Friday, March 30, 2012

What I believe: God is the Creator of all things, part 2

I spent the last post detailing why and how I believe that God is the Creator.

Today I am super crunched for time.

I am going to give you two reasons why I don't think evolution makes any sense, and one reason why I think it's kind of crazy to try to make it make sense.

In fifteen minutes or less.

Seriously, I'm sweating now. And I type really badly when I'm stressed.

Two reasons why the theory of evolution doesn't make sense:

(1) The Second Law of Thermodynamics.
(2) Statistics.

I'm not sure which to begin with, as they are inter-related. I guess I'll start with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that left alone, everything proceeds towards entropy. Entropy is increasing randomness or chaos, in other words: decay.

I am both a mother and a homeowner. I know that this is true. If I do not apply a lot of energy and work to my situation, things go downhill. Little children left alone in a room destroy it... until they reach a sentient age where they can be taught to join me in applying positive energy (work) to the situation to improve it rather than destruct it.

My children may or may not remember me telling them, as they played, "We are going to be constructive. We are not going to be destructive." This was a constant lesson I attempted to drum into them. "We build towers with our blocks," I told them, "we do not throw our blocks at each other or at the walls." I needed to emphasize these things, because left on their own, they would always destruct rather than construct. It is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. You have to work very hard and very deliberately to counter the forces of nature.

This is why your house needs to be painted (or at least washed ) every few years. Why your plumbing needs to be cleaned out, why your roof needs to be replaced, why your landscaping needs to be pruned and weeded and eventually overhauled. It's even why your kitchen floor needs to be swept.

Everything is constantly moving towards disorder.

This tells me that the theory of evolution is impossible. Things simply, on their own, do not move from disorder to order. A mass of unorganized matter is never going to magically arrange itself into something that is ordered and eventually culminates in life. Apart from positive energy being applied to the situation by a sentient being (in this case, I'm arguing for God), it isn't going to happen. The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us so, and all you need is a little bit of high school science to understand this.

On to statistics: I do not play the lottery. I never buy lottery tickets because I understand odds, and I do not like to waste my money. Same with Las Vegas. I look at the money they are using to build their high-rises, put on their shows, power their glitzy lights, and I know it comes from somewhere... from the poor fools who gamble and lose and gamble and lose. In Las Vegas, a few people win a little bit now and then, but overall, there is a vast conspiracy to make sure that the casinos are wildly profitable. It's kind of like insurance, except that there are government mandates that I buy insurance (even though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the insurance companies are rigged to be sure that they take in far more than they ever pay out). There are no government mandates that I gamble. So, hallelujah, I don't!!

I understand the odds against winning in Las Vegas and against winning the lottery. However the odds are infinitely more likely that I would win at either of these than that evolution could ever have brought us life as we know it.

I don't care how much time you give it. More time doesn't mean better chances. More time means a further descent into entropy.

Think of a watch, a handy piece of workmanship. It's a very intricate thing, in its way. Of course, it is not nearly as intricate as, say, a solar system, or a daffodil, or a rabbit... or a human.

Suppose you took the pieces of a watch, all of them, nice, fresh-off-the-line screws and gears and whatever all else is inside a watch. Suppose you took them all, not one piece missing, and you put them into a box and you shook that box. Say you shook it for two hours straight. Do you think those parts would, within those two hours, form themselves into a watch?

Well, they wouldn't.

And suppose you continued to shake the box for a year. Fifty years. Three billion years. Over that length of time, are the contents of that box going to become more or less like a watch?

You don't know? Well, I'll tell you. After three billion years of shaking in that box, what used to be watch parts would have decomposed into dust (oh! we're back to entropy!). Materials that at one point could have fit together to form a watch are ground down into useless rubbish. Why? Because there was no sentient energy applied to the situation. (Although not sentient, we did apply energy! Imagine what would have happened over three billion years if the box just sat on a table.)

If you can't do it with a watch, it stands to reason that you couldn't do it with a universe.

You need a sentient, powerful God to create life.

