God and Chaos

Our God is a God of order, who does all things well. “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). With God, disorder and chaos give way to order and peace.

We see both order and chaos in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. In the beginning, God started with a world that “was formless and empty”; that is, the earth was in a chaotic state. But then God brought order in a series of notable divisions: He divided the darkness from the light (Genesis 1:4), He divided the water under the firmament from the water over the firmament (Genesis 1:7), and He divided the sea from the dry land (Genesis 1:9). He made all plants and animals to multiply “according to their kinds” (Genesis 1:11–12, 20–25). He created mankind with an orderly distinction between male and female (Genesis 1:27). God placed the first man in a beautiful garden “to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15); in other words, God wanted Adam to maintain order in the creation.

Since God is a God of order, apple seeds grow into apple trees, a male koala and a female koala will produce baby koalas, the moon goes through predictable phases, and planets don’t fly out of their orbits. Because God is a God of order, not chaos, we know that a2 + b2 will always equal c2 in a right triangle and that, no matter where we are in the universe, F = G × Mm/r2. Physical laws remain the same, day after day, year after year, century after century.

Unfortunately, Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. As a result, the order inherent in God’s creation was damaged, and chaos was introduced: we had confusion instead of surety, deception instead of truth, hiding instead of openness, weeds instead of crops, and pain instead of ease. We lost the garden. Our relationship with God became chaotic, as did the very nature of who we are.

Jesus removes the chaos of sin and restores spiritual order to people who accept Him as Lord and Savior: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). So the thief steals, kills, and destroys—he brings chaos—and Jesus gives life to the full—He brings order and peace and reconstruction.

Followers of Christ desire order, not chaos. Luke, who wrote more of the New Testament than any other writer, was careful to ensure he provided “an orderly account” of Christ’s life (Luke 1:3). In relating the conversion of Cornelius’s household, Peter “explained at length to them in an orderly sequence” (Acts 11:4, NASB). Believers are to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19). Knowing that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people,” we make sure our worship services are not chaotic or disorderly (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Revelation 21 gives some detail regarding the end of the age and the restoration of order to God’s creation, after sin had brought disorder and chaos. This rehabilitation culminates with God creating a new heaven and a new earth. There is no longer any chaos. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Confusion will be gone: “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Order wins over chaos, and those who pursued and promoted the chaos of sin will no longer be allowed to disseminate disarray: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

We ought to model the order of God and deny chaos. “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). We look to the Prince of Peace who gives us His otherworldly peace (John 14:27), and we guard our minds from being “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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