Message, January 30, 1994
Let me open by calling your attention to Col 1:9, we desire
that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all
wisdom and spiritual understanding
is to give spiritual understanding to events
going on around us in the realm of nature.
The recent natural disasters, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, require some comments, especially when professed Christians say that a God of love could not be in natural disasters: "He is a God of mercy and love, not of wrath and anger." Those who desire a god after their own imagination create a god which sees no evil, hears no evil and judges no evil. They seem to feel that the Lord today is in heaven, wringing His hands much like an insurance company that must pay vast claims, saying: "Oh my, how did that happen? Now what will I do?" To say the least, such an attitude is blasphemy.
Job shows us that the wicked one cannot move against any person in any area nor can the lightnings strike apart from God's approval, Job 38:34, 35. Furthermore, Christ tells us that not a sparrow or hair falls without the heavenly Father's knowledge.
Furthermore, God caused it to rain forty days and nights, causing a flood to destroy all flesh and change the face of the earth because of sin. Then He separated the land masses in the days of Peleg. Talk about earthquakes! What we have today could not even begin to compare with what took place within very few years after the flood.
God's word address situations such as natural disasters in no unclear terms:
First, Scriptures are clear: Jesus created everything and everything was and is for His glory. Col 1:9. Notice the Spirit's desire for God's people as expressed through Paul:
1) be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 2) that ye might walk worthy of the Lord Jesus unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 3) Strengthened with all might, according to his, the Lord Jesus',glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; 4) giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Then the Spirit tells us what makes us saints in light:
1) the Father delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son: 2) the translation was because we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 3) the Spirit describes the Son: Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 4) vv. 16, 17, is the heart of the matter. The Spirit tells us by what power and authority we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light:
For by him were all things by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominion, or principalities or power: all things are created by him, and for him and he is before all things, and by him all things consist: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
The Spirit desires that we know and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ created all things. Whether in the heavens or on the earth, seen or unseen, everything exists because Christ spoke it into existence.
Furthermore, Christ is upholding all things by the word of his power,Heb. 1:3. Therefore, we must conclude that every atom of creation reflects the will of its Creator, for all of creation is upheld by the word of his power. Apart from the word of his power, creation would melt with a fervent heat, 2 Pet 3:10.
Consequently, all of creation (though fallen), especially man, reflects the character and personality of its Creator. All of creation moves in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
According to Col 1, when the redeemed understand the might and power of their Lord Jesus, they will be strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness in the midst the turmoil around them, v. 11. They will boldly walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing int he knowledge of God.
ALL CREATION REVEALS HIM
Second, the Lord's personally is not only revealed in creation, but also in the law of Moses. When Moses went up on the mount to receive the written version of God's law, he received what was already in effect, viz.,it was built into all creation, including into the very being of man, Rom 1:20.
In the commandments, man is shown how to live in harmony with his Creator, Jesus, and with all of God's creation: the earth beneath his feet, the natural elements around him (the weather), his own physical body and his fellow man. Thus as long as mankind lives in harmony with the Creator and His laws, he is in harmony with creation.
According to 2 Pet 3:10 & Heb 1:3, everything finds its basis of support in the word of the Lord Jesus, its Creator. Therefore, as man live in harmony with God's word as revealed in His basic law of holiness, he is in harmony with the creation around him, e.g., the piano tuner's fork vibrates when the cord and fork are in harmony. 1 Pe 1:14-16.
As people live in harmony with the God's basic word, they are in harmony with God's creation, Deu 28:1-3. (These shall come on thee, and overtake thee...)
Those who live in harmony with the essence of God's word cannot avoid God's blessings, nor can they avoid harmony with His creation. Even unregenerate persons can have physical and temporal blessings from creation if they will live in harmony with the basic law-word of the Lord Jesus, the Creator, e.g., sabbath rest of the land, hard money, debt-free economy and good health practices.
Because the Creator created everything, everything reflects the Divine personality of holiness of the Creator, whether man, animal, earth, plant or the elements. As individuals and/or nations live in harmony with the basic law-word of the Creator, they are in basic harmony one with other,viz., true racial harmony.
On the other hand, when men and nations live in conflict with the common law-word of their Creator, there is nothing but war, disunity and strife among the disobedient people and nations. Moreover, man will be at war with the natural creation because it is still in harmony with its Creator. Isa 1:3:
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
The following are natural results that cannot be avoided any more than one can avoid being burned by placing his hand in fire: these are built into all nature. A person can disclaim the fire's ability to burn, his ability to feel can be destroyed, but fire will still burn. The facts of fire can be ignored but not avoided. God's law-word is compared to a fire; it burns all who ignore it, Isa 33:14-16; Jer 23:24.
Deut 28:15, all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
Rather than blessings overtaking the law-breaker (God's law), curses overtake him. In fact, this passage contains a thorough explanation of the curses. Is it any wonder that those who desire to do their own thing refuse to see God's hand in natural disasters? "God is a God of grace and mercy, not of law, wrath and judgment." If they admit that God is in natural disasters, they must also admit that God's law is in effect. God help us!
