You've likely heard the phrase, "God is a God of order." But what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that he likes to stay organized?
Marie Kondo became famous for her method of cleaning, which is demonstrated in her books and show. Many people have flocked to her way of removing unneeded and unwanted items from their homes. Such a desire for orderliness is not a new phenomenon.
The reason so many people desire tidiness and order in their homes, relationships, and lives is because God created everything with order. The moon reliably follows a cyclical pattern. The planets all orbit in an established, orderly way.
Seasons come and go in an arranged and expected fashion. Such order in the universe is not an accident but rather reflects the Creator.
Just as all creation is ordered, so also is the Creator a God of order. He did not create a universe that is chaotic or haphazard. Scientists can observe different elements of the universe and discern patterns and “laws” in nature because of the orderliness that the Lord placed within creation.
He did not create an orderly and perfectly arranged creation out of curiosity or for the mere “fun of it,” but rather such a creation reflects His character.
God is a God of order because such an attribute is an integral and essential part of His character. Within His very being, the Lord is orderly and is always consistent.
What Does God Is a God of Order Mean? (1 Corinthians 14:33)
In his first epistle to the Corinthian believers, Paul instructs them in the proper way of worship. Regrettably, the Corinthian believers had been conducting themselves in an unruly and chaotic manner during worship meetings.
Instead of being orderly in the way they exercised their gifts, multiple believers would speak at the same time without any interpretation (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).
Apparently, the problem was so bad that it had the potential to make the church appear unappealing to unbelievers who would visit their meetings (1 Corinthians 14:23).
For this reason, Paul had to correct and teach the Corinthians about proper order in worship. Instead of having uninterpreted messages, the church needed to ensure the messages given by “speaking in tongues” were properly translated so as to be enriching to all believers (1 Corinthians 14:27-31).
This instruction from Paul was not based on his own desire for tidiness in worship, but rather reflects the character of God. As Paul stated in his letter, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace — as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people” (1 Corinthians 14:33, NIV).
The Greek word used for disorder comes from “akatastatos,” which has the idea of instability or confusion (Strong’s Greek: 181). Such disorder characterized the gathering of believers in Corinth but does not reflect the orderliness of God’s character.
Maintaining order, therefore, during the worship services was Paul’s corrective instruction for the Corinthians’ unruly behavior.
Instead of allowing the people to continue in an environment of chaos, which resembled pagan gatherings, the apostle encouraged orderly behavior, which promoted peace.
Instead of disorder, “everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40, NIV). Properly arranged worship services and meetings are glorifying to the Lord and reflective of His nature.
God’s Character as the Reason Behind His Order
From the beginning of time, the Lord crafted all creation with order and harmony. When He set the sun and moon in place, “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night” (Genesis 1:16, NIV).
Both the sun and moon were created to provide structure to life on earth, which is “governed” by the separation between night and day. Such harmony came from God’s own character and being. He always acts in a harmonious and orderly manner. He is not chaotic or unstable.
He is all-powerful and is not controlled by anyone or anything but is always consistent and reliable. The Lord always keeps His promises (2 Peter 3:9), never lies (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18), and never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He does not show favoritism but rather deals with all mankind fairly according to His judgment (Psalm 9:8; Romans 2:11).
Instead of being a God of disorder, the Lord is a God of peace. The Amplified Bible includes “peace and order” when describing God in 1 Corinthians 14:33. The Greek word used for “peace” in the verse carries the idea of oneness, peace, and quietness (Strong’s Concordance: 1515).
Scripture teaches that God does not just value order and peace, but rather this is a part of His very character and being (2 Thessalonians 3:16). He is ordered and peaceful. Nothing within God is disarrayed, out of place, or disordered.
Furthermore, His ontological being as the Trinity also demonstrates order. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all exist together in perfect harmony as one God (Matthew 28:19). There is no disorder among the members of the Trinity, but rather all work together in perfect unity.
The Lord God is complete within Himself and needs no one and nothing else (Ephesians 4:4-6). Within Himself, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not at odds with each other, but rather are at peace. Truly, He is a God of peace and order instead of disorder.
Avoiding Misunderstanding in the Phrase 'God Is a God of Order'
When people think about order, they commonly think of tidiness and how things should be in their place, providing a level of predictability. While God’s character reflects order, this should not be taken to mean that mankind can always predict the Lord’s actions.
Although He is consistent and never changing, the Lord can act in unpredictable ways, which humans sometimes struggle to understand.
Such actions do not negate His orderly character, but rather demonstrate how much greater He is than finite human beings (Isaiah 55:8). God is greater than anything and nothing can compare to Him (Psalm 40:5).
Planets and seasons were created by God to have order and they have predictable and observable patterns, but mankind should not try to fit the Lord into a box, limiting Him.
God always acts consistently within His nature, but no one should try to limit the Lord by placing requirements on Him, that He must always act in a specific manner or pattern.
God’s character includes being a God of order, but this should not be confused with being predictable or fixed to certain patterns.
Not a God of Disorder
Humans can witness the order, which is present in creation by observing nature and considering their own desire for orderliness and structure. Such order is not an accident or mistake but reflects the Creator.
God’s very character involves being a God of order and harmony. Existing eternally as the Trinity, the Lord God is complete, unified, and peaceful. Because God is a God of order and peace, His followers should demonstrate the same attitude in their lives and worship.
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Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. She holds a BA in Ministry, a MA in Ministry, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing to develop her writing craft. As someone who is passionate about the Bible and faith in Jesus, her mission is to help others learn about Christ and glorify Him in her writing. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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