Friday, October 5, 2012

Saturday 10/6 Blog: God made creation for His Glory

Note to the reader: This blog will cover Saturday October 6th.  You are more than welcome to read this today or wait until tomorrow.  I'll be at a conference and will not be able to post this on Saturday October 6th, however there will be a new blog on Sunday October 7th.  May the Lord use these blogs for His glory and thanks for reading!

God Made Creation for His glory
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The title of today's blog may sound very self-evident and simple,  however in light of our culture's rejection of a Biblical worldview in favor of advocating a universe having popped into being by chance, it is vital for Christians to refocus their attention on the biblical doctrine of creation.

Yesterday we consider how God planned the universe.  We discovered that the Triune God planned the universe by way of a Covenant that the Bible calls - "the Covenant of day and night".  We pointed out that the entire creation is covenantal, in that God has pledged His faithfulness to complete it, that He created a moral & physical universe that reveals Hisglory.  We also saw that His will cannot be thwarted.   By understanding creation as having been pre-planned by God, His covenant of day and night also reveals that there is ultimate meaning and purpose.  

Jeremiah 31:35 tells us: "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".  It is on the physical order that I want to blog about today as we consider a handful of thoughts about what exactly God made. 

What were some of the things God made?
Obviously I'm not going to cover everything the Bible teaches about all that God made (there are some sixty passages on creation in the Bible!)  Rather I just want to prime the pump for our thoughts, demonstrating that what God planned is deeply connected to what He made.  Below are just a few:

1. He made the sun for the earth. The text of Jeremiah 31:35 tells us He gave the sun to be a light by day. Just as in the Genesis 1 text, where we see the earth made before the Sun, so we see that priority being reiterrated here. God pre-determined the sun's size and place in its stellar development. He determined where it was to be located in relationship to the Milky Way Galaxy.   If we were closer to the Galactic Center, we would be bumbarded by the intense radiation of the higher concentration of stars.  We are also located in an area that in comparison to the rest of the Galaxy does not have as much of the "Gaseous Dusts of Hydrogen" that pervades throughout the rest of the Galaxy.  That location, some two-thirds of the way out from the Milky Way's center, puts us in a "just-right" spot to see a 360 degree view of our universe.

2. He fixed the order of the moon. The Bible goes onto tell us He fixed the laws governing the moon. The size (400 times smaller than the sun), the distance from the earth (240,000 miles), and its use in regulating the tides. During solar eclipses, the moon's size relative the the sun has it perfectly fit over the sun in the sky, making it the only moon of the nearly 200 moons we know of the Solar System that happens to be able to perform that phenomenon.  We understand that the moon functions to act as a stabilizer brake, as well as push and pull on the magma deep inside the earth's core. If God had not made the moon, life on this planet would not remain long.

The moon's push and pull on earth's core is part of what regulates the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turns shields us from the harmful effects of solar storms coming off of the sun.  If God had not put that in place, you would not just merely get a sun burn, the earth itself would be a lifeless, sunbaked globe! 

3. He made the stars. This is one of the best understatements in the Bible. To realize the sheer enormity of one star in comparison to our planet is mind boggling. Our Sun is a million miles in diameter, with other known stars hundreds of times larger than it. According to the Hertzsprung-Russel chart of the categories of star temperatures and sizes, our sun is almost mid-sized star, making it "just-right", not too hot nor too cool. Between each star on average lies tens of trillions of miles. There are an estimated 100 billion stars in our galaxy, and over 100 billion galaxies in our universe. The Lord indeed has made a big universe!

4. He determined how much water would be on earth. God pre-planned how much water would be on our planet. He uses the moon to regulate the tides, thus giving the ocean the opportunity to "roar" with its waves. He had created sub-terranean vaults that held as much as five-times as much water as are in our present-day oceans.  During the flood of Genesis 6-9, those vaults were let loose and flood our globe.  Some of that water was shot out into space, while the rest receeded either back underground or became out present day oceans. 

5. He planned to include the cross in history. Acts 2:23 tells us that Jesus Christ was delivered up by the predetermined and foreordained will of God. The cross was central not only to God's purposes of redemption by also creation. This last point is a reminder to the reader that in scripture, we cannot seperate the doctrines of creation from redemption, since in redemption God revealed that His plans for creation have not been thwarted. 

If we had more time, we could speak a little bit further on the Angelic realm, the unseen realm that we often read of in the Bible. At the end of Jeremiah 33:35 we read that God is the "Lord of hosts". That term "Hosts" refers to large groupings of things or armies. What all does God govern or "Lord over"? He is Lord over every creature and the billions of human beings living on our world. He governs the "hosts" of stars in our Galaxies. He governs the incalculable hosts of angels that serve Him and not on demon or even satan himself can do anything apart from His will of permission.

To say God made all things is truly glorifying to Him when we consider the testimonies of scripture and the discoveries of science.  God planned creation for one purpose - to put on display His glory. (Psalm 19:1-6)

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!