The ring of confidence

Creation theories are numerous and vary from one religion to another and from one race of people to another. Some scientists believe the ‘Big Bang’ was the source of our universe commencing and the Bible has us believing the simplistic story of God creating our world in six days. Some even see certain star groups in the cosmos as the source of man’s creation.

            The opening words of ‘the Bible’s Book of Genesis refers to God’s creation of the universe, not the beginning of God’s existence.  In Paul’s letter to the Colossians 1:17, Paul tells how Christ existed ‘before anything was created”.

            All the theories seem to have a starting point prior to which everything is ‘unknown’. For example, who created the stars or who instigated the ‘Big Bang’. If it was God who started creation rolling, then who created God?  Many people just throw their hands in the air and are prepared to accept that it is a big mystery beyond our understanding.

As human beings, we like to think everything has a ‘beginning’ and we also tend to accept the term ‘everlasting’. A Christian prayer says, “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be”. Most of us believe there is a form of life after death and often add “forever and ever. Amen” to our prayers.

I often wonder if those who don’t believe in a life hereafter question in their own minds just what their life is all about?  What is the purpose of living? Is life just about enjoying oneself and having a good time irrespective at whose expense that might be, because everything comes to a stop when we die and no one will care anyway. So, the phrase is often repeated, ‘let’s eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’!

Life and creation is not just about individuals, nor in my opinion is it just about a Big Bang. Creation is an ongoing process. Evolution shows us that. The birth of our children shows us that. Nature, the growth of vegetation and the rise and fall of the tides are just a few other indicators we have all around us. As for the story fed to us that we are all descended from Adam and Eve. Seriously, this has to be of the fairy tale variety.

If God is the ‘Source of all Goodness’ then how come the devil, the bad angel, the evil tempter, existed before God supposedly created Adam and Eve, whom we questionably call ‘our first parents’. If there is a magical place called Heaven (and we see many references to it in scripture) and if there are angels, then how does all this fit into the creation story?

It seems fairly clear that God created the angels before the creation of our world took place. The book of Daniel refers to Michael as the ‘Prince’ and as the protector of God.  Gabriel seems to be number two in the pecking order and is known as the ‘messenger of divine comfort’.

He figures prominently in scripture. He interprets visions in the Book of Daniel and in Luke’s Gospel announces miraculous births to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist and to Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are many instances in scripture where we read of God’s angels and the messages they delivered on God’s behalf.

From what we read there were many thousands of Angels with the inner cabinet having seven leaders. Even today, if there is someone fighting for the top job in an organisation there will be a confrontation. So, it seems Michael and his party took a stand and based their policies on God’s love and goodness, whereas Satan and his followers were more interested in gaining power and control.

               The in-fighting went on well after God created us humans, for we read in Job (15:15) ‘In his own Holy Ones God puts no trust’. Earlier in the Book of Job we see how God allowed Satan to test Job. Satan is asked “where have you been” and his reply is that he has been round the earth, roaming about (1:7).

The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) tells us who won the  battle. ‘And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael and his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven. The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the Devil or Satan, who had deceived all the world, was hurled down to earth and his angels were hurled down with him’.

 Jesus himself said,” I watched Satan fall like lightening from heaven” (Luke 10:18)

Michael and his mob might well have rid heaven of the devil but we have the blighter down here on earth with us. This is not a happy thought. ‘Let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea, trouble is coming, because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that his days are numbered’ (Rev.12:12).

While we are encouraged to see the good in all those we meet, we need to be also aware that not always is everything as it seems. If Satan is among us, we must constantly be on the alert to discern the good from the bad in that which surrounds us.

For those of us who believe in a life hereafter our struggle here on earth must be seen as a preparation for that time when the promises of Christ will become a reality. We are human. We fail. We get up again. We are not expected to be perfect but just to be triers.

Once again, for many, it all seems to fit into the ‘too hard’ category. However, if we can so readily accept the words, ’forever’ and ‘everlasting’ then we need to look beyond the word ‘beginning’. If we believe our loving God ‘always was’ and ‘always will be’ then this makes the understanding of our Faith so much easier.

“Glory be to God who always was, who is, and who always will be forever and ever. Amen”.

I’m Peter mack and that’s how I feel.

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