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Chapter 2 - The Forces that Drive the Universe
The last word in the Ephesians verse (‘love’) is interesting. For us to consider the nature of the universe, we need to consider this fundamental force (the choice to forgo the interest of self for the benefit of another).
Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
It defines the very character and nature of God.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. - 1 John 4:7-8
Love is not the first thing one might think of in describing an all powerful God. However, upon reflection one might consider that a god (like those of mythology) who had human selfish characteristics, would eventually, through the use of his power, end up destroying himself along with others.
One might consider a universal axiom that selfishness is destructive and selflessness (love) is constructive. Beings created like angels might just have a single opportunity to chose which path to follow. Beings created in ignorance, like humans, might be salvageable by being given an opportunity to choose this path.
The constructive (edification) characteristic of love can be seen in contrast to the illusionary ‘substance’ of something like knowledge by which a person may form an unrealistic view of himself.
Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth. - 1 Corinthians 8:1b
The second key elemental force of the universe is truth. Just as love can be abandoned for selfishness, truth can be abandoned for the fleeting comforts and sensations of illusion. Both love and truth work to build up and their lack contribute to decay and destruction.
There is a contrast between truth and love in that while love is a choice, truth is absolute. Both are characteristics of God and both proceed from him to us. Truth is manifest in everything that exists. It defines reality. Truth is constant and unchanging. Truth transcends the material universe. It is that from which the material universe is brought forth. The concept of relativity is that everything depends on something else. However, without the absolute there can be no source. Even the spiritual universe also depends on and proceeds from the absolute of truth.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. - Genesis 1:1
A third basic force in the universe is life. This also comes from and is sustained by God.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. - Genesis 1:26
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. - Genesis 2:7
We know that there is animal, human, angelic and divine life. Also, we can know that aside from divine life, we are all created. It is love that places life in creation.
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. - Job 33:4
Too often we settle for a mechanical description of the material universe as if measurement and conjecture could satisfy a soul that craves to know its creator. When we consider love, truth, and life, we begin to see a deeper and fuller description of the universe and one in which the hand of God is not hidden.
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