Friday, October 5, 2012

The significance of God's planning of creation

Jeremiah 31:35 Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:

All of Creation was planned by God by way of covenant
What a remarkable text is our opening verse in today's blog.  We are interested in considering the significance of God planning creation.  As we saw in yesterday's blog, the Triune God planned creation by way of what Jeremiah 33:19-20 describes as the "Covenant with day and Night".  This tells us that all of creation is essentially a "Covenantal arrangement".  What do we mean by that?  Below are several thoughts that may help us understand God's planning of creation by way of covenant:

1. God finishes what He begins.  In those texts of Jeremiah 33 we see God's commitment to finish what He began in creation as being comparable to the covenants he has made with Abraham and David.  Once God promises to begin something, He does so from the stand point of already seeing it completed. 

2. God will not forsake what He has declared to be good.  Seven times in Genesis 1 we see God declaring His creation "good".  When God makes a covenant with any of His created things, He pledges to remain until His purposes for it are completed.  As it stands in creation, this promise to not leave nor forsake is also true of salvation. (Hebrews 13:5)

3. God created a morally based universe.  In all covenants there are blessings and cursings, boundaries and consequences.  In creation we understand that God has written his law on the human heart - what the Bible terms the "conscience". (Romans 2:15)  We also understand that absolute morality is the same whether here on earth, the farthest galaxy or among the angelic hosts.  The Law of God judges sinners and points the way to grace whereby they can be saved.  Thoughts such as these flow from understanding God's planning of creation by way of covenant. 

4. God's creation is centered around revelation  Passages such as Psalm 19 and Romans 1 speak of God revealing truths about Himself in the creation.  Bible teachers call this "General Revelation", meaning that what can be known about God: His Power and Creative activity, is accessible to everybody.  There is no corner of creation that is not telling us something about God creating us and our obligation to Him.  General revelation is non-saving revelation, and needs the saving revelation of the Bible, or what is termed "special revelation".  In Covenants, we know information is spelled out defining and revealing the terms of any relationship.  Therefore this notion of "revelation" is why creation was made by God in His covenant planning.    

5. God's will cannot be thwarted.  Job 42:2 tells us that God can't be frustrated.  In Romans 8:18-25 we see the clearest explanation of why God in His Sovereignty permitted the fall of man.  Though the creation is being held in subjection, subject to decay, the Bible says in Romans 8 that it is being subjected in "hope".  Hope of what? The Hope of all that will take place at Christ's return when every child of God will be raptured or resurrected and completed.  The beginning truly was and always has been regulated by the end. 

Despite the entry of sin, all five of the above observations can never be defeated by it
When we consider the above observation about God's plan for our world, we understand them to have been planned before time began.  We also understand that they were in operation pre-fall.  But what about after the fall?  Did the entry of sin jeopardize God's ultimate plan and covenantal arrangement for creation?  Below demonstrates that the significance of God's planning before creation was shapped by His end purposes for it:

1. When God created the Heavens and the earth in Genesis 1, He did so with the view of it as being transformed and becoming the New Heavens and New Earth of Revelation 21-22 following Christ's return and millennial reign of Revelation 19-20.  So sin has not derailed God's plan to finish what He began.

2. Despite mankind forsaking God and the creation being subject to decay and decline - God is still committed to seeing His creation through.  He ever extends His grace in this current age, calling forth sinners unto Himself.  His whole purpose in creating all things was to display His glory.  For those who persist in rejection of Him - they will ever observe His justice - sadly but truly getting what His Justice meets out to them - eternal judgment in the lake of fire.  For those who by grace through faith believe on Christ, they will ever observe the Glory of His grace.  So sin does not negate God's efforts in seeing His purpose for creation - display of His glory.

3. The entry of sin and its judgment serves to confirm that we are living in a moral, as well as a physical universe.  There are consequences -both temporal and eternal.  God's moral character is ever the same.

4. Despite mankind's rebellion and separation from God, general revelation tells man that there is a creator to whom he is obliged.  God's Just and Holy Character is known by all.  No one has any excuse to say they didn't know God existed nor that they were guilty in His sight.  We pray that by His grace the Lord would open their eyes to believe on Jesus Christ as revealed by special revelation, the Bible.   

5. God's will is not thwarted despite the presence of evil and suffering.  His sending the Son to take on human flesh and die on the cross is proof positive He did something about it.  Christ's return to earth will demonstrate the final defeat of evil and suffering, revealing that God's will and aims for all He has made are never thwarted. 

To God be the glory!

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