Unusual Assurances

Study Guide, August 12, 2018

Pastor Clay Olsen

We are looking forward to having a Pre-School again here at the Chapel. We had one years ago. It’s a great way to bless families and invest in children and those in our community. But it’s also a blessing for those who serve and fellowship with the kids, because something that astute adults understand, is that you can learn a lot from kids, if you pay close enough attention. Kids tend to see the world around them just like it is, and they think about the world just like it is, and they wonder about the world that is, as to – ‘why it is the way it is’? In fact, they ask a lot of the questions that many adults used to ask, but maybe never got answered. And so they just stopped asking, or forgot about them all together.

The thing is, oftentimes if you track down the answers to these beginning questions about life and our world around us it can save a lot of confusion and misunderstandings about things later; like questions that adults still have about why the world is the way it is. If you pay attention to the early questions about our world, it then provides you with later answers about life and our world, and especially about the world to come. And then you can also help other adults remember those questions they once had, but now provide them with some Biblical answers. Plus, you’ll be ready to help kids too, because you know, they have questions! So, with the help of some really good questions from children let’s explore our world together.

All right, talk about a practical question, here’s one from a child: “Why did God make mosquitoes?” Good question. Actually, this is a question that a lot of adults are still asking. So what’s up with bugs that bite and sting and harm humans, and animals as well?

Now, I’ll be giving the ‘long answers’ to these things, since it is a study we’re doing. But when a child asks something like this, you can give them the short answer, unless you have a lot of time. But one of the important concepts to always keep in mind for not only helping children better understand our world, but for adults to better understand it as well, is to remember this: The way our world is today is not the way it always was, nor the way it’s going to be. This point is paramount in understanding most everything. The only way to understand our world today is to understand how it was when it was originally created, and to also understand how it’s going to be when it is re-created. In the meantime, it’s critically important to understand that this version of Earth and life on Earth is the broken one; it’s the damaged version. We live in a broken and damaged world. And we will live out our lives in this damaged version until the Creator restores it and remakes it like the original version…with even more features added, of course.

Remember, God’s original creation was all good…there was nothing damaged, nothing threatening, nothing harmful; nothing buggy. On days 5 and 6 we have the creation of the creatures of Earth:

Gen 1:20-25- “Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens. God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” NASU

It’s interesting that in the Hebrew that ‘winged bird’ is ‘flying creature’. So that could include quite a variety of winged creatures. Plus, the description of ‘creeping things’ can include a wide variety of ground insects as well. But the point again is that with every buggy creature that bugs man and beast today, it’s important to remember that it wasn’t always this way! So the real question is not; ‘Why did God create mosquitoes?’, but ‘Why do these mosquitoes that God created now bite us?’ Again, something went wrong! Since everything that God created was good, everything in creation existed in complete harmony, and was mutually beneficial to one another, and all creatures were completely safe and perfectly healthy at all times and in all ways. So in the original Earth there was no biting, no bugging, no harming of anything or anyone. Therefore, what we know is that even mosquitoes had good attitudes before something went wrong in this world.

Can you imagine a world in which mosquitoes are as friendly to you as your family dog? Amazing! Now, not even your dog can imagine a world where mosquitoes are friendly, along with ticks, and bees, and any of the other creatures that now bite and bother us all. But that’s how far we’ve fallen. That’s how far our world has fallen from what it originally was. That’s why we call the entrance of sin into this world: The Fall…the Fall of Man into Sin. Gen 2:15-17- “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” NASU Of course, that sets another question into motion: “What is death?” We’ll come back to that one in our study series on all of this…

What is important to know is that when our first parents disobeyed God, this new presence of sin, this ‘death agent’ in creation, set into motion such damaging affects that all creation was now infected with everything that goes with death and sin; even the subsequent biting and bugging and fighting and harming and so on… It’s called ‘the curse’. And even all the creatures of earth were and have been affected by it. Rom 8:19-22- “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” NLT

Perhaps if we could hear well enough, we could hear the animal kingdom ‘groaning’, anxiously waiting for the Creator to restore this world of death and decay to it’s original version of pristine life and pure health. Maybe what we call that annoying buzzing or whining sound of a mosquito is actually the sound of it ‘groaning’…like ‘mosquito groaning’. Remember, God didn’t create anything to bite us, but because of the poison and the infection of sin in the world, everything is now broken. Even the very physiological structures of the creatures of this world have been damaged and altered by the curse of the sin agent in the world.

