Quiet Waters

Devotional

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

Hope in a broken world 

We live in a broken world: pain, suffering, injustice, exploitation, selfishness, greed, corruption, lies, pollution, betrayals, wars, violence, catastrophes, calamities, diseases, pandemics, displacements—the list is inexhaustible! This does not describe the world that God created, for what God created “was good.” It is the outcome of accumulated disobedience and the natural manifestation of being expelled from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23). 

Until God ushers us into “a new heaven and a new earth,” we will live with the reality of sin’s imperfections and destructive consequences, and continuously “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship…” (Romans 8:23). COVID-19 is a stark reminder of our vulnerability, frailty, and mortality. Our hope rests in the assurance that one day, God “will liberate the creation from its bondage of decay and bring it into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). However, Psalm 23:1 gives us the reason for hope today—the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for me is with me and cares for me.

Read Genesis 3.

  • How do vs. 1-6 differ from God’s command in Genesis 2:16-17? Read 1 John 2:15-17. What do you think persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit? How is this similar to the temptations we face today?
  • Looking at vs. 7-24, contrast the consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin with what the serpent said would result from their disobedience. What do you think was the real mission of the serpent and how is this ‘mission’ evident in society today?
  • What were the implications of Adam and Eve’s actions to:
  1. their personal relationship with one another, their relationship with God, their relationship with the rest of creation?
  2. the present realities of pain, brokenness, suffering, and death—of which COVID-19 is an expression?

Compare God’s act (v. 21) with Adam and Eve’s (v. 7). As you face the challenge of COVID-19, do you trust man-made solutions or a loving Shepherd who is in control of all?

Family activity - You will need a bowl of water. 

Prepare: Genesis Chapter 3 tells us about the brokenness of the world. Think about your community. What do you see that is not the way God intended it to be? It might be violence or selfishness or greed.

Activity: Everyone choose a word to describe these things. Have each person in your family dip their finger in the water and write that word on a surface, such as a wall or a pavement. Watch what happens to the word as it dries out. It disappears.

Application: We place our hope in God, the one who heals and saves. Pray as a family for the things you have written on the wall and pray for God’s healing of those situations. May they disappear!

Who could you share this message of hope with today?