And so his longing for their destruction was a pure and righteous expression of his praise to God. The psalmist, however, did not allow himself to be distracted long by thoughts of the wicked. No temporary trouble could shake his confidence in the ultimate goodness of God. Confident that the wicked would vanish from the earth, he concluded as he had begun: Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord! It is neither the absurd result of random accidents nor itself divine.
The earth is a glorious, never-ending display of His goodness and wisdom, His power and beauty. While we cannot all become amateur biologists, geologists, or artists, we can open our eyes to the brilliance of a bluebird, the miniature world of bugs treading through forests of grass, or the awesome majesty of a huge thunderhead glistening in the late afternoon sun.
We can train our ears to notice the cooing of doves, the singing of crickets, and the purring of a cat on our lap. When we learn to taste the wonder of cold, clear water on a hot day, to smell the sweetness of freshly mowed hay, to feel the springy softness of moss on the forest floor, to remember that each of these was planned and made by the hand of the Lord, then we can join the psalmist in praise to God the Creator. They must be coupled with a third step, proclaiming. In our age of quiet, private, hide-it-in-your-heart religion, we often fail to realize the role of proclamation in the life of faith.
Rather than turning the other way when confronted by evil, we must choose, each day, to confront it, to loathe it, to do battle with it, and, by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony, to overcome it. If we believe, like atheistic physicists, that the universe is slowly and inexorably dying, our joy must always be mixed with melancholy resignation to the triumph of nothingness. But Scripture teaches us that the God who made everything and declared it very good will one day remake everything. Even in His judgment on sin, when God subjected all creation to vanity and corruption, He did so in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God [Rom.
The people of God will one day be made pure, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away [Rev. It will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness reigns without end. Frequently the Psalms call us to Bless the Lord ; to rejoice in the greatness of our God. List the reasons the Psalmist gives us in these verses for blessing our great God. Think about how and why the Psalmist praises God.
Ask God to open your eyes so that you may see the greatness of our Lord in His creation and to rejoice in His handiwork. Submit Comment. Recent Journal view all Spring Christian Life. Tweet Share.
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Comments 0 Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Related Resources Bible Study. In between are the dividing between light and darkness, the dividing between the waters above and the waters underneath, and the dividing between the land and the waters. Without these dividings, it is impossible to have any kind of life. After all these dividings, the land emerged to produce different kinds of life and to become a place to live for the living creatures.
On the first day there was no life but there was light. Life always follows light. It is not life that comes first, but light. On the first day was the Spirit with the light. On the second day were the divisions. Then on the third day was the producing of life. On the fourth day there were the bigger and more solid lights, the embodied lights; so after this there was more life. On the fifth day was the animal life, the life in the waters and the life in the air. On the sixth day was the life on the land. Eventually, there was the highest life of the creatures, which was the human life, a life with the image and authority of God, a life that could express God and represent God.
The image of God is the expression of God, and the authority of God is the representation of God. If you have the authority of God, you are the representative of God. Scientists spend much time studying the universe, and others try to study the first chapters of the Bible with scientific knowledge. They think that the story of creation in the Bible is unbelievable and untrustworthy.
However, we have to know that this Bible is a book of life. God did not give us a record of the whole process concerning His creation.
He gave us only a little bit to show us what His central thought is. Similarly, the apostle John told us that, besides those things that were recorded in his Gospel, the Lord Jesus did many other things John The Lord did hundreds of miracles, yet the apostle John selected only a few and put them in his Gospel to prove and testify to us that Christ is the Son of God so that we may believe into Him and have life.
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This is the goal. This is the central thought of John. God created the whole universe with myriads of things, yet He gave us a record of only two chapters concerning His creation. If He had given us the complete record of His creation, we would be overburdened. Actually, there is no need for us to know all these things.
His goal, His central thought, is a life matter. Works will either reveal our desire to love and serve Jesus or they will be an expression of our rebellion. This makes evaluating life in our world very difficult. Is the invention of the Internet, smart phones, or cars that can drive themselves an expression of the rule of humanity or our rank disobedience? And the answer is an unequivocal both!
What is equally biblically clear is that the world will not be saved by our technological advancement. What we must say most of all is that the cultural mandate is not going to be fulfilled by our working.
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It has already been fulfilled in Christ. Our works now are an outworking of our relationship with Jesus, but they are not the means by which God will re-create the world. Although there is more to say about this in the coming articles. This leads us naturally to the second implication of our study so far for our thinking about work. In the New Testament, the emphasis on the life of good works in Christ is not limited to the job that you do.
In fact, the Scriptures have very little to say about jobs in general and, as far as I can work out, almost nothing to say about careers at all. As far as I can work out, the only career paths clearly rejected by the Bible are thievery and prostitution and the second of those only by inference. Rather than speaking about our jobs, the New Testament speaks to us about the whole of our lives, and calls on us to do every work as someone who is committed to the lordship of Jesus.
When we come to the Bible asking about our jobs, we need to be careful that we do not distort what the Bible says. If this means anything at all, then it must mean that Christians need to stop evaluating their work by worldly standards. The job that we do is not who we are.
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And the ridiculous gap in status, prestige and social class between the wealthy elite and the working class has no place in Christian fellowship. Our work is not to find the perfect job or to chase the trappings of career. What that means is that we need to move on and ask questions like: what place does our paid job have in a life of good works? And are some works more valuable than others, or should we just do whatever our hand finds to do? Those are questions that will wait for next time. His plan for us is that we might find our identity and life in relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
And that in him, we might do all of our works for the glory of God. Hi Paul, thank you for your thought provoking analysis of the cultural mandate. I agree that the danger of some current calls to fulfil the cultural mandate may be eclipsing the unique work of God through his Christ to bring about the new creation.
Surely we do have the freedom to choose not to raise children — a freedom first raised by Jesus himself: the freedom of voluntarily chosen singleness. Something that was not possible in biblical terms before Christ. The promise of new creation gives us an opportunity to re-conceive of our lives in a new way eg.
We can not revolutionise the meaning of marriages, and other creation-institutions such as government that belong to this world. I am looking forward to the next installment. Thanks for the article Paul. I have been trying to think through the way I think about work myself and it was well timed.
The article did leave me wondering, however, whether the implication of your argument was that there is a dichotomy between the secular and the sacred which seemed to contradict some of the work of the reformation in demolishing this split.
God’s Creation Takes Work (Genesis ; ) | Bible Commentary | Theology of Work
Does this mean that the value of work from a Christian perspective is based on its ability to promote the Kingdom of God? Paul, thanks for your thoughts. I agree with most of what you say, and like your implications generally, but I do want to raise some issues:. I hear in this paragraph and what follows the distant bells of docetism. You seem to forget the implications that Christ was incarnate in the flesh, and rose bodily. Because of his participation in the created order you cannot place the cultural mandate exclusively in him.