They try to create life in the lab from "raw materials." Never mind that they aren't worrying about what would have been the original source of these raw materials (which they ordered from a catalog of chemicals). If we put that thought out of our minds, they've actually gotten pretty close to producing life. But they've never accomplished anything without applying brain power and energy to the experiment. I rest my case.

Lastly, it makes no sense to pursue the idea of evolution because clearly, the chicken had to come before the egg.

God created things in a mature form. He did not make Adam as an embryo or a six-month-old baby or even a nine-year-old-child. If He had, Adam would have required care. God made Adam as a fully grown adult male, and Eve as fully formed adult female. God made trees as trees, ready to produce fruit with seeds for reproduction. He made fish as fish, birds as birds and kangaroos as kangaroos.

We didn't get a glimpse of how our development worked until the first reproductive cycle began. In reproduction, things start from a single cell, and within this cell are the DNA blueprints for whatever multi-celled organism that cell is programmed to become. Creation and reproduction are not the same thing. Creation was when God wrote the blueprints and stored them in the DNA. Reproduction is when the cell follows the directions God gave it. Adaptation is when the blueprints flex to accommodate different environmental factors, and it certainly happens. But the adaptation of a species is not the same as the development of a new species (something we have never seen in recorded history; conversely, we have seen species become extinct, because that is the result of entropy).

It is my belief that people are clearly starting from a flawed premise when they try to work backwards to find the "first single celled organism." If you start from a flawed premise, you get flawed science.

Oh, I hadn't planned to mention this, but here's a freebie before I go: Carbon dating is at least as much an example of circular reasoning as is proving the existence of God with the Bible. Actually more so. Maybe we'll talk about that next time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I believe: God is the Creator of all things

When my son Jon was a wee little boy, he used to sit with his chin resting on the top of the back of the sofa, looking out the window to the yard. "Who made the trees?" he would ask me.

"God made the trees," I replied.

"Who made the clouds?"

"God did."

"Who made the grass?"


"Who made our house?"

"The builders built our house, " I told him. That always threw him, so I explained, "The builders built our house, but God made the things they built it with. For instance, they framed our house with wooden boards. God made the trees grow so the lumberjacks could cut them down and have them milled into boards to build houses."

Once even longer ago somebody else, Shannon or David, or maybe Laura, asked me, "Where was I when you were a little girl?"

"You weren't born yet when I was a little girl," I said.

"Yes, but where was I before I was born?"

Now that's a question, let me tell you.

"You were in the mind of God," I said. And they liked that. It satisfied them. They believed it. And you know what? I believe it too.

Psalm 139:15-16 says, "My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." (ESV)

I believe that God made the world and everything in it.

I believe this because the Bible says so, and I believe that the Bible is true.

Here are some Bible passages which tell us that God made the world:

Genesis account of creation
Isaiah 45-46
Psalm 8
Psalm 19:1-3
Psalm 104
John 1:1-4
Colossians 1:15-17.

Now, this means nothing to people who do not accept the truth of the Bible. I totally understand that. I am not trying to prove to a skeptic of the Bible that God made the world because the Bible says so. I do not expect that skeptics will read the Bible and then stand up and take note. I am not that simple-minded. All I am doing here is laying out the fact that the Bible does state that God created the world.

Now, about the world being created in six twenty-four hour days... you might be surprised at what I have to say about that.

What is a day? A day is twenty-four hours. How do we measure this? We measure it with respect to the time it takes the earth to make one revolution with reference to the sun: sunrise, morning, noon, afternoon, twilight, sunset, bedtime, midnight, and back to sunrise again.

While closely reading the Genesis text, I noticed this:

On Day One, God created light and separated the light from the darkness. He called them morning and evening, and that was the first day.

On Day Two, God said "Let there be an expanse," and He separated the waters from the waters and called the expanse Heaven (...if you are confused by this, so was I; just keep reading, please).

On Day Three, God separated the water from the earth and made dry land and seas. He told the earth to sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit.

