“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” — 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV84)
The other day I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend awhile back. We discussed the topic of curiosity in connection to people’s ability to reason, think, and dream. And so I’ve been curious as to what drives our human curiosity. Today, I am curious as to whether this verse has come upon me randomly or is part of some greater design. You see, I think we are curious because we live in a world that, for the most part, behaves orderly. We take for granted things like gravity, tides, breathable air, etc. It’s almost predictable. We see patterns like this and wonder about the hows and whys. Our curiosity is really a quest for understanding and definition, not only for our own lives, but for the world around us.
Then there are those times when we, or the world around us, acts contrary to the way we might expect. We see disorder and chaos and become curious as to how and why they exist. I think this thought process is unique to us humans. I think Max (my dog) recognizes the difference between order and chaos, but he adapts rather than contemplates. We humans become curious, suspicious, even skeptical. We go through all those stages because deep down inside we want to know why.
Paul, in our verse for today, told us that God is orderly. He is not a God of disorder. This means that disorder and chaos would be alien to His design and purpose. In fact, Paul said that God is a God of peace. Shalom has deep in its meaning the idea of symphony. Shalom is not just an individual playing an instrument perfectly. Nor is it just a few instruments or voices playing in perfect harmony. Shalom pictures for us an entire symphony and choir perfectly synchronized. Shalom means,”as it ought to be.” God created the world, and humankind in it, to live in shalom. Sin destroyed the shalom and brought disorder and chaos. Jesus came into the world to redeem us and to bring us back to shalom (peace).
Our curiosity is a part of the created image of God in us that seeks (yearns) for the way it ought to be (shalom).