|Vol. 12 No. 10 October 2010||
In the most forthright way Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new?’ It has already been in ancient times before us.’” What is he telling us? Nothing is fresh; everything is a repeat performance – just with different faces in a different span of time.
Think about lives, events and the activities of this world like a movie. In a movie, we see the title in big, bold letters, and in some cases this title ends with an exclamation point! We then see the names of the stars, co-stars, producers, directors and writers. Then, we see this “with” column and numerous names are listed there. Do we remember or ever mention any of the names in the “with” column when we talk about that movie at a later time? Sometimes we cannot even remember who starred.
In this life production of events and activities, God is the Producer/Director; Jesus Christ is the Star; the Holy Spirit is the Writer, and we as human beings are the “With.” Unlike manmade productions, the principles in creation will never change. However, those of us in the “with” column are returning to the dust every few seconds of every day!
When one of us, a “with,” dies, God’s world design does not miss a beat; it does not pause; it does not even slow down. It does not matter if the “with” that died has the address of the White House or is on Skid Row; God’s universe keeps right on turning!
This is all about God – not us! David makes this perfectly clear in Psalm 135:5-6, “For I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places.” That addresses any issue that might arise on the subject and the many attempts at successful contradiction.
This is all about God! We must come to the realization that we have been created for His glory; all of our sufficiency comes from Him. We have what we have because of His grace and mercy, not because of our worthiness. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
Other passages of many that shout this declaration include Psalm 102:18, which says, “This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 115:1 states, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.” Revelation 7:11-12 proclaims, “All the angels stood around the throne … and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’”
This is all about God! This reality is true in the lives of those who are striving to do His will as well as those who are diametrically opposed to Him. Genesis 17 records God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. God told him, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:7). Abraham was without a doubt, one of God’s chief servants, so much so that he was called the “friend of God” because of his faith, submission and obedience. James 2:23 reads, “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.”
Pharaoh king of Egypt was an enemy of God. However, God used him to further establish His plan and purpose for man’s redemption. God told Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:15-16). God wanted Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt to come to know Him as the God of gods in all the earth.
The church at Corinth had problems, causing much envy, strife and division. They were divided over whether they would give their allegiance to Paul, Apollos, Cephas or Christ (1 Corinthians 1:12). Paul then asked in verse 13, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Paul wanted Apollos, Cephas and himself to be viewed only as ministers who served the church according to the gifts and abilities they had received from God. He later stated, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
The Bible is primarily about God. We know where we came from, why we are here and where we are going, because God has revealed it to us in the Bible. Perhaps the brevity, frailty, ignorance and dependence of humanity are best summed up in Jeremiah 10:23, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” We do not have enough time to learn all the pitfalls of life. We need to know the safest way to live, and that can only be known through submission, faith and obedience to God.
Absolutely nothing in life will bring us fulfillment if we do not come to understand that only God gives our lives validity. We need Him to love us and tell us what to do. We have lifetimes of learning and obeying of God to do. Psalm 119:130-131 resounds, “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.” How could we ever be anywhere except a part of the “with”?