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Hey, this is John Ortberg, and this is passage to wisdom. And I wanna talk to you, if you, a few moments about chaos as I are living these days, mostly in a little pool house at cabana, you’re looking at this general area that we are renting and our landlords are, uh, terrific, wonderful people, very generous. We got a phone call from them recently. We were away and one of them was in the cabana and he was just very generally ripping away some stuff that needed to get taken out, but he was calling us to tell us there’s chaos in the command. Just wanted you to know be expecting it. When you get here, there is chaos in the command. And for some reason, we both just love that line. It sounds like a song that Ricky Ricardo would a sung and I love Lucy way back when chaos in the command.

So we’re talking that way now when there’s, um, emotional upset, when something difficult is going on in our lives, when we get something hard to wrestle with together as a couple or that we’re struggling with in our minds or our emotions or there’s chaos in the command. Now, chaos has always been at the core of what works against Shalom against the kingdom of God. This is passage to wisdom, and there’s a wonderful little section where screw tape is writing and contrasting the beauty of the kingdom of God life together with God, with the disorder that chaos, the UN beauty of hell. He writes about how, uh, one human writer describes heaven, the regions, where there is only life. And therefore all that is not music is silence, music and silence, screw tapes as high detest them both how thankful we should be that ever since our father entered hell longer ago than humans reckoning in light years could express no square inch of infernal space.

And no moment of internal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by noise. Now that’s chaos noise. The grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant ruthless and veal noise, which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing, scruples, and impossible desires will. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the earth. God knows that’s true. The melodies and silences of heaven will be shouted down in the end, but I admit we are not yet loud enough or anything like it. Research is in progress. Meanwhile, you, you disgusting little parenthetical note here, the manuscript breaks off and is resumed in a different hand. In the heat of composition. I find I have inadvertently allowed myself to assume the form of a large cent speed.

I am accordingly dictating the rest to my secretary. Screw tape goes on reality apart from God is in the hands of chaos. Now in the ancient world, where there was a great fear of chaos, uh, chaos was the enemy of human life and flourishing, and the pre-modern lived in a world where they were threatened by chaos accidents, storm, uh, violent death famine, uh, in, in ways that we are largely buffered from in the ancient world. They used to talk quite a lot about what were called chaos monsters. Now how literally the ancient believed or didn’t believe in them. I don’t know, but they were very common to people’s thinking. And what’s interesting is occasionally in the Bible, they show up, for example, in job, the 26 chapter where it talks about God bringing order to the chaos, he marks out the horizons on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness, pillars of the heavens quake a Gast at his rebuke by his power.

He turned up the sea by his wisdom. He cut Rayhab two pieces by his breath. The skies became fair. His hand pierced the gliding serpent, some chaos monster called, uh, Rayhab a serpent was destroyed by God. Now, when did that happen? That sounds like a really interesting story. I would love to see that, but there’s no account of it in the scriptures or in chapter 74, it says to God, it was you who split open the sea by your power. You broke the heads of the monster in the water. It was you who crushed the heads of LA leviathans and gave it his food to the creatures in the desert. Now, when did God crush the head of LA Levi? I’d like to read that that’d be really exciting. What’s going on here is there’s a kind of a backstory and everybody in the ancient world would’ve been aware of it.

Uh, and it involves the idea of these chaos monsters. Again, how literally agents generally would’ve taken them or not is not terribly clear, but generally creation stories that were a part of the culture, the world, the communication conversation, that Israel was a part of involved these chaos monsters, and they, uh, communicated the threat that human beings experienced in the face of the unknown mystery darkness, particularly the sea, a very dangerous and violent place. And so creation stories generally involve the God’s battling the chaos monsters. So the Babylonian creation myth, at least one that we have access to involved, uh, the, the primary God who was battling against Timmo a chaos monster and killed it. And it, and one half became the heavens and the other half became the earth. So that creation was viewed as kind of an accidental byproduct of this violent cosmic battle between the forces of ordering chaos.

Now, all of this is a backdrop to show how different things are in Genesis when God simply speaks. And he brings creation into being, and, uh, he, he brings order. He separates light from darkness. He separates the dry land from the, uh, waters, and, and then he brings abundance into all of this. And on the fourth day, we’re told that God creates the sun and the moon. Now these were viewed as cosmic forces in the ancient world, but not in Genesis. They’re simply created by God on the fifth day, uh, he’s got the ocean’s teaming with living things and he creates the great sea creatures. And the word that is used to name is actually used to describe these chaos monsters or, uh, the LA Leviathan. So not just whales and purposes and so on, but the idea is that they are not forces that threaten God. Um, they’re actually made by God and he is easily able to handle them. The story that comes in Genesis is a very different story of a God who is, uh, able to control all things and does not need to battle anything. But of course, chaos makes its way back into the world. Uh, interestingly through a creature that is described in the form of a serpent. Again, this would’ve been recognized as a force of chaos and chaos takes hold of me and the view. And so there’s fear. And so there’s anger, there’s resentment.

I was talking to a good friend of mine this week, Rob, Hey, Rob, if you’re watching. And, uh, we were talking about challenges that we’re both facing. And I was saying very often when I wake up in the morning, after going through the darkness, another aspect of chaos in our world. And very often when I wake up, my mind will be filled with thoughts of, uh, anxiety or fear about what’s the future gonna hold, or very often resentment. I will replay conversations in my head, things that I have heard, things that I have read that I want to rebut that feel threatening, that feel unfair. And I was saying to Rob, um, one of the images that came to me this last week when I go to pray is like, my brain is a giant wound. Just this kind of ugly, throbbing, scabbed, over bleeding thing that I cannot heal. I just dump it out and say, okay, God, here it is. And there’s a wonderful word. I was reading when Paul is running to the people of Corinth. And he says that his prayer for them is that, um, they should be minded or healed. It’s a word that would be used of fishermen when they had been out with their nets and their nets were all torn and tangled, and then they would mend their nets.

And Paul says, I hope that you could be MedEd. I pray that you can be MedEd. And so I ask, God, God, would you take my brain? My mind that right now is it’s like this chemical factory. You know, the brain is a chemical factory and it numbs all kinds of toxic chemicals into my body. God, would you heal it? Would you mend it? And that’s the invitation for today. Whatever’s going on in your life? There’s chaos in the cabana. I don’t know what your cabana is, but I know there’s chaos in it. There is difficulty. There is upheaval. There is unpredictability. There is fear. There is anger. There is resentment. There is the unknown. There is greed. There’s giant wound where there ought to be a peaceful mind. There is chaos in the cabana, but the one who came and spoke to the sea peace, be still and came to his disciples and said to them, peace, my peace. He comes to you and me. Peace when there is chaos in the cabana, may God heal my mind. May I, may you come to him each moment? All through this day when the chaos strikes,

I can’t, he can, God, here’s my life. God, here’s my mind. God, here’s my soul. Now here, God say peace. There is no chaos to which he cannot bring order. I’ll see you next time.