God’s Promised Inheritance Preceded by Problems
By: Uzziel Maldonado
It seems that a new, exotic, contagious, and life-threatening disease is discovered every year. Even-so, the danger usually felt so distant and removed that many kept on living and working just as before. As time progressed, it became evident that all age demographics and social strata could and would be affected by this corona virus. Never did I expect to see a stay-at-home order be issued in my country! Never did I expect to see grocery stores with empty shelves and lines limited by a police officer. Never did I expect to see deaths to surge and memorial services limited to ten in attendance. Never did I expect to see so much loss of employment and the downturn of what appeared to be a strong economy in a matter of days! As tempting as it is to linger on the negative, I invite you to consider with me Romans 8:28 (NKJV) that says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” So here are three beautiful things that I have seen emerge from this tragedy.
1. People are challenged to reconsider their priorities: It's easy to get distracted with the promise of a better and a more meaningful life if we have the latest gadget, technology, fashion, sports, movies, cars, houses, etc. Sleep, health, family, employment, food, and our standing with God are often marginalized and sacrificed in hopes of attaining the prior list.
2. People are being receptive to the Word of God: Tragedies cause humanity to stop and be receptive to a “higher power.” Those who grew up attending but have since left the church, are remembering the signs of the times that Jesus warned his church to watch for (Matthew 24). Similarly, those who have a non-Christian background are looking for answers. Both know something is “off” and are wondering if they can find answers.
3. The entire Church is being innovative and resourceful: When local churches were limited to no more than ten people in attendance, pastors and church members are using the internet to broadcast the Sabbath School lesson study and the Sabbath sermon. Did this mean that the attendance numbers were the same as on a typical Sabbath? No, the attendance via the internet was often greater (sometimes ten-fold greater) than on a typical sabbath!
When I consider all that is taking place I am reminded of a pattern I have found throughout the Old Testament, namely, God’s promises are preceded by problems. Think of the promised deliverance of the Passover when God rescued Israel from the bondage of slavery. It was preceded by ten plagues. David’s long awaited enthronement only came after being persecuted and driven to the wilderness. Similarly, Revelation 5 contains the scroll with seven seals that cannot be read but by One who is worthy. Scholars (Adventist and non-Adventist) share that this scroll is sealed similar to a Roman Last Will and Testament. Meaning that this is likely, God’s Last Will and Testament!