My brother was a missionary to the Philippines where he experienced his first earthquake, which came in unison with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. We grew up outside Chicago, so earthquakes were something we knew nothing about. Wind we knew, snow we really knew - but earthquakes were foreign to us. My brother's explanation was amazing to me. When the earthquake hit, he thought the house was collapsing, and that was what was causing the shaking. But when he ran outside, the ground there was shaking and rolling too. For him and his family, this was a very disturbing thing. They took for granted that the ground was firm. Now it was shaking, and that was very disconcerting to them. What they thought was stable, was being shaken. This describes the hearts of many who are relying on things that can be shaken - as if they could not be shaken. When the shaking starts, everything that they thought they could rely on became "shake-able." But this is not the only thing shaken in these circumstances. When it seems that everything can be shaken, your confidence in anything and everything is shaken as well. Is there anything in this world that cannot be shaken? That is what today's proverb is going to address.
What we are told as wisdom is that the righteous will never be shaken. Now, this promise does not speak of being exempt from earthquakes or other natural occurances where the earth around us is shaken. What it does address is an even more wonderful promise - and that is an inner spiritual stability that cannot be shaken by anything - either earthly or unearthly.
Note that the group who will not be shaken is the righteous. These are those who stand before God and are viewed as righteous in His sight. That cannot happen biblically except by faith. There is no man who can ever stand before God as righteous on the basis of his own works. Our works reveal us not as righteous, but as sinful and fallen. If we are righteous, it is by faith in what God has done for us. This He did through Jesus Christ at the cross. But when we put our faith in Jesus Christ - God declares us righteous. These are the ones who cannot be shaken. This is something we need to grasp - spiritually.
The Bible presents the physical world as shadows - with the reality being the spiritual. Therefore, the ultimate shaking will be when we face our ultimate spiritual test - the judgment at the end of the age. It is in this moment that many will learn that althought they thought they were unshakable in life - in death they will truly be shaken. The word for shaken in Proverbs 10:30 is the word "mot" which means to be removed or to fall. It was used often in the Old Testament to refer to the shaking and removing of things previously thought to be unshakable. What shook them was the fierce judgments of Almighty God. This shaking is promised for the wicked and the ungodly. This is the term that is used when it is said that God will remove the mountains - and also of Him removing the entire earth. Indeed there will be a shaking of eternal proportions that will come to the earth. But after the earth is destroyed by fire, there is an even more terrifying event to come. All mankind will stand before the judgment bar of God Himself. This is the ultimate accounting - and the sole basis upon which our entire eternity will be based. Oh what a shaking will come for all philosophies, all worldviews, and all religious beliefs. They will be tested - and all but a faith in Jesus Christ will be found wanting.
The righteous do not have to fear in that day - for the righteousness given to them by God on the basis of faith will stand. It will not be shaken for it rests on the person of Jesus Christ as well as His death, burial, and resurrection. It was the blood of Jesus that paid the debt of sin and paved the way for God to make us righteous by faith. But for every other religious or non-religious view - this will be a day of horror. It will be a day to be terrified as they learn that their self-made, man-made, or demonically-inspired religious and philosophical views will not remain. We are promised that the wicked will not dwell in the land. They will not stand, nor will they know an eternity in God's presence. They will be judged and eventually cast into the lake of fire. This will be their ignoble end - for they held an ignoble faith. Their beliefs did not honor God or give Him thanks. Their view saw god as something or someone they could manage by their own thoughts and philosophical positions. Thus the land God is preparing for us will not be where they will dwell. They will dwell in the outer darkness where there will be weeping and knashing of teeth. They will dwell in a place where the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever.
Let me the thoughts for today with a quote from the book of Hebrews. There we read of this day of shaking with the following description. "See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, 'YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.' This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:25-29) There is a shaking coming and it will shake anything and everything which can be shaken. Heaven and earth will be shaken on that day. But there will be a kingdom on this day that cannot be shaken. The context of this shaking is the judgment of God. God warns of this day from heaven. He also works that anything created will be shaken, and even more than shaken, they will be destroyed. Therefore we are urged to prepare for a shaking that will also involve standing before God, Who in that day, will be a consuming fire. Are you ready for that day? Do you have something, beyond things in this life and this world, that will not be shaken when they all are shaken? Are you ready to stand before God as a consuming fire - and have what it will take to make it through the shaking and through the fire? There is only one thing that will stand in that day - it is what God has given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. On that day only a righteousness gained by faith in Jesus will stand. May both you and me prepare for THAT DAY, so that when it comes - we will not be shaken.