This morning, promptly at 6:24 am the ISS (International Space Station) reached its highest point in the night sky and I watched as it sped silently along its path over 200 miles overhead. Over the decades since its inception there has been much in the news about the billions of dollars and countless hours spent to build, populate and maintain this modern wonder.
But as I watched it speed across that star draped backdrop the thought came to my mind that the wallpaper behind the ISS was immeasurably more wonderful! Each point in the sky represented a star, quasar or galaxy more expansive, distant and energetic than the most brilliant human mind can comprehend.
Standing there I was lost in wonder alongside the psalmist who wrote, “What is humanity that You are mindful of them?” Yet wonder of ALL wonders, the ONE who created all this has come to us, redeemed us and promised us an eternal home far above and beyond the ISS or even the most distant star!
“They have become like us, knowing both evil and good. What if they reach out and take from the tree of life and live forever?”
These words from Genesis 3:22 tell us that to be made in the image of God is to be able to choose between good and evil. So why did God withdraw His offer to eat freely from the tree of life? God put a guard to the garden of Eden to keep us from it.
We demonstrated in that choice to eat from the forbidden tree that given the choice between good and evil we will choose evil. God did not remake us so we could only choose good. Or did He?
Yes! In saving us and remaking us in the image of Jesus the Son we are given, as Jeremiah put it, “a heart of flesh”. May we yield to the Spirit of God and let ourselves be remade, day by day, into someone who when given the choice, does what is right no matter what.
How is it that God made light on the first day but on the fourth day created the sun, moon and stars? How is it that God created plants on the third day before the sun existed?
Could it be that God does not understand the way things work? From a scientific perspective, the way creation is recorded in the first chapter of Genesis makes no sense at all. Then why is it recorded this way?
Several years ago I found myself in a place of great financial need. I needed close to $2,000 per month to make ends meet and I had no idea where it would come from. My first response was to worry! But then, after taking time to pray I said to God, “All my life I have had a steady income from work. I now see that you have given me an opportunity to experience you as my provider, not an employer or even a person. I will trust you and I thank you in advance for your love and care. Amen.”
I wish I could say that day was the end of my worrying but it was not. That year was a year of struggles and ups and downs. I began looking for God’s provision in a dumpster and saw some of it there. It saw a time when someone I trusted cheated me out of over $2,000! I had to forgive that man and to this day this man, a professing Christian, has not honored his debt. But at the end of that year when I added up all that had come in it was even more than I had needed each month. To be sure I did not sit in my chair and wait for it to fall like manna from the sky. I worked and searched and prayed and struggled.
Now this brings me back to Genesis 1. It seems to be that in recording the order of creation the way it is we are meant to understand that it is not the sun, or even light or the earth itself that is our source of sustinence but the God OF creation.
This should give us great hope in a time when the earth as our source of life is being threatened by our own sinfulness!
“What is happening to our country?” we are all asking ourselves. The Psalmist wondered aloud at why things had become so bad in his country and then, after he entered the sanctuary, he understood.
This morning I read from 2 Samuel 24:1 “Once again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census. ‘Go and count the people of Israel and Judah,’ the Lord told him.” As a result of David’s action Israel suffered a plague which took the lives of 70,000 out of a relatively small nation.
God is able to do anything! What seems to us to be an unrelated series of events resulting in the presidency of Donald Trump with all the harm it is causing is, at its root, a judgement from God on America.
As a nation we must take an account of ourselves. This begins with each one of us looking within. Instead of trying to fix things or turn to political activity, the real solution is repentance and a return to godliness.