Cross Walk Devotional: Our Wholly Predictable God

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There is an old hymn called, “This is my Father’s World”.  The first verse of this hymn says:

“This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears;

All nature sings, and round me rings, The music of the spheres.”

This song is meant to provide comfort to us, because all nature witnesses to the power and providence of our heavenly Father, if we are so oriented to listen.  The last line is particularly interesting as it suggests the moon, planets, stars – in fact, the entire universe plays different parts to one harmonious, orderly and beautiful score.

But, on the day of Jesus death, all nature testifies to a very different story line and the music is chaotic, unpredictable and violent.  The sun stops shining mid-day, there is an earthquake that breaks open tombs, awakens the dead and they start walking around again. An invisible hand rips the huge curtain in the temple.  Perhaps a zombie apocalypse comes to mind – at least that is probably the effect of these events on the people. People are terrified, but do they understand the connection between the death of Jesus and the testimony of nature?  It appears that only the pagan centurion and his men get it. The ruling Jews & Pharisees are somehow all too willing to stick in their ear buds, block out this music and listen to the relaxing melody brought to them by their favorite singing group, Moses & the Law.

Truly, this was a significant day and probably not quickly forgotten by its witnesses.  But, 2000 years later, there is “nothing new under the sun. Everything that happens has happened before” (Ecc 1:9 paraphrased).  I confess that I don’t always reflect on the spectacular, supernatural events of that day and they don’t affect me like they should.  The everyday grind of work to do, bills to pay and chores to run are the noises that drown out that celestial music. I don’t look for, nor do I desire anything unpredictable in my life.  It’s not that I don’t fully appreciate the significance of Jesus death and the redemption it brings, it’s often just not “front and center” like it needs to be and would be if nature testified to this event every day.

The purpose for Jesus’ redemption is for me to be transformed in to his glory, which means submitting to my Lord in all areas of my life.  May I have more of the faith of the centurion who says, “truly this was the Son of God” and make that the foundation of every aspect of my life.  May I put my faith in the wholly predictable God even in the unpredictable events that come my way – a wholly predictable God that will be glorified, will make himself known, will save his people and will return again!

The last verse of the hymn talks about that last, triumphal day when nature once again declares his glory in an unusual way, when the “clouds be rolled back as a scroll”:

“This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done.

Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied, and earth and Heaven be one.”

I can’t want for those trumpets to sound!

You are loved!

Don Keefer