What does it mean that God is a God of order?
Question: "What does it mean that God is a God of order?"
Answer: The Bible’s teaching that God is a God of order is indirect—we understand that God is a God of order through the negation of the idea that He is associated with disorder: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). This verse is part of a rebuke of the Corinthian church. Their worship services were out of control, chaotic, and even offensive to unbelievers who visited (1 Corinthians 14:23). The book of 1 Corinthians is, in part, a letter outlining proper conduct in the worship of God. Paul bases the command for order in the church service on the fact that God Himself is a God of order, not chaos.
Order implies a neat and logical organization of items, tasks, or people. When a room is in order, it has been tidied and everything is in its proper place. God’s universe is orderly. He created everything in an orderly sequence in a six-day span that set the world as we know it into motion (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 20:11; 31:17). He created the sun, moon, and stars to regulate time and seasons (Genesis 1:14–18; Psalm 104:19), and the heavenly bodies operate with precise predictability.
Living bodies are another example of God’s orderliness. The heart pumps blood through organs designed to receive it. The brain fires thousands of messages per second to regulate pain, temperature, respiration, and thought. And a million other chemical and physical reactions take place simultaneously within the body. If one factor was awry, the organism could not live, defend itself, or thrive. The more science discovers about creation, the more we learn about God’s miraculous order.
God is a God of order within His own Person. Although no human being can fully comprehend the tri-unity of the Lord God Almighty, we see orderliness in the three Persons of the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, yet they function in complete harmony (Matthew 28:9; John 14:26; 15:26). Within God Himself is completeness. He needs nothing. He is complete love, complete joy, complete justice, and complete mercy. There exist no division, no conflict, no competition, and no need for change within the Godhead (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19). Our God is within Himself a God of complete order.
God’s creation of time is another indication of His orderliness. God exists outside of time as we know it, but He created time as a way for earth to mark changes. Time is orderly, sequential, and does not vary based on anything mankind can control. Time keeps us orderly. Rich or poor, young or old, we all have the same number of hours in a day. The sun will rise and set on schedule no matter what may be happening on earth. Because God is a God of order, He keeps everything in motion as He first designed. It is His orderly hand that holds the world in place (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17).
Because God is a God of order, He deals with us in orderly ways. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world at just the right time (Galatians 4:4). He prefaced the arrival of Jesus with nearly five thousand years of a sacrificial pattern designed to teach people about holiness and repentance (Leviticus 4:35). Through the Hebrew nation, He gave His law and showed us what was required to approach a holy God (Exodus 19:12; Leviticus 17:11). By the time Jesus came, the Jewish people were well-schooled in the sacrificial system and understood their need for a Messiah to make them right with God (Zechariah 9:9; Hebrews 9:22–23). God did not spring the idea of a Savior on the world. He spent centuries patiently preparing the world in an orderly fashion (Mark 14:49; John 3:16–18; 5:39).
Since God is a God of order, we should be, too. We were created to think in orderly ways, reason, judge, and consider all aspects of a matter. God invites us to “come, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). God enjoys our communion with Him, our questions, our studying of His Word, and our willingness to let Him bring order to our chaotic thoughts. The more like Him we become, the more orderly our lives will be because He is a God of order.
Recommended Resource: 1 Corinthians, NIV Application Commentary by Craig Blomberg
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