IC@MK Live Service (18 Oct 2020)

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Posted by International Church at Mont Kiara on Saturday, 17 October 2020


Messy Transitions: God’s Work in Uncertain Times (Numbers 20-21)

(For accuracy of this transcript, kindly refer to video file or audio file)

Good morning, church family. There’s an old English phrase which goes like this, “Every glass of wine is mixed with vinegar, wine is sweet, vinegar is bitter.” It’s a saying, which reflects how most of life is a mixture of both the pleasant and the painful. Your son graduates from secondary school, and you celebrate his success. But you’re sad that now you’ll be separated as he moves halfway across the globe to go to university. The government increases its spending for social needs. You have to pay more taxes for them to be able to do so. CMCO has meant more time with your family. It’s also meant less of an income. This lockdown helpfully, would stop the spread of the virus. It also stops our gathering as a church family. Most of life is like this. There’s a blend of the good and the bad. We celebrate joys of success while at the same time mourning painful losses. One day a baby is born. The next day, a family member dies. Until Jesus comes back and brings us his perfect eternal kingdom. Human experience is complicated. It’s confusing. There’s a blend of experiences and that’s what I see in Numbers chapters 20 and 21. It was transition time for the people of ancient Israel. Chapter 20 begins at the start of year 40, meaning that the time of wandering in the wilderness as punishment is coming to an end. And what we see is a chain of events during this final year, maybe seven or eight short stories in our passage today. Some of them are pretty negative. Others of them are pretty good. And yet all of these are blended together in a bit of a confusing way. As you read through these two chapters, I think then that we can say this transition year was a messy one for the people of Israel, much like the year 2020 has proven for us. And thus, God’s word is just filled with rich truths for us, his followers of Jesus today. As we think about and consider God’s work in uncertain times.