On Day Four, God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night." He created the sun, moon and stars and placed them in their orbits, designing the patterns of their revolutions.

Wait a minute. God created the sun, moon and stars on Day Four.

So, if we measure a day based on the length of time it takes the earth to revolve one time with respect to the sun, what was a day before there was a sun? What were Day One and Day Two and Day Three?

A skeptic, an atheist, a person who is bent on not believing the Bible, finds ammunition right here in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible. This doesn't make any sense. Besides, how could plants grow and produce seeds and fruit before there was a sun to make them photosynthesize?

It all depends on what you are looking for. Are you looking to see what the Bible could teach you that is true? Or are you looking to see what you can complain about?

First, I have to admit that I do not see a Biblical mandate that God created everything in six twenty-four hour days. Could He have created everything in six twenty-four hour days? Of course! He is God, and He can do anything. I'm just not sure that we can claim that the Bible says He did.

Do you see what I am doing here? I am trying to separate what the Bible definitely says (that God created the world in six days) from something that we often claim the Bible says (that God created the world in six twenty-four hour days). The Bible might not say exactly what we have often interpreted it to say.

I am not advocating for evolution. We'll get to my skepticism about that theory at some point. I'm just saying that I don't think God paid much attention to ordering the way time could be measured prior to the fourth day of creation (when He made it one of the main items on His to-do list), so to insist on applying our current understanding of time-flow to the creation process seems to me rather simplistic and awkward.

God exists outside of time, and He was outside of time before He ever lifted a finger to create anything. We simply cannot bend our minds around the concept of existence outside of time. For us, to exist means to be born into a time continuum where one moment follows another and life is a string of consecutive events stretching from birth to death. We can think of the past, and we can think of the future, but we cannot imagine what it would be like to exist outside of all of it. God does exist outside of all of it, though. This is why He can tell us in His word that He knows the end from the beginning. He's on the outside, watching it all unfold simultaneously, except I probably expressed that all wrong because I can't really imagine what it would be like to be free and unbounded by time. Besides, He's on the inside, too, always.

Here's what I think: I think when Genesis 1:3 tells us that God said "Let there be light" and created light and darkness and separated them from each other and called them day and night, He was creating time. This would be the logical first step for Him to take in creating an environment in which humans could exist and live.

Following that, I think on the second day when God created the great expanse to separate the water from the water and called it Heaven... He was creating space.

Day One: time.

Day Two: space.

There you have it, the ubiquitous time-space continuum necessary for all life as we know it.

Day Three is a little trickier. The Bible says that God gathered the water into seas, made dry land and produced vegetation of all kinds. A literalist is now picturing lakes, rivers, valleys, forested hills and fields of wheat. But what do we know?

We know that the sun isn't going to be born until tomorrow (Day Four). And we know plants can't grow without sun.

Think back to what we have already seen God do: create time and space. If time is "step one" (and incidentally, I conjecture that it probably took God a lot less than twenty-four hours to create time... I imagine Him doing it in a single stunning, electrifying instant), and if space is "step two," what would be the logical third step? It seems to me that the logical third step would be to put something into the time and the space.

What would you put into time and space? Well, what about matter?

What if God created matter on Day Three, the elements of the periodic table, hydrogen and nitrogen and (naturally) carbon, as well as the rest of them? Maybe He even started forming some of the elements into molecules, inorganic and organic. The organic ones would soon become the foundation of plant life and even animal life. Well, a literalist may ask, why doesn't the Bible say that, then? Well, I would respond, because the elements had not yet been discovered at the time Moses was receiving the Word of God from the Lord on Mount Sinai. That kind of scientific knowledge was thousands of years in the future.

If you were God (a dangerous thing to try to imagine, but carefully try for just a moment), and you were giving a vision to a man of ancient times like Moses, a man who lived long before any scientific development (imagine this), and you were trying to explain to him that you had created matter on the third day of creation, what kinds of visions would you use to show him? He has to write something down, but what could he grasp, with the knowledge base that he has? Maybe you would show him water, rocks, minerals, and the plant life that would soon spring from these building blocks of nature which, on their own, are actually too tiny for the naked eye to see? Does that sound a little like what we read about in Genesis 1:9-13? Maybe?

