The King who rules over cold and heat,
my true King watches over me:
it is he who has established every division,
the King beyond reckoning, beyond telling.
- Saltair na Rann, Irish, 9th-10th century
The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
- Psalm 74.16, 17
Scientists posit that four primary forces provide all the order in the universe. These forces are descriptions of the ways matter interacts with other matter and energy, and of how the molecules that make up all matter interact within and among themselves.
To summarize: The four forces are the strong and weak force in the atom (which hold the parts of the atom together but allow it to decay over time), gravity, and electromagnetism. Everything that is, all matter, depends on and can be described, in essential terms, by reference to these four forces. Boil the whole cosmos down to its essence, and this is what’s left. Four impersonal forces.
Again, to repeat: These are descriptions of interactions. They describe regular patterns of interactions, but they only describe. They do not explain.
Some researchers suspect that even these four forces can be further reduced. In fact, the idea is still current and widely speculated about regarding what’s referred to as the Grand Unifying Theory of everything. Everything in the universe – all matter and every force – ultimately reduces to one thing. There is one overarching, all-pervading and all-present Explanation for everything.
Of course, no one knows what that is. No one bound to a materialistic worldview, that is.
Think for a moment of all the intricate, incessant interactions taking place even as you are reading this. Electrons are orbiting around atoms, which are bonding to form molecules, which unite to comprise, arrange, order, and maintain the stuff of everything you are and see. Light waves consisting of photons traveling in wave patterns bring the words of this column to your eyes, where they are electro-chemically translated into bursts of electricity and conveyed to the appropriate locale in your brain, where they are reproduced in their original form and interpreted (agreeably, we trust).
As this is going on, gravity keeps you from floating off into space, and electricity makes it possible for you to light up your room and engage your computer, as well as for your heart to continue pumping blood to the rest of your body.
Electricity is also useful, I have found, for making coffee.
Meanwhile, the sounds of the day swirl around you, your mind dances with the things you need to do, the sun brings light to all the varied creation, and your body continues functioning according to your needs. All that, explained by four impersonal forces? Yeah, I don’t think so.
Christians know that the Word of God upholds the universe and all things in it by some infinitely powerful and wise means that humans will never fully understand (Heb. 1.3; Is. 55.8, 9; Eccl. 3.11). All the power holding all the stuff and substance of the entire cosmos in place, is power that comes from God. It is spiritual power, what the psalmists poetically refer to as His steadfast love and faithfulness. And though this is spiritual power, it is real power, power emanating from the Word of God, and touching, sustaining, and moving everything.
It is as if our King of Mysteries, the Lord Jesus Christ, somehow speaks to every creature, particle, thing, and process of the whole vast cosmos, every moment, saying, “Do that again!”
And it all does.
How much power is that? Let’s just say, A lot.
The King of Mysteries wields power beyond all reckoning, beyond what anyone can tell or control. He is God Almighty, King of kings and Lord of lords. His rule is coming on earth as it is in heaven, wherever we who know Him seek and advance it as our highest priority.
And He – this God, our God – watches over us like a faithful Shepherd.
That’s a lot of power going to bat for you moment-by-moment. Give thanks and rejoice.
1. Science is a valid way of knowing things. But it’s not the ultimate way of knowing. Explain.
2. How does the spiritual power of King Jesus work in your soul? To what end?
Psalm 74.12-19 (Old Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
Our God is King from long ago, Who works deliv’rance in the land;
He split the sea, He crushed His foes; against Him none can ever stand.
You opened the springs, fresh water flowed; to You belong both day and night.
You bound the seasons and the earth, and gave the sun its glorious light.
Remember this, O Lord, our God: a foolish people spurns Your Name;
deliver not Your flock to them, nor leave Your holy ones to shame.
Thank You, Lord, for watching over me and bending Your power to give me life. Help me to live in Your power today as I…
Free Christmas Gifts
Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, can strengthen our faith, but only as we sing it understanding what he intended. Our book, A Mighty Fortress, walks through each stanza of Luther’s hymn to reveal the powerful testimony this song provides. Order your free copy by clicking here. Order several copies and give them to friends for Christmas. Also, our booklet, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to be more consistent in working your Personal Mission Field. Order your free copy today (click here). Please order by December 15 to make sure you get your gifts on time.
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 120 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.
If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.