- Nations in Disorder – From Where Shall Help Come?
- Why God’s Laws Are the Only Protection from Tyranny
- What the Most BEAUTIFUL PSALM Teaches About A Flourishing Life
- God’s PERFECT LAW: Hope for the Human Race
- ONE LAW That Revives the Soul
- Gaining Wisdom in a World of Folly
- Precepts: The Unlikely Path to Joy
- Find the COMMANDS that Give LIGHT
- The Intimate FEAR that Promotes a PURE LIFE
- God’s ORDINANCES, Your REWARD
- A Human That Doesn’t Thrive is Like a Fruit Tree That Doesn’t Bear
God’s law provides order, and order was the first need of all!
When God created the universe to begin time and history, he began by making the raw material (Genesis 1: 1-2). Then, as the First Sculptor, he formed that raw material into a higher and higher form: first the inanimate sun, moon, and stars, then proceeding to plant life, then animal life (breath was added to the body) and finally to human beings, male and female (imago Dei formed in the creature).
God rules over his creation through laws and ordinances. Some have called these the Creation Ordinances.
God’s intention is to delegate his authority over the earth to human beings. He intends for humans to take what He has made and do something with it (Genesis 1:26-28). We are not to be mere consumers of things but architects of culture. We are to expand the garden, establish vineyards and orchards, bring forth paintings, write poetry, compose symphonies, choreograph dance. We are to discover the hidden treasures in the creation, to study the creation and how God made it. We are to discern, in effect, the Creation Ordinances and, working within the circle of this order, create culture that reflects the nature and glory of God.
This Cultural Mandate is the purpose for which we have been put on the earth. We are not to passively stand by and watch history unfold. We are to shape history. We are not to simply rape creation and consume resources, we are to create whole new worlds (think Tolkien and Lewis) discover whole new places and people, invent whole new technologies that can enhance life (think Steve Jobs and the Apple products). We are to be God’s co-creators as we live within the circle of the Creation Order.
A second illustration can be found in Kingship of Christ. Following the resurrection and upon His ascension into heaven, Christ is coroneted King of heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18); He announces to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Jesus is king. Nations are to make the law of Christ their order. The results are freedom, justice, social peace, and economic bounty. In short, people, communities, and nations that flourish.
King Jesus is the law giver. But in addition to giving the law, he fulfills the law (Matthew 5:17-18; Romans 10: 4) and defines the meaning of the law (Matthew 5:22; 36-40; 7:12; 22:37-40).
- The kingdom of God as the framework for our obedience
- His saving work on the cross (our salvation) as the foundation of our obedience
- The nations keeping all He commanded as the fulfillment of our obedience – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10)
Note a play on words in the Greek. Compare “all that Christ has commanded” (entelomai) and the fulfillment of God’s purpose (telo). What is that purpose? Nothing less than “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”
In contrast to the small purposes embraced by our cultures (e.g. to survive, to consume), there is a cosmic and eternal purpose for each of our lives. We are to create culture that reflects the glory of God! We are to advance the coming of the Kingdom of God. How do we fulfill God’s purposes for our lives? The answer is found in the heart of the beautiful Psalm 19: we fulfill God’s purposes by freely fulfilling the Law of the Lord!
In coming posts we will unpack each of the aspects of the Law of the Lord and see the Glory that David the Psalmist saw.
– Darrow Miller
This post is fourth in a series of ten on Psalm 19.