“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
This is an amazing statement. In the beginning of what? Of everything that is—other than God. Before any of this, He already is (not simply was, because He is not bound by time). The concept of the eternality of God is mind blowing! However, this is not what I want to focus on at this time.
God created the heavens and the earth. Did you catch that? God—created—the—heavens—and—the—earth. Do you realize what this is saying? (“Um, yeah! Like, God made everything. Duh!”) Yes! But it is declaring something else.
Bear with me for a moment. A composer writes a symphony. It is his. He has the right to place notes where he so chooses. He has the right to have a spot for a solo violinist or not. He can choose to have percussion or not. It is his symphony.
An artist has the right to choose the shades of color. He has the right to paint a blue sky or a purple sky. It is his painting.
A poet has the right to rhyme or not. He has the right to use ever or e’er. It is his poem.
What does any of this have to do with God? Everything! This is God’s world—His symphony, His painting, and His poem. He has the right to set the rules and boundaries as He desires; He has the right to set the rules. This is His world, not ours. He created us, we did not create Him. Everything is His.
“Why did God create people if He knew they would sin?” “Why does He allow people to go to hell?” “Why does He permit evil?” These questions are neither simplistic nor trivial. The answers are not either, but one is He is God. “Well, that’s not a good enough answer!” Perhaps not, but it does not change anything, whether you accept the answer or not. I abhor the fact that our government is filled with many corrupt individuals with their own selfish agendas, but my feelings are inconsequential.
“Well, if I was God . . . .” If you or I was God, I highly doubt the world would have a Savior at all! Is it not strange that none of us are the poster children for love and justice, but we want to be so quick to open our mouths to judge the very God who suffered so much for us?
God is perfect in love, holiness, purity, wisdom, and understanding. Are you perfect in any of these? I am most certainly not. We have brains about the size of a softball and are deluded into thinking we know better than God! God is perfect in all of these, and in all of His ways, so He clearly sees and understands some things that we do not. We can hardly see past our faces, let alone the whole picture!
God is a God of order, beauty, and peace. The reason we see so much disorder (chaos), ugliness, disunity, and striving is because these are the effects of sin and rebellion against His ways.
I recently was told about a well-known writer of some worship songs who has rejected God. He claims He has such peace now. Of course he does, he can live out the desires within him. Nevertheless, his actions have devastating ripple effects on others. He criticizes God for allowing evil, not understanding that sinful choices are what bring about the evil in our world in the first place! He claims Christians are hypocrites and that non-Christians are often kinder. Strangely, politics and entertainment are filled with non-Christian hypocrites! Furthermore, it is non-Christians making weapons of mass destruction, who create concentration camps, and are filling prisons! Whether in churches or out in the world, when God’s ways are discarded people are left hurting. This is the nature of sin.
In any case, this is God’s world. He has the right to let us make choices. These choices have consequences—sometimes devastating consequences! One of my great concerns has to do with so many churches trivializing—even denying—what God calls sin. In doing so, they not only unwittingly misrepresent the character of God, but they also delude people into thinking there will be no consequences. Sin always has consequences. Always.