400 people), I can’t help but feel a sense of hopelessness. Will things get better? The answer is yes!

In this passage, God and His angels leave for Sodom and Gomorrah because they are looking to judge the two cities. The author characterizes God in disbelief at how these cities can be so wicked: “Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’” From the story of Lot, we learn that God judges the two cities.

While this story is gruesome, it is a reminder for us that God is a God of justice. It may seem like wickedness is winning, but He does not leave any sin unpunished. Psalm 5:5 says, “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong.”

More importantly, His wrath towards evil is all part of His process of restoring humanity back to perfection—a world without racism, hate, abuse, or extortion. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Therefore, as His church, let’s stand in hope that God is in the process of removing all wickedness and restoring justice.

Have you grown hopeless through the tragedies you hear on the news? Why do you feel hopeless? Take some time to read Revelation 21 to encourage yourself of God’s ultimate plan of restoring humanity to a new creation.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You are in the business of restoration and transformation. While the media is constantly reporting tragic news, help me not to fall into apathy or hopelessness. You are a God who loves justice and You will one day restore this world. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 28 & Jeremiah 1-2

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