Monday, June 21, 2010

Change and Endurance

Yes, it has been a while since I've posted - things have been busy for me. Time has been speeding by - but as today marks the solstice, it is good for us to remember what changes - and what endures.

Instances are numerous in the Psalms when resolution of the sinful individual's unstable predicament is given with a reference to the confidence which the stability of nature as a work of the Creator should inspire (Ps35, 80, 120). In Psalm 73 the lamentation over the destruction of Jerusalem has its denouement in the look at God's firm hold over the created realm:
Yours is the day and yours is the night.
It was you who appointed the light and the sun:
it was you who fixed the bounds of the earth:
you who made both summer and winter. (Ps 73:16-17)
That God's creative action, which is a function of his mere word, is stable is an idea so natural that it represents a backdrop in Psalm 117 to continued reference to the permanent validity of moral laws:
Your word, O Lord, for ever
stands firm in the heavens:
your truth lasts from age to age
like the earth you created. (Ps 118:89-90)
No wonder then that the unfailing processes of nature can serve as a supreme token of the certainty of the enduring rule of the Messiah in his kingdom:
He shall endure like the sun and the moon
from age to age . . .
In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails...
May his name be blessed for ever
and endure like the sun. (Ps 71:5-7, 17)

What is particularly telling in all these passages is the naturalness of the reference in them to the order and stability exuding from creation (Ps 92, 95, 148). Hesitation in that respect is declared to be the sad privilege of fools (Ps 13 and 52). Evidences of stability are the sun and the moon as "faithful witnesses in the sky" (Ps 88:37-38) and the stars by being fixed there and by their fixed number (Ps 146:4-6). Thinking about the sky as a tent stretched out is no obstacle to seeing it as something to stand firm forever (Ps 103:2, 5). To illustrate God's unlimited endurance the Psalmist can find no better means than a reference to the endurance of the heavens and the earth (founded in the beginning by God) as a mere transition, no more lasting than clothes that are changed and wear out (Ps 101:27-8).
[SLJ The Savior of Science 59-60]