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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

“The Heavens Torn Apart”

Ps. 29:1-4

This psalm begins with a cry of praise and adoration.  We have here a mention of the “sons of God” referred to throughout the Old Testament.  Our Bible translates the literal phrase “sons of God” as “heavenly beings.”  These figures apparently are neither humans nor angels.  They have a role in creation.  Yet a number of them rebel as stated in Genesis 6:1-4.  In the Book of Job they are associated with Satan (Job 1:6).

The most telling reference to them occurs in Psalm 82.  God here indicts them for their failure to carry out justice on the earth.  They have failed to give justice to the weak and the orphan, to maintain the right of the lowly and destitute and to rescue the weak and the needy (Ps. 82:1-3).

The most we can say is that these are celestial beings who finally have failed in their service to God.  These may be the same figures that Paul refers to as “rulers,” “powers” and “authorities” (Rom. 8:38; Col. 2:15).  This is a glimpse into cosmic reality.  The world is far greater and more complex than we can imagine.  We see this already with physical reality whether we look to the universe surrounding us or to the depths of the sea.

The coming of Christ into the world is indeed a new creation (II Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:1-4).  God has allowed his creation to follow its own course.  Freedom is built into the very fabric of reality.  Yet that freedom has led to what Paul calls the “bondage of decay” in creation as a whole (Rom. 8:21).  This idea also was found in ancient writers who spoke of a lost “golden age” which failed because of greed and corruption. 

God had re-created the world in an initial way after the flood.  He called a people to himself, Israel.  Yet Israel failed again and again.  Certainly none of this surprised God.  His overall plan of sacrificial love was at work even here.

The gospel confronts us with the astounding fact that God’s Word has entered human history in a completely mortal human figure.  God’s voice which thunders over the waters has become a living person. 

The miracle of Christ’s incarnation continually astounds us.   We need to focus on its unparalleled hope.  The outcome of our lives does not depend on us.  We are in the hands of a God who is making all things new (II Cor. 5:17).

We too are being made new.

Most merciful and loving God I cannot thank you enough for the new creation that is already taking place.  May I be conformed to this new creation in Christ.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.