July 1, 2020
What a Mess!
If this is not the end of time when Jesus returns, historians a hundred years from now would probably summarize this as an era of worldwide chaos. Our English word chaos means complete disorder and confusion, behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, a situation in which everything is in a mess. Yet, chaos isn’t anything new. The Hebrew word is scattered all through the Old Testament. It might surprise some that creation began with chaos. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (Gen 1:2 NIV). Another version reads, When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass (TLB).
Scripture tells us God is not the author of confusion [tumult, unquietness, or commotion] (1 Cor 14:33 NKJV) so what brought about the chaos between verses one and two (Gen 1:1, 2)? The Bible doesn’t tell us, and we must not get bogged down in what God doesn’t reveal and overlook the important truth and the hope it declares, i.e. how God dealt with the chaos. First, the Spirit of God hovered over, moved over, brooded over the chaos, and began bringing order. Second, God spoke, “Let there be light,” and there was light (1:3). Every day for six days, the Lord spoke, and order ensued. At the end of the sixth day God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good (1:31). That implies order was in place with no chaos. However, since then Satan has sought to disrupt order and bring chaos back into the world and people’s lives.
The applications of these verses aren’t confined just to creation. David wrote the waves of death engulfed me; the currents of chaos overwhelmed me . . . I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was delivered from my enemies (2 Sam 22:5, 4 NET). If anyone’s life was in a total mess, Job would top the list. He cried out; I am disgusted with my life . . . It is a land of blackness like the deepest darkness, gloomy and chaotic (10:1, 22 HCSB). But note what God did; the Lord spoke . . . The Lord restored what Job had lost . . . the Lord blessed the second part of Job’s life more than the first (42:7, 10, 12 NET).
I like the Message Bible’s translation of Genesis 1:2. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. When I first read that, I thought, “that sounds like a lot of people I’ve known.” Even without our current world chaos, you may feel like your life is a soup of nothingness and bottomless emptiness. Your life has become an inky blackness and you see no hope; your life is out of control and falling apart. Your emotions, finances, family, and spiritual life have reached a point that you can’t hold it together any longer. For the Holy Spirit, this is not a problem. The same Holy Spirit that moved over the chaotic universe will hover over you and bring your life into order.
The first step is admitting to yourself you can’t fix your mess. Then turn your life, as bad as it may be, over to Jesus. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride] . . . casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully] (1 Peter 5:6, 7 AMP). The word for cast means to throw, deposit upon, fling, deliberately hurl. It is the act of exerting effort to fling something away from you. You must turn your troubles loose and allow Him to take charge. Then the Lord will begin speaking His Word into your life. It probably won’t happen all at once and may require six days, six weeks, etc. but you will see order coming into your life.
This same truth applies to our current chaotic world. We must first realize that we as humans can’t fix it. All the medical research, all the task forces, and all the restrictions without God will result in futility. Tear down all the monuments, destroy all the history books, protest 24/7, and censer every word written, but it won’t bring order to the chaos. First, we must remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens (Eph 6:12 HCSB). We are in a spiritual war with Satan and his army. Second, we must turn to Christ realizing the world is falling apart and humanity can’t hold it together any longer. Then the Holy Spirit can move over our mess and the Lord will begin speaking and bringing order.
Sustaining Word for the Week: Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride] . . . casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him—this includes your chaos and mess. Why? He cares about you.