“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:33).”
One of the striking contrasts between the world of the Israelites during their sojourn in Egypt and the life God intended for them is the concept of peace vs. chaos. It is noted that when God created the heaven’s and the earth, “the earth was without form, and void (Genesis 1:2).” According to Strong’s the idea of without form connotes to lie waste, to be desolate, and a worthless thing. Similarly, Strong’s defines void as an indistinguishable ruin. But God demonstrates from the opening moment of creation that He brings order and goodness out of such ruin and desolation. He merely speaks and light overcomes the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4). He brings forth orderly ecosystems on land, air and sea, and deems it “very good (Genesis 1:31).”
God created an orderly garden as the habitat for mankind. But we know that once sin intruded into this world God subjected it to futility (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 8:20-22). The resultant chaos was not limited to the physical creation; instead there was an outburst of broken relationships, murders (Genesis 4:8), deceit, treachery, and all kinds of evil spread as a cancer on the earth (Genesis 6:5). A glimpse of the first segment of the local nightly news attests to the chaos that reigns and where peace is rare.
Imagine a farmer who diligently plows a field and carefully, in straight rows plants wheat, and then cultivates and waters with the expectation of a harvest. But his enemy secretly sowed weeds in among the wheat that had been planted (Matthew 13:24-30). As a result, disarray was introduced so that his crop of wheat was mixed with weeds. This is the picture of this world and Satan’s intentions to disrupt God’s intended order (Matthew 13:36-43).
This same enemy seeks to disrupt God’s intended order in our lives and introduce chaos, trouble, doubt, fear, and distrust. Our best laid plans are subjected to temptations, disturbances, and occasionally, to ruin. With God’s permission Satan was allowed to bring down havoc on Job’s world that included death, destruction, disease, wicked men ready to do his will, and powerful forces of nature (Job 1:15-19, 2:7). Such turmoil will surely come into each of our lives in some measure and at various seasons (Acts 14:22, John 16:33).
But God is still the God who desires to bring peace and order from the chaos of this world. Often our greatest anxieties arise from a sense that we are not in control of our environment. Perhaps this is precisely what God had in mind when he imposed the curse upon the earth; “Cursed is the ground FOR YOUR SAKE (Genesis 3:17).” When we are in over our heads with chaos it is time to lean more heavily upon the God of peace.
Troubles will continue, even for the righteous, until Jesus returns to set all things in order. Until then His church is an outpost of peace to which He calls us out of the chaotic upheavals of this world. It is especially important for us to understand that we must not be agents of disorder in the kingdom where God intends for His order to rule (1 Corinthians 14:40, 2 Thessalonians 3:6). There are not many churches, nor multiple faiths, nor baptisms, nor a plurality of Lords (Ephesians 4:3-6). It is in this body that He provides all we need to grow up into Christ (vv.11-16).
Where there are those who are lost He pursues to find them (Luke 19:10, 15:4-32). Where there are those in bondage He desires to free them and make them His children (Galatians 4:3-7). Where there’s fear He wants to instill peace. Where there is doubt He calls for faith. When chaos comes, where will we turn?
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).”