Time And Distance

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hallelujah Chorus"1 (Lyrics)

Genesis 1:1-2 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (ESV)

Earlier this past year, I finished reading the Bible from first to last again. Now I have finished patting myself on the back for that accomplishment, and I have had long enough away from the more organized system of reading His Word to miss mining the narrative of God to His people and their enemies over the millennia. Some people try to read the Bible in one year, or maybe two.

As I progress through the Bible, I have reflected upon insights gained as I held onto the truth that Jesus will be revealed at a later time. I also asked the Holy Spirit for what else can be discerned about God's relationship with His creation that is relevant to and for me today.

As I recently began reading the Bible in Genesis chapter 1, where God creates everything, I noticed that my watch winder crown was facing the wrong way. My watch was put on upside down, so I corrected it. But the faux pas with my watch reminded me that God also created time. It is implicit — because there would not be a beginning unless God started it!

For those who have a mind to accept it, I believe that God inaugurated time to allow His creation — us — the space, opportunity, and responsibility to express our God-given free will.

This is not an illusion. God said that we are to have dominion over His creation, and He meant it. After the fall of humankind, facilitating life required God to distance His holiness from us, lest we perish. It allows for the presence of evil alongside humanity cheek by jowl in a fallen world. Since humanity's exit from the Garden of Eden, God has kept His presence veiled. Sadly, the evil one has also been given limited opportunity to cause mischief and encourage us to make a mess of our lives and the world about us — until God calls, "Time!"

This is when we enter the final countdown of judgement and the winding up of all things apart from heaven, its surroundings, and the end destination for evil in the lake of sulphur.

Into this fallen world, the God of love included the possibility of reconciliation, success, deliverance, and the capacity for humanity to be once more with Daddy God. Jesus, the expediter of salvation, bridged the gap between God's longing for us to be in the relationship He always intended and His desire to allow us distance and free will.

We are neither robots nor His playthings, but rather by His grace, we are cherished loved ones given the space in time to find ourselves and our place with God.

Today, let us seek His face and find out what is next for us in His kingdom.

Prayer: Lord, just because we cannot see heaven does not mean that You do not care or comprehend our fallen circumstances. Please forgive our waywardness, and grant us insight into what You have given us the time and opportunity today for: to serve in, through, and for Jesus and Your Kingdom. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen! Blessings in the year ahead of us.

    Great words for the New Year, Rod. Have a happy one.

    Thanks Rod. I, too, have just started Genesis in my annual round of reading.

    Thank you, Rod, for taking the time to share this thoughtful devotional with us. Blessings.

    People will say the Bible is boring like they say the Sunday sermon is boring. Years ago, we had a Pastor who, in an evening service, explained How to listen to a Sermon and I have not forgotten, even though it was in 40 or so years ago. First listen, just like reading the Bible, pay attention. You cannot get anything from either if you do not pay attention. Even if the speaker is not a good oratorio you think about what is said. Read again the scripture the speaker refers to. Thanks for your devotionals.

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