Then on Day Four, God took that matter He'd brought into being on Day Three, and He made the Universe... stars, moons, planets and everything on them. People who study the stars say that they swirl around with meticulous, predictable precision out there. God designed it all, the way a watchmaker designs a very fancy watch, except infinitely bigger and infinitely more intricate.

On Day Four, God placed Earth at just the right distance from the sun, not too close and not too far away. He measured out just the right elements in the perfect ratios to make up the earth's atmosphere, and He poured water onto the earth to make it ready to support life. He let things begin to live and grow after the patterns He had created for them.

On Day Five God made fish, birds, insects and all the lower life forms.

On Day Six, God made mammals and humans, the higher life forms.

Given what we know about science, none of this seems the least bit implausible to me. It seems miraculously logical and orderly for a piece of writing that was transcribed approximately 3000 years before people had figured out anything about the scientific method or biological classification or chemistry. Just pointing that out.

I'm not saying that the way I explain things here is definitely the way things were. In fact, my husband, who loves physics, has an entirely different theory based on the way time is expanding and not a constant. I could be right. He could be right. Goodness, the literalists could be right. I don't think we will know exactly how creation happened until we get to heaven and ask God about it.

But no matter what, I believe that God is the Creator of all things.

to be continued

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I believe: There is a God.

I believe that there is a God.

I can't tell you all the reasons why I believe this, and I certainly cannot prove definitively and objectively that it is unquestionably true. However: I do believe that the existence of God is definitely, objectively and unquestionably true.

This is not to say that there are not moments when I have a niggling doubt: What if this is not true? But those doubts last only for a moment. As Job said, so say I:
"I know that my Redeemer lives." (Job 19:25a, ESV)

I can't tell you all my reasons, but I can tell you THREE.

(1) The Bible
proves to me that there is a God.

The Bible is a most remarkable book. Unlike the scriptures from any other religion, the Bible was compiled over a very long time by a very large number of authors.

We do not know exactly when the oldest book of the Bible, Job, was written. Scholars think it was written sometime between 2000 B.C. and 1800 B.C.

On the other end of the spectrum, the "youngest" book of the Bible is the book of Revelation which is dated at A.D. 95. That means the span of Biblical writing covers almost 2000 years, and possibly even a few more.

Approximately 40 different people wrote books of the Bible. They did not all know each other or work in cahoots with each other. Many of them had no idea that their writings would some day be cataloged into one great book of Holy Scriptures.

Some people say that the Bible certainly could not be true because of minor discrepancies, for instance: the fact that the four gospels each record something different written on the sign on the cross over Jesus at His crucifixion. Here is what each of them says:

Matthew: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews," (from Matthew 27:37, ESV)
Mark: "The King of the Jews," (from Mark 15:26, ESV)
Luke: "This is the King of the Jews," (from Luke 23:38, ESV)
John: "Jesus of Nazareth. The King of the Jews." (from John 19:19, ESV)

Now, if the Bible were a hoax, and people had made it all up, wouldn't you think that someone would have gone back and fixed that? It would have been easy enough to massage the data to get 100% agreement in these statements. But nobody did. To me, that says God is behind it, not man, and it is a true book... just like how real teeth are not as straight and white as dentures.

Sure you can find "inconsistencies." But they are very minor, and further study will often show you that what appears to be an inconsistency is not inconsistent at all.

Actually, the fact that things match up as remarkably as they do--over time and from the non-synchronized pens of different men--proves to me that there is an Almighty God behind the whole thing, directing the writing to reveal exactly what He wants to reveal to us about Himself.

Consider that in approximately 681 B.C., the prophet Isaiah wrote,
"[Thus says the Lord]...who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid”... I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty.'"
(Isaiah 44:28 and 45:13, ESV)

In about 450 B.C. Ezra the scribe wrote about what happened at the end of the Babylonian Captivity (which God predicted would last 70 years, and it did). Ezra 1:1 begins, "In the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia..."

