God Sustains the World
God Sustains the World
Did God just create the world, wind it up and let it run? If the answer is yes then this gives us the indication that God is not involved in the world at all. This gives us the impression that God does not care about the world.
Another question we must ask ourselves is does God sustain the world? If the answer to this question is yes then we get the indication that God cares about what goes on in the world.
The Bible teaches us that God created the universe and that he sustains the universe day by day, hour by hour. As in Hebrews 1:3 God tells us that Jesus Christ “he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”
Colossians 1:17 (ESV) 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. The Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ existed before the universe and that Jesus Christ holds all things together. The will of God keeps this world organized, instead of allowing it to become chaotic. All things are sustained by the actions of God through his son Jesus Christ. Nothing in all creation stands or acts independently of God’s will.
Natural laws express God’s will. The laws of nature are the physical expression of the will of God. The law of gravity operates with certainty because God continuously wills it to operate. Isaiah 40:26 states, God who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. This passage tells us that each star has a purpose and that some stars are greater than others and some stars are insufficient or less important. God keeps his stars in their place. God’s sustaining action through Christ goes far beyond the initial creation.
Nehemiah 9:6 (ESV) 6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Psalm 147:8–9 (ESV) 8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
These two passages tell us that God did not simply create the world and the universe and then just walk away. He constantly sustains that which he created. God tells us that he sustains you and me.
Acts 17:25–28 (ESV) 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
God supplies each breath, our food for our daily survival. And as stated in Psalms 31:15 our time is in his hands or the number of days that we live are in his hands. Each breath we breathe is a gift from God every bite of food comes from the hand of God. Every day we live is determined by him. He constantly sustains, provides for and cares for us every hour of each day.
Jeremiah 17:8–9 (ESV) 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? We can find similar language in Psalm 1. Trusting God is a learning process. If we are to trust God we must learn to see that he is continually at work in every aspect in every moment of our lives. God is not a part-time God.
Is God involved in His world? With all the problems Job had he felt God was involved in this world. He asked the question in Job 9:24 if it is not God, then who is it? We could also ask the question; how involved is God in his world? The insurance companies use the term “An act of God”. Our modern world removes God from all participation in nature, and thus absolves him of all responsibility in the suffering of the innocent from natural disasters. Thus God is saved by his disengagement from the world. He cannot be blamed because he is not involved. Secularization exist, in all facets of our society; the government agencies have replaced churches in social services, state universities have replaced Christian institutions in education, science has toppled mythological and religious explanation for natural events, psychiatry has displaced pastoral care.
In Matthew 10:29-33 look at how God takes care of the birds, and God cares for the sparrows, and our hairs on our head are numbered.
The questions concerning God’s involvement in his universe are not easy to answer. Part of the answer must be the faith that we have. And part of the answer must be the trust we have. We cannot have trust in God without faith. And we cannot have faith in God without trust in God.
If your car broke down on the way to work today, who would you blame for its malfunction?