Happy New Year 2006!
This past week the Christmas decorations came down, and the ornaments and strands of lights came off the tree. How quickly one season passes to another. But this was an exciting year in our household, with special gifts under the tree for the children, and, our youngest daughter displaying her wonder at everything.
It was also the year the Christmas tree fell over during the night! The tree was large again this year, easily touching our 8 foot ceiling with more than one branch. One evening as the wife and I enjoyed the quiet that is found only after children’s bedtimes, she pointed out to me that the tree appeared to be leaning. For the first time in years I had not anchored the tree to the wall with wire on the day it went up. So I promised to do so first thing in the morning. Instead, first thing in the morning I was re-erecting the Christmas tree, mopping up the spilled water and re-hanging a few ornaments. Needless to say, the second thing I did that morning was to anchor the tree to the wall with wire!
Many decades ago, a Scripture quotation hung on the study wall of a little-known pastor in England, who served a congregation of under thirty souls. It spoke of the unequaled greatness of the Lord our God. It came from Job 26:7 and in the old King James translation it said: …He hangeth the earth upon nothing. Unlike my well–adorned and electrically–illuminated Christmas tree (which took effort to keep erect for a few weeks), this very world we live in (filled with millions of trees, and mountains and oceans and so much more) is suspended in sheer space — upon nothing — by the power and design of our God. Incredible! Thinking about this truth makes the Lord even more awesome in our eyes!
Consider this truth from Job 26:7 with me for a moment or two.
(1) Great power and ability belongs to our Lord. Although the planet is the largest thing men have directly encountered in this universe, it is not too big for God to move or to place it in its orbit around the sun. The various things men put in place, always require some form of support and foundation. But the globe God has put in the heavens hangs upon nothing at all!
(2) God’s work endures as long as He desires. Scientists today try to tell us that the world is billions of years old, if not older than that! The biblical records point to something between 4–10,000 years. Whatever the age of the world, God was there to hang it place at its beginning. And there it has remained for thousands of years.
(3) The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. He does with it — with all of us — as He pleases. The Lord is our sovereign Creator, King of everything. He not only decides where and how to “hang” the earth, but He providentially oversees all things. He alone is Lord of heaven and earth, of you and me.
If this one portion of a Scripture verse teaches us these lessons, how might we apply them? Next time you face a dauntingly huge problem, remember the great power of your God — to hang the earth upon nothing!
The next time your efforts for God seem weak or temporary, consider that if the Lord indeed is at work through you, it will endure and flourish as He sees fit, for as long as He desires. I’m certain that little-known pastor in England, serving a congregation of under thirty souls, looked often to this Scripture on his study wall for just such encouragement. [And yes, at least one thing the Lord did through him bore much fruit and lasts to this day. You see, that pastor was Sidney Norton, co–founder with Iain Murray of The Banner of Truth, 51 years ago.]
Job 26:7 is but one verse about our awesome God. Throughout the whole Bible you read of the great physical feats of the Lord — and you should marvel at His power and abilities to do the greatest deeds men can report.
This new year, as plain as it may seem so far, is ripe with opportunities to pause and praise our God. Make an effort in your daily Bible reading this year, to seize every reason for praise to our awesome God. As you move about in this great world the Lord has made, let your heart & mind wander and wonder — and praise Him. And as the days and weeks roll by, may you come to know God, and His great power, to a whole new degree. Then may we together attempt new and exciting things — by God’s power and grace — to advance His name in the midst of our neighborhoods, and His glory in the midst of our corner of the earth.
Yours by divine mercy,
Pastor David Bissett