God Upholds Creation, If We Do Our Part (first published 6.16.10)
The Deep Horizon Well-Gulf Coast mess has apparently unleashed the forces of chaos on earth, forces which only God can control. This situation is presently man's environmental Frankenstein. It also draws attention to other similar chaotic events, such as flash floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, and unjust wars, all of which seem to be increasing of late.
The very first thing God does, as recorded by scripture, is impose form and order over the formless void (Genesis 1,2), by bringing light amidst the darkness of chaos. Now we bible believers are not pantheists, believing God lives in every tree, but we do greatly admire God's work in forming creation, in imposing order, in providing for and inspiring us. For just such reasons God said over and over that what he created was "good."
All Creation Praises God Or Not
"Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all shining stars, praise him highest heavens, praise him him, waters above the heavens. (Ps. 148,3-4)
"Praise Yahweh from the earth, sea monsters and all the depths [the forces of chaos], fire and hail, snow and mist, storm winds that obey his word, mountains and every hill, orchards and every cedar, wild animals and all cattle, reptiles and winged birds, kings and all nations princes and all judges on earth, young men and girls, old people and children together." (Ps. 148,7-12)
Again we are not pantheists, praising "mother earth." Nor do we think creation has feelings or a soul, like we humans do. But, we do believe that the earth will be redeemed and the injustices done to it will be righted. Such is the faithful stuff of cultic Zion (Isaiah 66,22), the millenial rule (Zechariah 2,9), and the Kingdom of God (2Peter3,13; Revelation 21,1), all of which right, in one way or another, all the wrongs done on and to the earth.
In this redemptive-back to Eden sense, Revelation 5,13 envisions the earth and sea praising the lamb, and like all faithful human flesh seeking restoration:
"Then I heard all the living things in creation- everything that lives in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, crying: 'To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise and honor, glory and power, forever and ever."
Creation praises God in so far as it's living and connected to God, and will one day be transformed back to God's original order and beauty. Besides, who hasn't heard the refrain "The heavens declare the glory of God?" (Psalm 19,1). Yes creation can preach messages that us preachers never will. Or, who hasn't heard of all creation "groaning" to be delivered? (Romans 8,22). Likewise, Mark 16,5 charges us to bring the gospel to "all creation."
So while the earth as a physical reality is not a person, or God's normal abode, save in us as Temples of His Holy Spirit, all creation reflects God's power and beauty and order and generous provision. And believe it or not- God put all this into our human care and dominion (Genesis 1,28-31) and then after all save Noah and His clan had fallen, God made an eternal creation covenant (symbolized by the rainbow in the sky) with us humans and "all living things" (Genesis 9,16).
Negligent Stewardship Breaks Our Covenant With Our Creator
Yet when we see negligence from multinational corporations and our own government leaders and the mess we have generally made of God's abundant and generous creation, we must admit that we have broken our part of this sacred covenant. And keep in mind, breaking any covenant with God has bad consequences for us humans for the earth which we were to lovingly husband. Isaiah 24,5-6a:
"The earth is defiled by the feet [the negligent filth, only dirty thing on a desert dweller's body] of it's inhabitants, for they have transgressed the laws, violated the decree, broken the everlasting covenant [between God as Creator and man as God's agent and steward of all creation per Genesis 9,9-17]. This is why the curse [another explanation for the disorder of man's sinful stewardship] has consumed the earth and it's inhabitants pay the penalty."
Hercules is a Myth But God Is Real And Holds Together All Creation
Collossians 1,16-17 speaks of Christ's part of the Noahtic creation covenant. He will inform all creation as to it's purposes. He will head up all creation. He will, one way or the other, reconcile all of us and all creation, to himself (v. 20). Oh this is a rich and sublime mystery that Paul describes:
He is the image of the unseen God, the firstborn of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and earth: everything visible and invisible, thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers- all things were created through him and for him. He exists before all things and in him all things hold together, and he is the Head of the Body, that is, the church. (Col.1,15-18)
So God's part of the Noahtic covenant is Christ upholding the order and form and provision of all creation. He would do His part if we human beings, as part of creation ourselves, do our easy part. That is if we act as creatures and refrain from treating the earth as if it were our Frankenstein- something we created in our own darkness, despite God's ample provision of light.
Christ would do his part so long as we refrained from our present scorched earth policy whereby every man, woman and beast and government and corporation seeks and gets all it can, any way it can, despite injury to creation and generalized chaotic lawlessness.
Oh what a surprise this Gulf disaster is to many of us mere mortals. You mean to say the earth isn't just our cash cow, a piggy bank for multinationals, our rented mule, a dark nasty place that can surrvive anything?
No, it was created by God and He said it was "good" and He wants it to stay that way!
Isaiah 26,20-21 describes a final apocalyptic time, where God has lost patience with man, and withdraws from holding up creation (which nicely fits the beginning of the tribulation period), and all because humankind broke the creation covenant:
"Go, my people, go to your private room, shut yourselves in. Hide yourselves a little while until the retribution has passed. For see, Yahweh emerges from his dwelling to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their guilt; and the earth will reveal the blood shed on it and no longer hide it's slain."
Here's the bibilcal logic.
If God withdraws his support of creation and all it's order and provision, due to our negligence in meeting the easiest of all God's covenants, then the earth will obviously no longer be working under and for us human beings. If we refuse to honor God by respecting his creation, to make him look good, then He has every right to allow nature to make us look bad as we try in our own might to plug up the forces of chaos on our own, and hold up the weight of the world ourselves.
2Thessalonians 2 Comes Alive in These Days
Now, if God withdraws his upholding power, guess what happy campers, we are heading right back to the formless chaos of Genesis 1, soon to stare into the lawless face of the antichrist (2Thessalonains 2,1).
Isaiah 26,21 cited above and the Gulf mess sheds new light on 2Thessalonians2,5-7:
"Surely you remember my telling you about this when I was with you? And you know, too [because you know God], what is still holding him [the antichrist] back from appearing before his appointed time. The mystery of wickedness is already at work [in the lawless chaos of Thessalonica and present mess], but let him [God] who is restraining it [the coming of widespread rebellion of faithful and antichrist] once be removed [from the earth], and the wicked one will appear openly."
Seeing the varied sins of the Gulf Coast Disaster, the obvious must be stated: we humans have mocked the form and order and beauty and provision of God's creation, and now it seems creation is mocking us.
Don't Blame God
God is not the author of an earth in chaos (Isaiah 45,18; Job 10,22). His idea in providing so richly and beautifully for humankind in nature was that we would advance his agenda and obey him, become like him, not sow lawlessness and faithlessness. The latter are the design of the antichrist who comes to change the very nature of our faith away from a loving and faithful bond with God and instead the acceptance of all sin and the seduction of the antichrist.
Daniel 7,25c: "He will plan to alter the seasons and the Law." In other words, he plans chaos for the earth, an earth that God no longer holds together. And thus humanity reaps from the earth just what we have sown in the earth.
Conclusion: Use Our Time Faithfully And Pray For Lost Souls to Reconcile With God
But we who have been purchased by his blood, and snatched from the grip of sin and chaos, have faith, hope and love amidst every trial and tribulation. And in this day of messes and calamities God is both testing us to persevere and showing us what is going on. We who have eyes to see, let us see. And we who have ears to hear, let us hear. In Jesus Name.
Jesus is also knocking on the as yet unfaithful hearts of those shocked by the Gulf Disaster, shocked by the mystery of lawlessness lapping up upon our shores. Oh that these shocked souls would know their Creator.
His Name is Jesus, reconciling all creation to Himself.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...