These curses are the natural results of living in disharmony with God's law's of life. God does not have to sit on His throne in heaven and look down on mankind and say, "Oh my! he isn't doing right. Zap, there is a curse."
Obadiah 1:15, Thy reward shall be returned upon thine own head. Hosea 13:9, thou hast destroyed thyself.
The parent who loves his child warns that child not to play in the fire, yet the child does and is burned. The child cannot say, "My Dad won't let the fire burn me because he loves me, and he is gracious and merciful!" How ludicrous! The love of the parent toward a child will not even begin to influence the fire's natural effect upon the flesh of that disobedient child. The created nature of fire is that it burns all it touches, and no amount of disbelief will change the nature of fire.
Therefore, common sense tells us that God on His throne does not say, "Okay, fire don't burn the flesh of that disobedient child," though He could, e.g., the three faithful Hebrews. If men do not expect God to make an exception to the fire burning the flesh, why do they expect Him to make an exceptions in other areas? The essence of God's laws are firmly established throughout creation.
Deu 28:15, But these curses shall come to pass. The curses are then listed in vv. 16-44, and cover every area of life:
1) vv. 16-19, the city, field, children, domestic animals,
2) vv. 21, 22, diseases of all kinds will be prevalent, and pagan, heathen people will rule.
E.g., just north of us in Lafayette, the big, new auto plant is owned by the Japanese, and was dedicated to their pagan gods by a pagan priest brought over from Japan.
Notice the choice given to God's people in v. 47: either serve God or serve the pagans. The people refused to serve God, now they must serve a pagan, Japanese god.
3) vv. 22, 23, 24, the heavens, which were friendly to a holy people, are now out to destroy those in conflict with the basic word of God. The Creator's personality is in all creation; therefore, when one part, man, is in conflict with His holy personality, creation is in conflict with the unholy man. Hurricanes, rains, droughts, tidal waves, typhoons, all aspects of the elements are against those who are against their Creator.
Jud 5:20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
4) v. 23, the earth itself is at war against those who are in conflict with the Creator. Note the primary sin which defiles the land, causing it to vomit out the inhabitants, Lev. 18:22-30: incest, bestiality, sodomy, immorality of all kinds. Lev 18:24-28:
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit [any] of these abominations; [neither] any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which [were] before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that [were] before you.
It is astounding how society now accepts living together without marriage.
We should note that a society which will not stand against immorality in general, cannot and will not stand against sodomy and bestiality. Thus we can say that God does not cause earthquakes, hurricanes &/or other natural disasters, the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. But the Lord must approve where the natural disasters strike, Job 38:35.
As I looked at v. 25, I was reminded of the $150 million the US is providing to build housing for the Soviet Union's military officers.
4) mental illness, v. 28; 5) debtor nation, v. 44, &c. 6) vv, 20-22 & 45 say that it is impossible to avoid the curses.
People, in conflict with their Creator, cause natural disasters. Sinful man causes the earth to war against man. Every atom reflects its Creator and His Being. The Creator's essence of holiness is revealed to man in His creation, in His Person - Christ Jesus, and His Word. Sinful man can flee to the very depths of hell or to the farthest reaches of the universe, yet he will not escape the established laws of God. Why? Because they are built into every atom of all creation, Ps. 139.
All the wealth & preparedness in the world will not protect the sinner from the judgment of God, Pro 21:31. The secret things are not secret, Pro 15:3, &c. For those who live in violation of the essence of God's word, all of God's creation is at war against them, even their own bodies.
Therefore, God reveals His cure for uncontrolled diseases which science is searching frantically for, e.g., AIDS. Uncontrolled diseases are the natural results of living in conflict with the Creator; science might as well spend its money on research to find a way to take the burn out of fire.
As for individuals and nations in conflict with the Creator, they can expect God to fulfill His promise that the elements will war against them. Though God does war against the wicked, Ps 7:11; ch 37 & 73, &c, He does not have to: the individuals and nations in conflict with the Creator and His creation have the very earth itself warring against them as it spews out those in rebellion against its Creator.
7) men persist in evil. God is not the author of evil, evil men author their own evil. Evil men are encouraged in their evil ways by God's patience, Ec 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.. They are encouraged by the words of false prophets: The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil, Zep. 1:12.
Gene Riker told me of a local church in his area that advertises that if you come visit it, you will not hear a "hell fire" sermon. It is now the biggest church in the area.
Finally, let me give some positive points:
First, God gave us His laws to establish peace, prosperity and calmness. Natural calamities are natural results of man's rebellion against the Creator.
God's law-word cleanses the land and causes the land to work in harmony with its occupants, Lev 18:1-5. Then as the occupants please the Creator, they live in harmony with the Creator and His creation.
Second, in spite of all the turmoil, God promises to take care of His faithful servants. Note the contrast between De 28:27, 28 & Ex 15:26:
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.
God promises His protection upon those who walk in a holy manner of life from diseases that are on the ungodly. Note that those at war against the word of their Creator are not only at war with Him, but they are also at war with their own body which is made according to His word. The violated diet and conscience are some of the biggest contributors to illness.
Third, based upon our place in the Lord Jesus by being born again, Col 1:9-16, we can gladly proclaim Ps 46
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