EMW Call to Prayer - 7 July 2020
The EMW Summer Call to Prayer
WE RECOGNISE THAT THE WORLD IS CURSED
Suffering in this world warns us all of a greater suffering that faces all who reject Christ.
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
God’s good creation was very different from what we see around us today. As a result of Adam’s sin, God cursed the world and everything was affected for the worse: natural functions like childbirth are no longer easy, relationships are damaged, the creation produces thorns and thistles, work has become hard drudgery and life terminates in death.
God’s grace means that there are many good things for us, but there is no utopia to be found on this earth. Nothing that mankind can do will remove the effects of the curse - sorrow, suffering and hardship will come to us all, believers and unbelievers alike.
The curse is a foretaste of God’s judgment. In Luke 13, we are told that Pilate cruelly murdered some Galileans, and that a tower fell in Siloam and killed eighteen people. Our Lord tells us that this did not happen because they were greater sinners than the others around them. Rather, such acts of deliberate evil and accidental destruction speak a message to all of us, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” A greater judgment is coming that none of us can avoid, and we need to be sure that Christ is our Saviour so that we will not perish on that day.
Have you ever thought that the curse is a display of God’s mercy? Rather than ending the world when Adam sinned, he allowed it to continue filled with reminders of the damage sin causes and the inevitability of judgment, so that we may have opportunity to repent.
Through Jesus Christ there is deliverance from the curse. He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13), bearing the law’s full punishment for the sins of his people. Because of this, a day is coming when, “in a new heavens and a new earth,” there will be “no more curse” (Revelation 22:3) - sin, suffering and sorrow will be removed for ever.
Pray that men and women might stop looking for their heaven on earth, and in the present crisis might heed God’s call to repent
Mark Thomas, EMW General Secretary