Wednesday, July 8, 2009

God and chance

Our Sunday night group was ready for a break, so we had movie night--One Night with the King--the story of Esther. I'm no movie critic, but I enjoy a great love story, especially one with so much political intrigue. Seizing on the teaching opportunity, afterward we talked about how Esther is the one book of the Bible that the name of God is not mentioned, though He walks through every page. To this day, the feast of Purim, which celebrates this event, is traditionally enjoyed with lots of sweets and gambling. The point of the gambling is that God rules over all the events of men--especially chance occurrences.

Proverbs 16:33 tells us "The Lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is of the Lord." The lot was roughly equivalent to dice. Einstein refused to believe that God would roll dice. He just failed to see that the table was rigged by God himself. I have often thought that Creationists have too small a God. The thought that we come from randomness has always been horrifying to Christians because it implies that the Hand of God no longer controls. It is in the very randomness of the universe that God's control is most easily seen. Colossians 1:17 tells us that "He is before all things and God holds all things together." Who is it that ensures that atoms don't fly apart?--God. Who is it that guarantees that a quarter will fall on heads half the time if you throw it an infinite number of times?--Again, He tells us that He does that Himself. God's control over all things, even randomness, is in stark contrast to our lack of control, and we should glorify Him for that.

The challenge this week to our group was to accept everything that happens this week as being filtered through the Hand of God, "who works all things together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose," and look for the good that He brings. Not all things that happen are good, but God promises to make all things good. The chief example of this is the cross--where He "disarmed the powers and authorities, (and) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Col 2:15) I've already had some odd things happen this week--I'll keep you posted on what the group brings back next week.

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