Psalm 33:8-9 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
In reading the Old Testament, and really the Bible in general, we keep being reminded that society in those days was far from monotheistic. The surrounding nations didn’t much mind that the Jews had Yahweh, they just couldn’t understand why the Jews kept insisting that He was the only God. There were, and indeed still are, all sorts of “creation myths” floating around, but the Psalmist here very simply states, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” (Psalm 33:6) Scientists today are largely agreed that the universe as we know it started with a “singularity” and expanded from there: in other words, a moment of creation. However, some of them tie themselves in knots trying to explain how that moment came to be without a Creator, because as soon as they acknowledge they are created beings, they have to admit their own accountability to Him. It is so much simpler to understand and accept that “In the beginning, God.…” (Genesis 1:1) Most people aren’t all caught up in astrophysics, but we all equally need to understand that we are created beings, accountable to our Creator whether we want to be or not. What is most remarkable about the Bible narrative is not the fact of a Creator – that could be logically deduced – but the repeated statements that God loves His creation. He didn’t create us to be slaves, much less robots, but children. Incredibly, He chooses to be called Father! In fact, as the most famous verse in the whole Bible proclaims, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Once we grasp the depth of His love for us, then accountability ceases to be a terror and an obligation, but rather a blessing and a privilege.
I was blessed to be raised in a home where the Creator was familiar and unquestioned, but that home was in Japan, “the land of 8 million gods,” not to mention Buddhism that is fundamentally atheistic. I was certainly exposed to a variety of ideas! My pride led me into all sorts of stupidity, but the idea that I was ultimately accountable to a loving Creator never left me, and I am deeply grateful. Now, I continue to minister in Japan, and it is exciting to get hints of God being about to do something magnificent here. Recently I have been surprised – and delighted – that God is calling various people specifically to Nagasaki Prefecture. Just yesterday I was talking online with a young woman from Australia who has had a call on her life since she was 14, I think she said, and over the years God clarified that to Japan. Right now she’s in a different part of the country, but is increasingly convinced that after she returns to Australia this summer to get a missionary visa, Nagasaki is where she is to serve. And she is just the latest of several! My point is to keep remembering that my Lord, being the Creator, can do anything at all, and keep myself in readiness for however He might want to use me, in His timing and for His glory.
Father, thank You for this encouraging reminder. Thank You for all that You are doing. There are numbers of “mission schools” across this nation. I pray that You would pour a spirit of revival out on each one of them, so that the vision you gave generations of missionaries and Japanese believers would be fulfilled, for a massive harvest in Your kingdom, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!