I viewed a pretty spectacular demonstration of dominoes recently on the internet; a lady had spent “countless” hours setting up a labyrinth of dominoes that went up ramps, and around in circles, paralleling rows, “bells and whistles,” many levels and patterns, all leading to a grand finale. The menagerie presented in a very large area, like in a warehouse and apparently, the task numbered in the hundreds of thousands of dominoes. Though it was simply the fabric of toys, I must admit that it was a work of art. The crescendo of this effort was the toppling of just one domino that led to the falling of another, and another and so on. Multiple rows, careening in multiple directions. Wheels, and marbles leading up ramps and off cliffs; an amazing orchestration of dominoes all whirling, twirling, and clicking their way to the final fall. The finality of this amusement was a cluttered product of toppled little black pieces–a distant reminder of the perfect order it once displayed.
Yep, the result of this effort was the chaotic collapse of ingenuity, until all the players surrendered to the inertia of the initial domino felled.
The imagery is not lost on me, and although the work of creation is anything but “dominoes,” the illustration helps us see the effect of sin “in real time” in the physical world.
God’s created order is a wonder to behold. God sought to glorify Himself, and He did. He created the physical realm to present exactly as was His will. There were no aberrations, no hiccups. No Mistakes. No Compromises. The will of His sacred created order was manifested perfectly. The Planets. The plants and trees. The animals. Time. Space. And even the Imago Dei, humans were precisely constructed according to the blueprint of the divine mind. What a wonder it must have been to behold! He pronounces His creation as “Good!” and it is very good. It is Adam who affirms that the creation (Eve) made for him is “Very good!”
We could say that creation–time, space and matter were all in perfect sync with Heaven. It was the divinely appointed array of infinite “dominoes.” The cosmological system. The Periodic Table of elements. DNA. DNA! Life. And all systems were “go.”
It was a perfect world, and a perfect world order. And yet, how quickly did that curse of sin weave its way into the fabric of perfection. Satan successfully sought to disrupt that good order by bringing confusion, questioning the word of God. Luring. Enticing. Trapping. Tempting. By toppling that very first “domino” the ensuing collapse was devastating.
Yet, even in its post cursed state, we still have remnants of the glory, it’s true: the sheer magnitude of creation, the beauty of babies, the sounds and sights of animals, the brilliance of colors, knowledge, mathematics, tastes…and yes, pineapples (even in their broken state they are truly amazing. One must imagine the “majesty” they possessed in their perfect state–and may again someday!). And dare we not overlook the pinnacle of God’s created order–mankind; broken as it is, it still remains His greatest expression of creation for we are made in the image of God.
Satan tipped the very first “domino” over, and still strives to bring imbalance to any others he can. The “redefinition” of marriage, questioning the existence of God, introducing gender chaos, the demand for power, the struggle for greed, the “grifting” of our political system–by the citizenry, and by the leaders of this country–both sides. He undermines the order of life, the beginning of life, the value of life. He promotes hate. But that is Satan’s handiwork through his willing agencies. At times, the moral compass is set by Hollywood elites, sports figures, tech industries, and musicians with hot licks, business tycoons, the political elite, and sometimes the false “shepherds” of God’s sheep. Satan’s goal is to continue to disrupt dominoes, to challenge the world order, God’s good order.
It is hard to look at the world around us and not be dismayed. It is hard not to become jaded. In fact, it is difficult to maintain a Christian witness devoid of anger.
Yes, our broken world is messed up beyond description. Bodies hurt, things kill, relationships are damaged, and those thorns! (I hate thorns!). All kinds of things present in stark contrast to God’s perfect created order–they stand in opposition to His perfect will. Yes, we long for the day when that level of Edenic perfection will be restored and revisited again in Heaven.
But, there will be restored order in the Kingdom…One day. Those dominoes will be restored to original condition. On earth as it is in Heaven, so to speak.
We are not the ones who are going to get it there, however. Who are we to think the restoration of the world is our sole responsibility? This task is one reserved for the Sovereign God of all creation. He did it once; He will do it again…deliver perfection in His good creation, in His good time.
All of the chaos, all that which is opposed to God will be divinely dealt with…Sometimes I get the notion we think we are needed in order for that to happen, but it is God who privileges us to work with Him; He gets the glory.
We are reminded of that in Psalm 46:10: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Our tendency is to look around us at the destruction and mayhem, and grieve, as though God is somehow behind in points. Yes, our hearts are heavy, but we forget–He is working on something.
All those dominoes, in their right time, will be divinely restored to their correct position.
The words of Christ ring true in Revelation 21:5:
“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’”
In the midst of all the “clicking” we tend to lose our composure and count things as lost. But, He is at work. He’s got a plan we cannot always see. And He has never once been the underdog. He has never lost control. We do listen to God. We seek to know our part. We do what we know He has called us to do. But let’s remember–It’s His world. He knows what He wants. It is His good order.
And He will be exalted!
[The Shepherd’s Echo is a previously published TheShepherdsPen]