Finding God in the Order of the World.
Have you ever seen the inside of an old-fashioned wristwatch? It is full of wheels, cogs, and gears, all reliant on each other to work smoothly and precisely with each other to do the job of telling the time.
This vision, for me, is a man-made example of the orderliness of God’s creation. And this is what I would like to talk about today, how we can discern God’s nature through the orderliness and the cyclical nature of his creation.
We can see the cycles and order from the vastness of the universe to our own solar system and the astonishing synchrony of the planets, creating day and night, the seasons, and the tides.
Then think of the complexities of all of God’s creatures. The organs, and millions of internal structures that make this incredible part of God’s creation operate in a regular, orderly, and cyclical fashion (most of the time anyway).
Our individual lives also follow regular patterns. Someone is always being born, someone is always growing to adulthood, someone is always finding love, and someone is always dying.
How about you? Can you think of regular patterns in your life, or see patterns in nature? Perhaps you could think about this today and see if you can see God in any patterns or cycles around you that rely on each other, like the components of an old wristwatch, and marvel at the precision of God’s creation.
But regular patterns and cycles do not mean everything is an eternal, meaningless ongoing circle. God has a very definite purpose in all this regularity and order.
Today’s reading tells us that there is a season for everything under the heavens, a time for everything. There are many times, seasons, and cycles in our individual lifetimes, and we should always remember this in the worst season, the season of suffering. Because whatever season we are in, God’s plans for us are developing in his time, in his way.
The destination we are traveling towards is the final return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and we travel with him because he said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ This is the ultimate and sacred order of things established by God.
So we live with the seasons and cycles of life in the joy of his presence. We live in faith and hope that one day Jesus will return to earth, and we will be united with God our father, the amazing creator of all ordered things.
Ecclesiastes 3 NIV
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]
16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Psalm 19 NIV
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.