Sep 15 2013

God’s Promises and Creation

MR-853Jeremiah 31:31-34 is one of the most important passages in the Old Testament.  It is here that God declared that one day He would make “a new covenant” with the Jews.  This new covenant would be superior to the old one because whereas the first one had been given on stone tablets, the new one would be “in their minds” and “on their hearts.”  Furthermore, God said through the new covenant all would be able to know Him—“from the least of them to the greatest”—and that He would “forgive their wickedness” and “remember their sins no more.”

This passage was one of the ones used in this morning’s worship service.  I know the passage well and how Christians feel this prophecy found in the Book of Jeremiah was fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  I happened, however, to glance over the passage once again prior to the service and found myself reading on to the verse that followed.  Verse 35 says “This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is his name.”

CA-5083It would seem that God wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the One who was making His people these incredible promises was the very God who was in control of Creation.   Perhaps God anticipated some doubting whether such promises were even possible so He reminded them of  just exactly who He was.  The One who appoints the sun, moon and stars to shine and stirs the sea so that it roars was quite capable of fulfilling any promise He chose to make.  There was no reason for them to doubt Him, no reason at all.

As already noted, as Christians we believe that God did fulfill His promise of a new covenant through Jesus Christ.  We celebrate the fact that we have the privilege of being His children and knowing that our sins are forgiven.  But are there not times when we, too, doubt other promises made by God?  Jesus said before he left the earth that he would always be with us. (Matthew 28:20) Do we always believe that?  He told us that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)  Do we really think that’s true?  He also said his Father would give us “whatever you ask in my name” so that our joy might be complete.  (John 16:23-24)  Do we really think that could be true?

OR-Kiwanda-Beach-156I admit that there are times when I have my own doubts about God’s ability to fulfill His promises.  Perhaps when such doubts enter my mind I need to recall that the One who has made these promises “appoints the sun to shine by day,”  “decrees the moon and stars to shine by night,” and “stirs up the sea so that its waves roar.”  It would seem that Creation itself bears witness that God can be trusted to keep His promises.  Each day there are reminders in nature of God’s faithfulness.  Hopefully Creation’s witness will lead us all to strengthen our faith.

–Chuck

(I took the top picture at Mt. Rainier NP, the middle one in California, and the bottom image off the coast of Oregon.)