Cyrus' first year was 538 or 539 B.C. That is 143 years after Isaiah wrote his prophecy, and there he was, the very Cyrus that God had named in advance, and he did exactly what God said he would do. He sent the exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, and provided them with the materials to do so. I don't know about you, but to me, things like this prove the existence of God.

(2) The fact that there must be an ultimate Source
proves to me that there is a God.

In the movie, The Sound of Music, right when Maria and Captain Von Trapp fall in love, they sing a song together, and one of the lines in the song says, "Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could."

And that is a true statement.

Nothing comes from nothing.

Plants come from seeds. Baby birds come from eggs. Dirt comes from decomposed organic matter. Rain comes from condensed humidity which comes from (I think) the oceans and such.

Nothing comes from nothing.

You can make a lot of stuff in an organic chemistry lab. I know this because my daughter is a synthetic organic chemist. She can make hormones and pheromones and all manner of compounds and molecules. But she can't make any of them out of nothing. In fact, the chemicals they use to make the things they make are often extremely rare and expensive, limiting how much product they can make... because nothing comes from nothing.

Nothing comes from nothing, and yet... we live on a planet in a universe filled with stars and moons and other planets. On our earth we have metals, rocks, gems, plants, animals, sand, water and fire. We have people, houses, trees, cars, clothes, appliances and accessories.

Some of the things we have are easy to trace back to some sort of source: the handbag came from Gucci. That sort of thing.

Others are harder: Where did the mountains come from? The glaciers. Where did the glaciers come from? The Ice Age. Where did the Ice Age come from? From variations in the atmospheric composition of the earth where concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere fluctuated. Well, where did the carbon dioxide and methane come from, and what caused them to fluctuate? Ummm... ?

Ultimately, there must be a Source. Nothing comes from nothing. Even if the Big Bang Theory were true, it begs the question: Where did these original particles of matter come from, and why were they floating around in space, and what was the source of the bang that kindled them into something that could eventually produce life?

If you think back to origins, as far back as you can possibly think, I don't see how you can avoid at least postulating the probable existence of a Source. Because no matter how many billions and trillions and bajillions of years you think it took for evolution to happen, it doesn't cancel out the fact that--no matter what--at the very, very beginning, something had to come from Something. I submit that the original Something, the Source, is God.

(3) The complexity of nature
proves to me that there is a God

I am going to focus on this more in my next post. For now, I will quote two Bible passages and then leave you with a question to ponder.

Psalm 19:1-3 (ESV)
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.

Romans 1:19-20 (ESV)
For what can be known about God is plain to them,
because God has shown it to them.
For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,
in the things that have been made.
So they [those who deny God] are without excuse.

God plainly states in His Word that He has revealed Himself to mankind through nature, and since we all have access to this revelation, all of us will be held accountable on Judgment Day.

I did not pursue much math and science, back in the day. But I did study some math and science courses. And the more I learned, the more I realized I how much I did not know. The elaborate designs of the particles that compose all of creation took my breath away. The processes of regeneration, procreation and DNA replication made me shake my head in wonder. The concept of infinity struck me with awe. It seems to me that the more you know and understand about the complexity of nature, the more convinced you ought to be that all this wonderful stuff around us could not be the result of a series of random coincidences.

So here's my question: Do you really (really?) think that it is more logical to explain God away than to believe in Him?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Beautiful truth

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting
You are God.

Psalm 90:1-2 (ESV)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Proverbs 12:23

A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
Proverbs 12:23 (ESV)

I don't think this means that a prudent man hides things that people need to know, withholding important information.

I think it means that a prudent person keeps information carefully. He is discerning about what he shares with whom, and when.

He does not feel the need to show off everything he knows. He is secure and humble, and he does not depend on his ability to spread information to build his reputation. He does not shoot off his mouth.

