Category: 2018/19 Devos

Devo 2

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good.”   Genesis 1:3

In 1993 physicists at UCLA created what came to be known as “a star in a jar.”  They sent SOUND waves through WATER at such a high frequency that something remarkable happened: they produced white, hot LIGHT.  Granted, it was a very small light in a very small water receptacle, but it was Sonoluminescence and it had never been done before.  

At least not by people.  Just listen to Psalm 29:1-4,

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.  The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty… The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.”

2 Peter 3:5 reminds us that the earth was formed out of water and through water BY the word of God.  His powerful, majestic voice thundered over the waters, “Let there be light!” And instantaneously where there was once darkness over the waters, now there was light.  Perhaps like Psalm 29:1-4 describes it was a fiery hot light His voice produced, as in Sonoluminescence.  We don’t know.  But we do know that it was good.

It’s remarkable isn’t it, that God declares the light good, but gives us not a single clue as to what the light actually was.  It’s tempting to think of the light as the sun, since there was evening and morning that first day, but the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day.  Others have speculated that the light was emanating from God Himself.  1 John 1:5 tells us “God is light,” but that aspect, like every aspect, of God’s character has always been.  This light came into existence at a very specific moment in time while God Himself is unchanging and has always been.  

Not only is the source of that light a mystery, the properties of light itself remain a puzzle to the scientific community.  A beam of light is made up of tiny particles called photons which travel as a wave.  These photons are not matter.  In fact we don’t really know what they are but we know what they do.  Light radiates from its source electromagnetically reaching us as heat, light, and radiation, and coloring our world.  Did you know that?  Without light there is no color! You may want to look up more about that but for now just think about this description of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3,

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature and he upholds the universe by the word of His power.”

Did you catch that?  Jesus is the radiance of, or God’s glory shining forth.  And it is through His word that the universe was formed and continues to hold together.  John 1:1-18 describes this brilliantly.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him… The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”

The very Word that spoke the universe into being, the very glory of God, came and dwelt among the creatures of His own making, and they were so darkened by their sin and rebellion they didn’t even recognize Him for the true light that He was.  In fact not only did people not recognize Jesus as God who made them, they hated Him so much they murdered Him.  

Let that sink in a moment.

They murdered the God who made them.

The God who holds every atom together by the word of His power.  

He could have spoken everything right back out of existence at that very moment.

But instead we have 2 Corinthians 4:6.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The same one who spoke light into a dark world, speaks light into our own darkened hearts.  Why?  So we can know “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  Did you know that’s what you were saved for?  So that you might see Him, and know Him, and worship Him like the Psalmist, 

“O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, to Him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice.       Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel,and whose power is in the skies.”   Psalm 68:32-34

Devo 1

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.   The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  Genesis 1:1,2

No three sentences ever penned could be so pregnant with purpose and possibility as those.  This isn’t the beginning of everything, God Himself has always been, but it is the beginning of the great story of redemption as revealed to mankind.  And the first thing God wants to tell us about everything is that He made it. He created it on purpose and therefore no part of creation is without purpose. 

So the earth was not without purpose, but it was without form. It was a wasteland, a dark, colorless, vacuous space.  The Hebrew word for “the deep” implies an abyss, a deep, surging mass of water.  This might all sound like a description of nothing but in reality “without form” is a pretty accurate description of the physical properties of water.  And void is an extremely accurate description of everything else!  

Consider this: all matter is made of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons and neutrons, which form a nucleus, and electrons which orbit it.  Now electrons are about 2000 times smaller than protons and neutrons and the space between them is relatively enormous.  If the orbit of the electrons were represented by the walls of a major-league baseball stadium, the nucleus of protons and neutrons would be a marble placed in the center of it.  And you know what would fill up all the rest of that space?  Nothing!  Atoms are actually made up of 99.99999% empty space, or void.  And since everything is made up of atoms, everything is made up of mostly nothing!  It’s still 99.99999% void, just like it was in the beginning. 

Hebrews 11:3 tells us that God is the creator of both the visible and the invisible and that the visible things are actually made out of things that are invisible.  

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

Sounds a lot like atoms, right?  In fact, Colossians 1:15-17 gives us even more insight by stating that it is through Jesus Christ that not only was everything created, but in Him everything holds together.  If the electrical charge between the proton and the electrons held in orbit around it were altered by just one billionth of one percent, the matter it represented would explode!  Check out this article for more blind-blowing scientific speculation about what holds the universe together.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible— all things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

So Genesis 1 is the account of how the .0001% that we call matter interrupted all that void.  When God created the heavens and the earth, He created all the matter that was ever going to exist in them apart from His own miraculous intervention.  And when the Holy Spirit “hovered over the face of the waters” all the energy that was ever going to exist had it’s source right there.  Scientists call this the First Law of Thermodynamics.  It states that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed.

The law of conservation of energy states further that we can’t run out of or make new energy.  It just changes forms, from potential to kinetic, and visa-versa. Just like matter, all energy comes from God.  Paul says it this way in Acts 17:24-28,

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and EVERYTHING… In Him we live and MOVE and have our being.”

Energy is the ability to do work.  And what a work was about to be done! That third sentence of the Bible is just oozing with the anticipation of it!  SOMETHING was going on over that dark, watery abyss.  The Hebrew word Rachaph means to brood, flutter, move, or shake.  The Holy Spirit was certainly about to shake things up!  God was at work! 

The energy I used to type these words, the energy you used to take this up and read it, existed in God at the time of creation.  We move because He Moved.  And we exist because Jesus Christ holds our atoms together by the word of His power.

Do you need a better reason than that to worship Him, the Alpha and Omega, the God of the beginning?  How about 2 Peter 3:7? 

“By the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.”

Peter warns us that scoffers will come in the last day following their own sinful desires (not scientific method).  According to Peter, these scoffers deliberately overlook the fact that the earth was formed out of water by the word of God and destroyed by water in the flood of Noah’s day.  But listen to the words of hope he gives us through the rest of chapter 3.

“The Lord… is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance… According to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells…Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation.”

Do you hear that hope?  The world God created, now marred by scoffers, will be destroyed in judgement.  But oh the patience and salvation of the Lord!  Those who repent will see the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells.  Peter concludes with another warning, that knowing these scoffers will come we need to take care that we not be carried away by their error and lose our own stability, 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.

You’re Invited!

It’s back-to-school time and the universe is our classroom!  Please join us for a unique family-style study with the whole Bible as our textbook.  After six years we are returning to Day 4 of creation and this time we’re going to look far and dig deep.  Psalm 19:1 says that the business of the heavens is to declare the glory of God and Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus Christ is that glory.  Besides holding the universe together by the word of His power, Jesus is in the business of redeeming for Himself worshippers from every tribe, tongue and nation on earth.  The Bible is the story of that redemption and the heavens God made play a big role.

So starting August 13, every Saturday I’ll be posting 5 passages of scripture for the following week that have something to do with the sky, including a memory verse, discussion questions and a couple hymns to go along with our astronomy theme.  Sundays I’ll post a devotional that explains how those passages work together to give us a better understanding of our Lord and His work of salvation.  Fridays I’ll give our 5 boys a chance to bring you up to speed on what they’ve been learning about astronomy or we might do a flash back to something we learned in our study 6 years ago.

It’s our hope and prayer that each week we will gain a fresh perspective on the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the pages of scripture and displayed on the cosmic canvas of creation.  Also, it would be a delight to converse with any readers from the 83 countries that followed our blog the first time around.  If you’re still out there, we’d love to hear from you!  Tolle lege and Soli Deo gloria!