Saturday, May 14, 2016

Genesis 2:1-3 comments: the nature of reality

1 ¶  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

So, on a physical, literal day, the seventh, God ceased from the creating He had done the last six days. There are those commentators who insist that this seventh day, as it does not speak of an evening and a morning, goes on forever and God stopped creating anything. Certainly, there will be things made from this point that did not exist before this. For instance, in the upcoming verses God plants a garden. Later, He will create, in a manner of speaking, Israel. At some point in the future He will prepare a great fish specially to swallow a man. He is even preparing a place for us in eternity. In Job He tells us that He is doing things in places where man does not see. So, whether or not He is doing something along the lines of the original creation we will not know until we are with Him physically. One thing is clear. God likes to make things and He likes variety by the diverse nature of creation itself.

The book of Job, which many believe is the oldest book penned in the Bible, explains that all physical reality is by the direct action of God. There are no laws of Physics, constants and laws are all semantic and cultural constructs to explain events without God, as all things are by a direct action of the will of God either in allowing something to happen or causing something to happen. For instance, in God’s arrival in Job He asks several rhetorical questions such as, “where were you when I did such-and-such,” or, “can you do what I do every day?” These questions are designed clearly to show us and Job God’s involvement in all reality. Here, God states that every clod of dirt that forms in a farmer’s field, trillions of times over around the world each day, is formed by Him as He asks Job if Job can do that. He then says in this manner, contrary to what we think when we watch a nature video on our computer, that the predator gets his prey from God, not from his own ability or luck.

Job 38:38  When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? 39  Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, 40  When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? 41  Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

This sentiment is repeated elsewhere.

Psalm 104:21  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

Science, since Isaac Newton’s time, after this Bible was published, of course, just like the Counter-Reformation’s triumph in Richard Simon’s criticism of the Old Testament was applauded by Enlightenment thinkers and German theologians and rationalists, reduce God, when He was even considered at all, to the First Cause only. God was reduced to acting at one time in history, like the fundamentalists who believe that only the original writings of the Bible writers were inspired by Him. God was shoved back into a distant corner and everything else operated by so-called natural causes or man’s will. The Bible denies this. If God is a watchmaker He not only makes the clock but causes the hands to turn and the gears to wind. If you want to see God’s will in action get up and walk across the room. He has permitted it or else you stumble and fall, have a cramp, or worse, an aneurysm or a heart attack. God’s will permits a man to throw a punch at me and God’s will permits me to defend myself or not.

So, what of evil you ask? What of disaster and calamity, say, of the 2004 tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands? First, we have to understand and the Bible will explain that there is no war between God and Satan. God is totally in control. He permits Satan to do what he wishes to mankind under specific restrictions but Satan can go no further. Read Job. What about our free will? We have the freedom to choose whom we will follow; God or our Self. But, as offences will come but woe to the man through whom they come (Matthew 18:7). If you choose Self and sin it will take you, as the preachers say, further than you want to go and make you stay longer than you want to stay, and make you pay more than you want to pay.

God controls all outcomes, even the ones we think of as horrible.

Job 2:10  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Lamentations 3:37 ¶  Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38  Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? 39  Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40  Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. 41  Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

Isaiah 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

We have the consolation that God loved the world at the Cross and loves those that have received Christ and are His. The rest of the world is under God’s wrath. Satan is already judged and has but a short time. Those who reject Christ, along with Satan, will spend eternity in agony.

History is filled with examples of God’s judgment. Abraham Lincoln even acknowledged that the American Civil War was a judgment from God on the entire nation. God uncovers, God reveals, God permits, until our evil overflows and then God visits and disposes. We have our will, we get our way, and then God has His.

The God presented in the Bible is totally in control of all reality, all that is or could be, and it is time that Christians fell on their faces and acknowledged His might as well as His goodness and His love and understood that they are totally dependent on His mercy. For God is totally in control and makes happen every cell function, every beat of your heart, and when you will enter into eternity down to the second.

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