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Weekly Devotionals

Chaos and Order

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:1-10

Let’s be honest, recent times have been filled with chaos. Years of the Covid pandemic is culminating in an incredible outbreak here in Korea, while armed conflict has broken out in Europe. The global refugee crisis is larger than ever, and the global economy has been shaken with inflation is on the rise. This generation of children have experienced disruptions of school and daily life not seen in decades. Chaos.

In my own wrestling with this chaos, I often recall the book of Genesis. We see that in the beginning, there was a sort of chaos; the earth was ‘formless and empty’ there was darkness, and there were waters. This description of creation is very significant. The Hebrew for that is often translated as ‘formless and empty’ is Tohu wa-bohu and is only found one other place in the Bible. In Isaiah 34:11, Tohu wa-bohu often translated as ‘chaos and destruction’, depicting the utter desolation after a battle. Both darkness and waters, or the sea, were images of dangerous forces bent on destruction to the ancient Hebrews. In other words, the cosmos in Genesis 1:2 was a scary place.

But what happens next? In the midst of this chaos, God draws near. In the midst of the darkness, God brings light. God tames the sea and places a boundary upon them. God brings order to that which was defined by chaos, and calls it good. From the very beginning of creation (and the Bible) we see that the character of God is such that He draws near to chaos and goes to work.

When you look at the chaos of our world today, know that God is always at work and always bringing order to chaos even in the midst of the most terrible and heinous of circumstances. Not only that, God is always limiting the destructive powers of the enemy and always showering goodness upon creation. And God is reconciling all things to Himself through Jesus Christ. So with the global church we echo the cry, Come Lord Jesus, Come!