Saturday, February 21, 2009

Futile Attempts

This morning while reading Ecclesiastes, I came across a verse that made me stop and rejoice. Have you ever had a moment like that with God? He gives you a Word “out of the blue”, unexpected, not even in relation to any prayer, line of thinking (whether recent or recalled), or situation. Just a gift that makes you pause and reflect to worship in a moment of truth.

I read in chapter 3 verse 11, “also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

This struck me in such a way because of the fruitless efforts that mankind makes to discover certain things. We all want to know where we came from. Charles Darwin thought he found the answer to that question. Today, The Origin of the Species creates more controversy than ever with the media blitz covering the two-hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Yahoo news announced the discovery of a massive deep-space explosion this week. About a month ago, a very large near-earth asteroid came within sufficient distance of earth to cause concern again about a potential impact. Was such a collision the end of the dinosaurs? Will it be the end of our earth as we know it? Will this planet survive given all the unknown, untracked, uncontrollable objects in space headed for us? (By the way, I laughed at this one quite a bit last week with the reported collision of the defunct Russian satellite with the Iridium satellite. We sure make enough of our own problems out there but we literally encounter thousands of impacts daily from micro-sized space stuff.)

Just a few verses later God gave me another gem. It was completely unrelated to the first but just as precious. God says in verse 16, “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.” Ahh, just the kind of stuff that a prophet loves. Do you know why there will be a new heaven and a new earth? This verse is the answer. Because in this present earth and heaven, wickedness and iniquity are there.

After the judgment is complete (both the Bema Seat and the Great White Throne) God will burn up the heavens and the earth with a fervent heat that will melt even the elements themselves. God writes about just how beautiful this new day will be in II Peter 3:10-13, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

God was not finished yet (and not just because I wasn’t finished reading the chapter). Finally in verses 19-21 God says, “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

Again, totally unrelated to the other two but special to me because God pointed out something to me that I missed the first time I studied the topic of dominion. In the beginning, God created all living things and commanded man to have dominion over all other creatures. While this is necessarily true (and a great study of a capability that most of us no longer exercise) I like the word “preeminence” here along with the clear instruction of the finality of all of us.

Although we all die (it is appointed!), only man enjoys the future of eternal life with God. The body goes to dust but the spirit (of man alone) goes upward to God. My sincere sympathy to the animal lovers out there. But there is no animal heaven. “…the beast goeth downward to the earth.” However, this in no way excuses the deplorable ways that we treat the animals. Such cruelties in no way exhibit obedience to have dominion. There will be much unexpected judgment upon us for how we have abused our dominion over the animal kingdom.

Well, enough random stuff for today. My posts for the next month come to you from Japan where I reside on business. Pray for me to be bold.

Copyright 2009 Lawrence J. Caldwell


W McCallum said...

I'm not so sure that animals will not be in Heaven, e.g.

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
(Isaiah 11:6-8)

It was however refreshing to be reminded that there will one day be new heavens and a new earth.

Lawrence J. Caldwell said...

That would be on the new earth. We can visit any time we like.