This morning, I was once again awed by the constancy of God.
I stood at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and watched as the sun made its entrance – right on time. I watched as its light slowly illuminated the horizon setting the clouds on fire and casting reflections on the calm water, and I saw it suddenly burst into full view as it banished the clouds that had curtained its appearance.
I knew when to be on the beach for the show, because the news reported that sunrise would occur at 7:06 A.M. That is exactly when the sun made its glorious appearance. Right.on.time!
While man can predict the sunrise, he did not create the timing of the daily entrance. God, in the beginning, set in order patterns that shape lives today. We can count on them. We set our watches and turn our calendars. We plan for sleep and for work and play because of God’s work in creation.
Tides are determined, and fishermen and ship captains chart their courses. Constellations and planets appear in the night sky. Sunrise and sunset are communicated. Seasons change, and the moon moves through its phases each month.
The laws and patterns of nature, not happenstance but planned, continue day after day, month after month, year after year, with little notice. Things are as we expect them to be, and they are to quote God, “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Constant. We use many words to describe this attribute of God – faithful, steadfast, unwavering – all of them pointing to His unending care for His creation. The laws He set in place in the beginning ensure that the world keeps turning.
God gave laws to guide our behavior as well, and, as with nature, it is only when we deviate from His way that confusion and disarray occur.
When we violate (disobey or discount) the law of God’s supreme sovereignty, we become ruled by the vagaries and capriciousness of man. (Exodus 20:3)
When we violate the law of God’s holiness, our world is overcome with irreverence and vulgarity. (Exodus 20:7)
When we violate the law of love, families and lives are destroyed, hearts are broken, children are discarded, and generations are damaged. Relationships fail to thrive, and the very framework of society teeters. (Exodus 20:14)
When we violate the law of truth, deceit and treachery rule the day. Each person does that which is right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15). People grasp what is not theirs to have and are never satisfied. Our work ethic fails as each person seeks to grab what he can. (Exodus 20:15-16)
When we violate the law of life, children grow up without fathers, mothers lose their children, and fear terrorizes the living. The young and the old are discounted and considered expendable for convenience sake. (Exodus 20:13)
When we violate the law of authority and honor, life is out of whack. Children tell their parents what to do, and society spins on the whims of individual preferences. (Exodus 20:12)
When we violate the law of rest, our lives are distracted and disturbed. We fritter like butterflies with no place for calm. (Exodus 20:8)
God is sovereign, and God is constant. He tells us that He is the same “yesterday, today, and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8). When we walk within His law, we find His constant presence and provision. (Exodus 20:6)
Is there grace when we fail? Absolutely! God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins and failures and to offer us a way back to the Father. His forgiveness requires a recognition and turning from our sin, which is called repentance. As we turn, we must trust His provision of the Savior. This is faith. Once we turn, we are on a new path that follows His way. This is obedience.
Our world screams like a rebellious child wanting cheese puffs, while the Father offers the abundance of His larder. Until we turn and trust and obey, we will continue to bang our heads against the proverbial wall seeking our own way, which leads to our destruction (Proverbs 16:25).
God has not and will not change! We must turn and trust and obey.
Oh, what blessing comes when we turn and trust and obey!
Daniel 6:26 for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
Psalm 36:5 Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Psalm 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
Photo – Atlantic Sunrise, Beth Mims