Did you also notice three key words in that Romans passage about why the animal world now is the way that it is? “Against its will…” “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.” Remember, the rebellion against the commandment of the Creator was not from the animal kingdom, but from the human kingdom. But because sin is the poison of Creation, all things in creation were poisoned by the Fall of Man into sin. And, again, the result of this presence of sin in the world is that it has affected and infected everything. This sin-virus has permeated our world system and has damaged everything from the world of humans to the world of animals…even to the world of weather. Yes, even the Earth and it’s weather systems are wearing out like a garment…all due to the sin-virus; the curse. And so again, among the effects of the poison of sin are that ever since sin entered the world, the animal world has been filled with fighting and harming one another…even harming those who were to be their guardians…mankind.

So if we are really going to get to the crux of the issue as to ‘why mosquitoes bite’; mosquitoes bite because man’s sin poisoned them; it cursed them, along with all of the animal kingdom. Something inside of them is broken and causes them to bite and fight.

A point to remember is that the beginning point to nearly every question about what is wrong in our world is this: It’s not how it was in the beginning, nor is it the way it will be when the Creator fixes our broken world.

Actually, here is a passage of Scripture that you ought to share as often as possible with children…and I’m talking now about ‘children of all ages’…but especially young children, because it’s a picture of what the animal kingdom looked like originally and how it will one day be again when God fixes this broken world. Isa 11:6-9- “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.” NLT

We know that the Bible reveals that there is coming a day when there will be complete harmony between all the creatures of Earth and with all the people of Earth. But do not forget this: There already was a time when this was the way it was on our planet Earth. This is the way it was in the original version of Earth. The way things are now are not the way things have always been. There was a time when Adam and Eve could have played with wolves and leopards and snakes.

Here’s another question kids ask, which you have probably heard: “Can God make a rock that even He can’t pick up?” Another good question. The short answer is Luke 1:37- “For nothing is impossible with God.” NLT And then another great passage is Jer 32:26-27- “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”” NASU So ‘Nothing is impossible with God, and there is nothing too difficult for God.’ What great truths about God with which to assure children, who have so many cares and the worries and concerns; to assure them that nothing is impossible with God or too difficult for God. (Again, children of any age…)

But the longer answer is that it’s important to remember ‘who’ God is! God is the Creator, who is Himself infinite in power! Which means that nothing that is finite, like a rock or any created thing, could be a problem for One who is infinite in all things; infinite in strength and power and everything else. So no…and it’s interesting to put it like this…but, ‘No, God can’t make a rock that even He can’t pick up because God is the Maker. And God is more powerful than anything that can be made!’

In fact, there are other things that God can’t do. Did you know that? That’s actually a good question to ask kids, and anyone else for that matter: “Did you know that there are things that even God cannot do?” Now this line of thinking does take some explanations. But again, knowing that there are some things that God cannot do is certainly unusual; but at the same time, it is very assuring and reassuring.

Like what? I have mentioned before, and I mention it quite often really, that one of the things that gives me great assurance of my salvation is not in something that God can do, but in something that God cannot do; and that is: God cannot lie. God cannot lie! God is perfect in every way. God is perfect in truth. And therefore, whatever God says to you and to me is absolutely true. Like, when God says to you and to me…

John 5:24- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”…

And then in John 6:37- “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

And then in 1 John 5:12-13- “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

And once more in Rev 3:20- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” NASU…when God makes these promises to you and to me, it’s settled! We can rest our eternal salvation upon these promises from God, because God cannot lie. All of the promises that God has made to us will come to pass. They are more sure than anything that exists in the universe; more sure than any law of the universe. When God says it; that settles it!

That’s why it is so important to learn and to then have a working knowledge of the different promises that God has made to us. Then when the problems of this world arise, we can place a promise from God over the particular problem and then deal with it according to God’s promise and not just according to our problem.

One problem that we do have each week is that we run out of time…but the promise is that ‘there is a time for everything’…So next time, we’ll look into some more questions that kids have about God and even some more things that God cannot do…self imposed things, that is.