Chaos and the Everlasting Arms
Shakespeare’s play Othello showcases the most vile character in all of drama -- a man often referred to as “honest Iago.” He is especially horrifying because he is charming, efficient, and intelligent, but mostly because he often breaks the fourth wall, looks the audience right in the eye, and tells us what his next diabolical move will be. We’re in on it whether we want to be or not. He creates chaos just because he can and we are powerless to stop him. Watching the news these days feels much like watching Othello.
We listen to the "news" (a word of increasingly unclear meaning), most of which deals with riots and robberies, murder and mayhem, barbarism, and skullduggery at even the highest levels of government. Change -- technological, social, and financial -- is happening at lightning speed, but we have to be careful how we talk about it because the word-police are listening, and our most valuable words have been drained of their semantic weight and locked away in a closet. Of what use is "hate," or "woman," or "Nazi"?
We’re beginning to realize that our most important institutions -- our schools and our churches -- are closing minds rather than opening them, that our medical system is itself on life support, that our children have nothing to rely on other than the government that has done this to them, or the drugs being smuggled across our unattended borders. Our culture is disintegrating before our eyes.
China, North Korea, and Russia (Can I talk about that country without risking being wiretapped?) to say nothing of the entire Muslim world are all gearing up for a major fight and we’re not ready. Muslim "refugees" (another word that’s taken a beating) have successfully invaded much of Europe and half of this country wants them to do the same here. Is it not the epitome of chaos to desire that one’s own country be invaded?
Crime, which used to be fueled by need as much as by greed, has become senseless and random. Logic has taken a back seat to untrammeled emotion. Common sense is dead, but I needn’t say more -- we’re all painfully aware of the chasm opening beneath out feet and we feel as powerless to stop it, as we do Iago.
But don’t “all things work together for good?” (Romans 8:28) Yes, they do -- “for those who love God.” Isn’t it true that “underneath are the everlasting arms”? (Deuteronomy 33:27) It is true. God’s order is evident everywhere. It is the backdrop for the chaos. Nothing is happening randomly. Nothing is out of His control. Nothing occurs that He didn’t foreknow. Let’s look at the evidence:
First, we must look to nature. The more we learn about it -- the more we see the order of God, the less random things appear. Back in the 19th century people like Darwin could get away with ideas based on random mutation in simple cells and dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest, but now we know that the smallest of mechanisms bears the traits of super-engineering, not of haphazard happenstance. The famous flagellum motor of single-celled organisms, the human eye, hummingbird tongues are so intricate that it is more likely that a toddler could dump out the letters of a Scrabble game and spell macroevolution than it is that these amazing mechanisms happened on their own.
Not only is nature too complicated to be a willy-nilly arrangement, but it’s too mathematical for that. Look at Fibonacci sequences, which appear throughout nature, both in 3-dimensional space, and in the 4th dimension as well. The Fibonacci sequence 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144… (each succeeding number being the sum of the two previous integers), and the physical pattern that graphing the sequence produces, shows up in everything from the organization of the sections of a pine-cone to the human X chromosome inheritance tree. When graphed, these numbers produce a spiral confined to the ancient concept of the Golden Mean. Nature is not chaotic; it’s perfect proportions prove that. Perhaps the greatest damage Darwin did to thinking was to convince us of the randomness of nature -- a lie if there ever was one.
We also need to look at fractals. A fractal is a pattern that self-replicates at an ever-increasing (or decreasing) scale. We see these patterns in the angle at which the veins in a leaf leave the stem, in the way branches head away from the trunk. We see them in snowflakes and crystal formations, in electrical discharges and river patterns. Even the circulatory system, with its network of arteries, veins, and capillaries demonstrates fractal organization. Pineapples display fractal repetitions, as do earthquakes, ocean waves and even the rings of Saturn. When we look casually at nature we mistake its profusion and lavishness as arbitrary, as accidental, but none of it is.
Our brains, they say, are pattern-seeking devices, which is interesting because there are so many patterns to find. From the iambic beating of our hearts to the rotations of days and seasons, we are surrounded by pattern. We reproduce it in our language, our art, and our music. We have, since the earliest times recognized the patterns in the stars -- note the mention of the constellations in the book of Job, probably written around 4,500 years ago.
It is Job’s God who gave Israel the Law, who organized a camp of 2 million people -- the tents in neat rows according to the 12 tribes, three on each side of the Tabernacle. It was this God who provided them food and water in the wilderness, this God who stopped the Jordan and brought down the walls of Jericho.
We lose sight of all this in the frantic beat of modern life, but it is still there. The very stars have been making patterns lately -- the four blood moons that coincided strangely with Jewish feast days and were punctuated halfway through with a total eclipse. This coming fall -- the 23rd of September -- we’ll see an amazing pattern when Leo and Virgo and Jupiter and Orion’s belt all arrange themselves just as Revelation 12 says they will. This will happen on the Jewish New Year during the Feast of Trumpets. Things are right on schedule.
Just because women have taken to dressing up as vaginas and milling around in public demanding the right to kill the babies the vagina was designed to bring forth; just because colleges no longer allow ideas; just because feminists seem to prefer Sharia law or because sexual abuse of a child is now being declared normal, we should not conclude that the world has spun off into the unknown.
The same God that parted the Red Sea is still in control. His Word has warned us the time would come when “…men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 3:2)
If God knew society would devolve so, did He not also provide solution for such an eventuality? He did. The patterns of His plans are forming out of the miasma. His hand is on history. His will will be done. God also knew what “Iago” (i.e. Satan) would do, and unlike us, He has the power to stop him. Christ will return and the chaos, as loud and horrifying and painful as it is right now, will soon be calmed, there will be peace on Earth, and we will, as we once did in Eden, feel the safety of the arms of God.
Deana Chadwell blogs at www.ASingleWindow.com and is an adjunct writing professor at Pacific Bible College in southwestern Oregon.