Stepping-Stones in God’s Plan

Imagine for a moment that you’re alive in the time of the Hebrews - a nation blessed and shepherded by Jehovah. But you, you are not a Hebrew. You are in another nation - perhaps Libyan, perhaps Ishmaelite - you’ve heard of this nation which was led out of captivity in Egypt, taken to a land and protected by Almighty God. But you are not a Jew, you’ve been raised differently, the accident of your birth placed you in a different nation altogether. If you were to join the nation of Israel, then the laws they have always lived with would be an imposition on you - your worship would not have the freedom that they have grown to accept. To you, God’s favour seems to be totally inaccessible. How do you feel?

Last Prophet

  • The last prophet of Mankind’s era, and the powerful message leading to Christ’s return.


  • God’s route to Mankind's recovery and reconciliation to Him

Climate Crisis

  1. Decline of the Species
    - predictions and their consequences
  2. Understanding the Signs
    - when clarity is no longer dependent upon analysis
  3. Facing Our Limitations
    - realisation dawns

You can imagine the envy, the feeling of injustice:

‘By an accident of my birth I’m alienated from God’s favour!’

But God is not unjust, and God’s favour is far wider if only we are willing to look beyond our prejudices.

Recall that Jehovah favoured Abraham for his faithfulness. Faithful Noah before him - for all his loyalty over a hundred year before the flood - didn’t receive that covenant through his children. Jehovah promised a protection to Isaac and his second son, even though traditionally the firstborn son would receive the blessing. Even so, Ishmael was blessed to become a mighty nation by God’s kindness. Recall too that Job -

the greatest of the Orientals
Job 1:3

- was very faithful, yet all his faithfulness didn’t bring him a covenant such as had been given earlier to Abraham. And Esau - who discarded his birthright - left the family way, yet greeted his brother warmly in later years (Genesis 33).

Jehovah showed that those whom He chose would carry out the task He wanted; no accident of birth, nor merit by those who followed, would interfere with His plan. He chose stepping-stones for His purpose: Noah, Abraham, the Hebrew Nation, the Christian apostles. Even fine souls such as Job were not included in that path, and even those who were overlooked such as Ishmael and Esau were blessed by God. Along the way people from all nations would appreciate Jehovah’s character in their hearts, and love Him, and their love was appreciated by Him, wherever they were.

Since then, Jehovah sent Christ Jesus to provide direction. Christ and his teachings has become the next stepping-stone in Jehovah’s purpose. We as Christians are just people; no better than the Hebrews, no finer - there is nothing special about “us”.
Aloofness in it’s many forms has made God and Christ unpalattable to many fine-hearted people.
Our “accident of birth” and upbringing has brought us close to that direction, but God’s kindness is still extended to fine hearts whether Christian or not. A little contemplation and we realise that this is a rich privilege to us, and a responsibility: our manner can be humble or aloof; portray God and His Christ as the truly approachable Divine Ones They are, or as oppressive; treat ourselves as an “elite club” - an excuse to demean others - or acknowledge that the pathway belongs to Almighty God and we are merely walking along it with all our faults. There is no need for us to feel superior, no need for non-Christians to feel discarded - Christ and his apostles showed the way to both Jews and non-Jews; and on his return, he will guide all who want to learn - Christians and non Christians - on the next stepping-stone in God’s purpose. We Christians, like the Hebrews, are not the pathway - - we are not special through accident of upbringing - God has created the road to life for the benefit of everyone.

Switch-On at CERN

Last week saw the long-awaited inauguration of the massive Hadron Particle Collider at CERN. The project - which cost in the region of £4 billion - is a dream laboratory for thousands of physicists from all corners of the world, investigating the nature of matter.

Some have wondered at the wisdom of spending so much money on such an esoteric project. However the project has been thirty years in the making, and previous CERN work has provided the basis for numerous inventions which are deemed essential in the modern world. Others have wondered about the pursuit of knowledge, citing the downfall of Adam and Eve as a warning; however their error was the “knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17) - a knowledge that we as a race are unable to bear without being adversely influenced by it. In comparison, the CERN project is completely different search for knowledge: a huge playground for scientists, their years evaporating away in child-like enthusiasm as they play and discover.

There has been a down side. Fanciful notions in the media of the Hadron Collider producing a “black hole” have worried some people. In India a teenage girl killed herself, because she believed that the world was about to be swallowed up as the huge machine was switched on. An ordinary girl who became too afraid to witness the “horrors” that “lay ahead”, chose instead to avoid that trauma and end her life. If we were to believe religions’ talk of a fiery slaughter of the unfaithful at Christ’s return, we might choose the same route as her. How many people - like her - have killed themselves over the years in fear of a “fiery judgment” from Christ can only be guessed at.

These same fears are growing now over the deteriorating environment; the same immense fears - not the “lesser” concerns of hunger or drought or flooding - but of something more horrific: the destruction of mankind - perhaps everything alive on the planet - all through our own fault. It’s an horrific thought, so difficult to live with, so painful for people with conscience and feeling to endure. But just as CERN will not destroy the world, so the climate crisis won’t destroy mankind either. We can dismiss that fear: Jehovah did not create the world for nothing, but to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18), and Christ would not return to a desolate planet! The wonderful Christ is returning in a kindly way, to rescue everyone alive, without judgment and without cost.

Most of the world had confidence in the scientists at CERN who said:

‘There will be no catastrophe’

- they knew what they were talking about! All those months leading up to the switch-on of the Hadron Collider were panic-free, no fears or worries. How much more so to have confidence in Almighty God Who promises a wonderful future for us! the God Who created everything and understands everything.
Building our friendship now with Jehovah will remove our fear of the difficult time ahead
True, the stronger among us could wait for Christ’s return and then look back with relief, seeing how needless our worry and panic was... But God wants us to lose the fear now - have confidence now - during the remaining years of the climate crisis. He wants us in good shape, secure, not terrified, protected by our faith in Him like the Hebrews on the shore of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:2-4, 13), remembering that all of His promises have always been met (Joshua 23:14). And the peace we enjoy now through that confidence will be a foretaste of what God has in store during Christ’s millennial reign.