Ecclesiastes 1:5 "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again."These three statements are profound! Not only are they examples of consistency, but all three are early scientific thought!
The best example is the sun. We can count on it doing pretty much the same thing every day. It's totally consistent and has been since it's origin. Right now I am fully confident that the sun will rise and set although its rays may be blocked from view, but in spite of that, the sun is dependable! It's consistent!
Less obvious is that the earth has all the water it always has had, short of the small amounts added by chemical experiment and the small amounts lost by space exploration. We can count on the seas being full and never spilling out because evaporation turns it to the skies and rain comes down. The rains fill the streams and rivers and carry the water to the sea. Although water at various places are different, we can count on the whole always being the same!
It's less obvious, but the winds are much like the rivers. In fact they are rivers in the sky. The wind may vary and change direction and sometimes take a rest, but it always returns. The seas of the sky are a receptacle of consistency!
These three examples by Solomon make a point of consistency. They are the same because God is the same!
God is everlasting. Adam, despite those cults who profess a demiurge, worshiped the same God that we still worship and who created the universe. The same God that reigns in heaven for ever. God is consistent. We can count on him and he works the same way he always did. God has always been merciful! There were never different covenants, but always God's "Covenant of Grace"! At times his grace was more obvious than others, but salvation was always by grace. God is unchanging. He's consistent:
Psalm 90:2 (ESV) "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."How about Jesus? Does he change? Jesus is unchanging too! He is reliable and consistent:
Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."We know that Jesus was born around 4 B.C. Where was he before? He was the "Tree of Life" in the garden, the royal priest in the form of Melchizedek, the burning bush in the face of Moses, the fourth man in the fiery furnace, and the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob! Jesus IS before he came! Being God and The Word of God, he was as consistent when he provided the sacrifice for Abraham as when he sacrificed himself for us! His appearance changes, but his grace was always the same. Jesus always was with mankind and always will be. That's consistency!
Some will argue that times change. The apostles didn't know what man knows today. People believe that scripture needs to change for the times. Solomon knew that wasn't true. Things have always been the same! The world was as wicked in the time of Moses and as wicked as was Sodom and Gomorrah. Las Vegas, San Francisco and New York City shares the same wickedness. Nothing is new. History repeats itself:
Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.Scripture applies today as much as it did for Moses. When God spoke to Moses he spoke to us. When he spoke to the prophets the message was for all time. "There is no new thing under the sun"!
With that said, God's Word applies now as much as then:
Isaiah 40:8 (ESV) "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."What that means is that the truth of the creation is just as valid then as it is today. Any rational person can see that no scientist has ever adequately explained how it all started, but scripture is consistent in it's story. Scientists change their theories with new "evidence", but an omnipotent God never requires revision. God will never be proved wrong because he's not wrong, and science, if they're honest, never proves any hypothesis! Science, by their own admission, can never "prove" anything and what the beguiled accept as fact will always be theory.
The two "testaments" are two "covenants". The popular theology is that the Old Testament is an agreement to keep The Law and the New Testament is a "Covenant of Grace". However, The Bible is what's called "internally consistent". There is a common thread which is strung throughout the entire Bible. Just as the threads which hold the cover and pages together in the binding are, within the words are common threads. Some of these are:
- God is good
- God is truth
- God is just
- God is merciful
- God has always loved us
- God always IS
- God is eternal
- God is all powerful
- God is all knowing
- The Word (the voice of God) always was and IS
- When God spoke or was "seen" it was the personality which became put on flesh (Jesus)
- Jesus always IS
- Jesus IS The Word and The Word IS God
- Man has been in sin since the first sin of Adam
- As such, man died spiritually
- Man cannot save himself, but is dependent on God
- Since God has always been merciful, grace was always the path to salvation
- Forgiveness has always been by the blood
- The blood of animal sacrifices were symbolic of the atoning blood of Jesus
- Belief in Jesus was always the way and only way to salvation
- Faith in the coming Jesus who was already Immanuel was the salvation of the patriarchs, and belief in Jesus after his incarnation is still the way to salvation!
- Hope was always the incentive for faith.
- God's word is forever and is unalterable
- And on and on!
Scripture never deviates! All these truths are unchanging. When a person reads the Old Testament (OT), they are reading about Jesus and when they read the New Testament (NT) they are reading about Jesus! These threads which are common throughout scripture is "internal consistency". The entire Bible has the same theme. It's all about Jesus! Whenever we read OT scripture, ask "What's this got to do with Jesus?" because the OT is all about Jesus!
Since I know that scripture is consistent and that Jesus is the same yesterday (OT), today (now) and tomorrow (for eternity), I can depend on Jesus to save me because he will do what he says! The entire theme of The Bible is summed up with one verse:
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."Belief that the Messiah is coming motivated the patriarchs in their faith and hope, and belief that it happened motivates us in our faith and hope! Abraham believed this and so did the prophets! So do I !
Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles (salvation) through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.What is good for us was good for Abraham! It was always by faith and with the faith of the believer, salvation was always by grace!
I mentioned the three insights of Solomon in the introduction. On Dec 6 (God the Scientist) I will write on the consistency of what we call science today.