Servants All (1)
Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
Psalm 119:89, 90
One of the clearest and most consistent teachings throughout Scripture is that everything depends on God. Everything has its existence from God; everything is sustained by God; and, therefore, everything only finds its full meaning and purpose within the context of the divine economy God is unfolding on earth as it is in heaven. Our text declares in Old Testament terms what the New Testament makes abundantly plain: The Lord Jesus Christ, the very Word of God, upholds the creation by His own power; everything that is exists and holds together by Him and for His pleasure (Heb. 1:3; Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17).
The great mystery is just how this works. That is, how does the spiritual Word of the Lord impact, connect, and interact with material reality in such a way as to keep it together and in its proper place? John Polkinghorne, for one, has made some helpful observations concerning the interaction of spiritual Word and material world; but even his most precise remarks leave us still having to receive this idea by faith alone.
Secular scientists and thinkers don’t accept this view, of course. They insist that the energy which holds the universe together and causes the “laws of physics” to function as they do is the residual power of the Big Bang – a power which, alas, appears to be winding down as the universe continues to expand. This is not the view of Scripture, however. Scripture is clear: as our text says in the original Hebrew, the Word of God stands like an officer over the creation, having established it and causing it to obey His good pleasure and purpose.
But what is the Lord’s purpose for His creation? Verse 91 of our text continues, “By your appointment [all created things] stand this day, for all things are your servants.” All creation is serving God’s purpose and accomplishing His will. From the smallest sub-atomic particle to the most immense galaxy, all created reality is doing the Lord’s bidding, upheld and kept functioning together by His mighty Word of power.
Paul may have had this idea in mind in the New Testament when, in Ephesians 1:22 he wrote concerning our Lord Jesus Christ (and this is my translation), “And God put all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things for the sake of building His Church…” All creation is God’s servant, and all creation is under the command of Jesus Christ for the sake of bringing His Body into being and fullness here on earth.
Which is just another way of saying that all creation exists to serve our purposes, who have been called by Jesus Christ to the task of building His Church and advancing His Kingdom. The more we know about how creation fulfills this purpose, the better we will be at using creation to carry out our own appointed task.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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