“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
[Thought questions for Jesus, Provider and Sustainer February 20, 2013]
1. Constantly sustaining. Which is the greater miracle—creating the earth and the cosmos and all its substance or keeping it going? What about the crucifixion of Christ? In what ways was that an even greater miracle? Is it more work to accept the creative power of God or the theory of evolution? When John says, “Without him nothing was made that was made,” does that include vicious or poisonous creatures?
2. Depending on Him for our survival. Have you ever studied complex mathematical formulas that describe nature in terms of its power and structure? Is mathematics strong enough and flexible enough to measure everything in the cosmos? A meteor lands in Russia and 1200 people are injured. Did God create that meteor and hurl it into space in our direction? What would nature be like if God withheld His sustaining power just for a short time? Will that ever happen?
3. Generosity. Why didn’t God just allow the wind to scatter seeds here and there and let the first ones there survive on what would grow from those seeds? We see pictures of starving people. Do we have enough food on earth to feed everybody? Then why are so many undernourished? What sort of responsibility does God place on His children in the midst of those who can’t obtain what food, clothing, or shelter they need for a healthy life?
4. When Mother Nature gets mad. Doesn’t it seem like a vile force has been turned loose when tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes tear some of our earth to pieces? Why do we call this force “Mother” nature? How did Job fare when destructive forces of nature took aim at him? Did God explain to Job exactly what was going on? If not, why not? Why does God allow sincere Christians to suffer the rampages of nature?
5. In charge. Do you look for and find the presence of God in the nature that surrounds us? Do you rather enjoy the succession of the seasons throughout the year and marvel at the way the rain, sun, clouds, and wind make it possible to grow and harvest crops in season? Or if you live closer to the equator, can you appreciate the coming and going of the sunshine and the rain? What if you live near the north (or south) pole? Is God present in nature even there? Will God ever forget to keep the sun lit in the sky even at night? Will He ever take a vacation from his responsibility as the caretaker and chief engineer (as well as Creator) of the universe?
6. A damaged creation. What did God provide for Adam and Eve as soon as they sinned? Were they aware of their need? Did they pay for or otherwise deserve the warm protective clothing God provided for them? How can the birds keep from freezing during near-zero winter weather? Does God provide for their survival, too? Can we cope with life’s extremities as well as the birds that flutter in the snow? How does the great controversy theme help us cope with hard times in this world below?
7. God and Mother Nature. Is it wrong to study scientific findings about the way our earth functions? Should our schools ban the study of science because modern science accepts evolution as an explanation of life? What about medical science? Would you like to be seeing a doctor who wasn’t concerned about the way our bodies work but simply placed his trust in the Scriptures? Should there be room in the Christian scholar’s thinking for unanswered questions? Examples, anyone?