Summary: Only when we understand who God is can we understand why He rules and why we should submit to Him.
“A Nation Under God: The God Who Rules”
Jer. 10:1-16 & 18:1-10
It was so easy for Israel to say she was a nation ruled by God. But just who was this God? What was He like? Similarly it’s easy for us to debate whether or not America is a nation under God; but just who is this God? What is He like? Only when we understand who God is can we understand why He rules and why we should submit to Him. So God spoke through Jeremiah to remind His people who He is so they would submit to Him.
We get a glimpse of the God who rules in the two portions of Jeremiah we just read. We learn, first of all, that the God who rules is THE CREATOR. (12-13): “But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”
He is the God who, in the beginning, said “Let there be…” and birthed a world. The word used in Genesis 1 for God is ‘Elohim’. It means THE ALMIGHTY GOD, the God of all might and strength, the Strong and Mighty, the omnipotent, the One with supreme power and intelligence, the One who is always there, the Faithful God of the Ages. Keep in mind that the Israelites knew God in an intimate way before they knew the words of Genesis 1. They had a history with God that enabled them to accept these words without question. Their history with God was the main spark that anchored their belief in creation by God. Their whole life had centered on God’s calling them forth from slavery in Egypt. They interpreted all of their life in the light of this great act. They, in fact, saw all the events of life as related to activity of God. Failures and defeats were signs that God was angry with and punishing them; successes and victories were signs that God was blessing them. The Psalmist summarized it (33:6-9): “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote a wonderful book a few years ago in which he postulated that the great divide in America is over the issue of “Where do we come from?” Were we created by God or are we the result of evolution? How one answers the question determines what one believes and how one lives. So it’s important to note that the Bible does not argue that the heavens and earth have a Creator; it declares that God created the heavens and the earth. THE BIBLE IS PRIMARILY RELIGIOUS, NOT SCIENTIFIC; GOD’S EXISTENCE AND POWER ARE NOT PROVED, BUT RATHER PERCEIVED. Listen to the testimony of Scripture: (Ps. 19:1) “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps. 97:6) “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” (Rom. 1:20) “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Acts 14:17) “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
The Bible states it even more clearly and definitively in Col 1:15-18. In speaking of Jesus Paul wrote, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities ...” Jesus once lived in a workshop greater than the one in Nazareth! What we call the laws of science are really divine laws. Whatever scientists discover and state as true is only something already in existence; it’s a principle established by God. Science, for example, didn’t create gravity, it only discovered it. Science cannot create out of nothing. Professor Edward Conklin wrote that the probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the Unabridged Dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing factory.
Belief in God as the Creator is important because AS THE CREATOR HE IS THE OWNER AND AS THE OWNER HE HAS THE RIGHTFUL AUTHORITY to do at least two things. First, HE HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE THE RULES. Last week we considered righteousness and said that righteousness can only exist if there is some standard or norm which determines what is right and wrong. As the owner, God has that right. Our founding fathers had it right when they continually asserted that our laws and government needed to be based upon and flow out of the laws of God. After all, as the creator God alone knows how to best live in His creation.