A fool, on the other hand, shoots off his mouth all the time. He makes outrageous promises and claims. He passes on information as quickly as he possibly can, always wanting so badly to prove that he was First To Know that he often doesn't even take the time to determine whether what he "knows" is true.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Proverbs 12:15-16

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
Proverbs 12:15-16 (ESV)

According to the Bible, people who are wise and prudent listen to advice and do not get insulted easily.

According to the Bible, people who are fools always think they are right and become vexed easily.

Of course, this is true of everyone, but it is the most visible where leaders are concerned.

The best leaders surround themselves with wise counselors and listen carefully, weighing what they hear against what they see
for themselves in scripture. They are not easily offended, because their aim is to be true to God's word, not to be infallible themselves. In fact, they would gladly go back and correct something that they had said that, in retrospect, they deemed to have been out of line with scripture, because being true to scripture--to God Himself-- is their highest goal. And they are humble. I am so thankful for the leaders in my life who are this way. They truly set an example for those who follow them. They set a Christlike, servant-leader example.

Foolish leaders do not surround themselves with the wise and take advice. Perhaps it is because they lack the discernment to recognize who among them is gifted with God's wisdom. Perhaps it is because they hold their leadership role with such grasping lust for power that they cannot stomach the thought of submitting to anyone else's advice. Or perhaps it is because they fear that if they expose their inner thoughts to truly wise counselors, they will be discovered to be humbugs who really have no wisdom of their own at all, only charisma. At any rate, when wise counsel does come their way, they generally have a tendency to become vexed and angry that anyone could have the gall to presume to offer counsel to someone in their position. Because to this type of leader, it is all about position, authority, and the appearance of being infallible... and very little about the beautiful mysteries of scripture which can only come to light under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit who works in unpredictable ways and gives much more grace to the humble than He gives to the proud.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Deuteronomy 22:13-17

It has been a whole week. I'm chugging along with my reading; not doing so great with the writing. Last time I wrote, I was in Deuteronomy 4, and today I read through Deuteronomy 24.

I came across a curious and kind of embarrassing passage that I have read before, but I never know where it is. Well, it's in Deuteronomy 22.

If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’ then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, “I did not find in your daughter evidence of virginity.” And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city.

Deuteronomy 22:13-17 (ESV)

It seems as though the "proof of virginity" is blood stained sheets from the wedding night. This is somewhat disturbing to me, but it reminds me of something else I wrote once.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Deuteronomy 4:7

For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call upon him?
Deuteronomy 4:7 (ESV)

We are that nation. Not Americans... Christians. Real ones. The ones who love Jesus and follow Him.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

We are His people, we who believe in Jesus. Galatians 3:29 (ESV) says, "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise."

The New Testament doesn't even question whether God hears our prayers. That's already established! We are simply told that we should be "praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication." (Ephesians 6:18a ESV) We are also commanded to, "pray without ceasing," (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

We can have complete confidence in our God.
Our God.
He hears
and He responds
and He is on our side.

For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call upon him?
Deuteronomy 4:7 (ESV)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Proverbs 11:20-22

Today my Proverbs reading was Proverbs 11:20-22.

This particular passage usually overshadows itself with the last verse, which is very graphic and plants a strong image into one's mind:

Proverbs 11:22
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.

I always find myself thinking about the waste, the impropriety. The shame of how beauty, or a gold ring, can be brought low by its context. I think the key word is waste; it's such a waste.

But today the first two verses in this passage arrested me more than this visual aphorism.

Proverbs 11:20-21
Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord,
but those of blameless ways are His delight.
Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

Two things:

"...those of blameless ways are His delight." How wonderful to be the delight of the Lord! I want to be His delight. And, although I am not completely blameless, there is a blamelessness that is imputed to me through the blood of Christ which purchased me and put me in right standing before God. I am overwhelmed to think of what Jesus has done for me through His death, burial and resurrection, and then to extrapolate that this grace, applied to me, actually makes me God's delight.

"Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered."
Did you get that? Be assured. Be assured. Don't worry. God knows what is going on. He has it under control. He's going to take care of it. Rest in Him, in His promises and be assured.