Monday, May 7, 2007

The Divine City Planner

There is a verse in II Peter 1:3 that says, “His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…”
What I understand that to say is that if we know Him, through His word, there is nothing that He does not instruct us on regarding how to live a life pleasing to God - both spiritually and also practically.

So often we relegate God to certain areas of our life.
He is the One we worship and He is the One we pray to when we need help or comfort or direction.
But there are certain things that we don’t think to ask God about.
If you were a city planner, would you think God had anything to say about what features are important to implement in the building of a city?

If God had planned the city you live in, would it be different than it is?

I am becoming increasingly upset by the subdivisions that are going up in my city. The lots are becoming smaller and smaller leaving only a few feet - the width of two sidewalks - between the houses and almost no back yard.
Did you know God’s displeasure is directed toward those who try to squeeze as many houses as possible on one street?

Listen to what He says…. “Woe to those who join house to house who add field to field till there is no place where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land.” (Is. 5:8)

My daughter was telling me about a study that she read about. Several monkeys were left on a deserted island where they had no predators. As a result they were allowed to multiply until the island became crowded. Those observing the monkeys noted a surprising change in behaviour. Where before the monkeys had enjoyed a strong social structure and cared for each other, now they were becoming singularly concerned with self-preservation. Mothers refused to care for their offspring. The ‘teen age’ monkeys were rebellious and destructive.

God knows that everyone needs space. He says we should all have enough land so that we can be alone.
Did you know that owning property is a God-given right? He made the world big enough that everyone could have their own space!

I have always said that I would have been very content to live all my life on one piece of property… I love the idea of family estates being passed down from generation to generation. Seems that was God’s idea all along.
He says, “Moreover the prince shall not take any of the people’s inheritance by evicting them from their property he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property so that none of my people may be scattered from his property.” (Ez. 46:18)

God also has something to say about real estate sales, although I don’t think too many people would be receptive to His idea today. God’s rule is that anyone who sells their property, perhaps because of financial difficulties, has the option of changing their mind anytime within a year from the date of sale and can simply reclaim their property.
“And if a man sells a house in a walled city then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold, within a full year he may redeem it…” (Lev. 25:29)

If God was building your city He would also ensure that everyone was paid fairly for their labour.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice who uses his neighbour’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work.” (Jer. 22:13)

Have you ever noticed how children love to play in the street? I have often seen children who had a lovely yard to play in but where were they? On the street!!
It doesn’t make sense to me, but God seems to understand.
In His perfect city He says, “The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.” (Zech. 8:5) It goes without saying, of course, that the streets were safe for children to play in.

God also places great value on being able to live in peace and quiet.
We lived for many years on acreage at the end of a dead end street and a hundred wild acres behind our property. We could not even see another house from our yard. City people would come to visit and invariably after a time they would look puzzled, listen and then seeing my questioning gaze would ask, “What’s that noise?” They would listen again and then sheepishly realize, “Oh, it’s the quiet!”

How relaxing it is in a peaceful and quiet environment… God knows!
He says, “My people shall dwell in a peaceful habitation in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places.” (Is. 32:18)
God’s city would be a safe place, where people would not have to lock their doors or fear to go outside at night.
“No evil shall befall you nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.” (Ps. 91:10)
If the children wanted to camp outside in summertime…it would be safe.
“..they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” (Ex. 34:25b)

In a perfect city according to God’s design, every man would be able to grow his own food, have his own fruit trees and grapevine and be able to enjoy sitting under them in the cool of the evening in perfect safety.
“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4:4)
“They shall build houses and inhabit them they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” (Is. 65:21)

The inhabitants of a city God planned would find pleasure in the work of their hands and would live to enjoy the fruit of their labours.
“My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands they shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble.” (Is. 65:22b,23)

And the inhabitants of the city would grow old there, enjoying their twilight years in familiar places full of happy memories.
“Old men and old women shall sit in the streets of Jerusalem each one with his staff in his hand because of great age.” (Zech. 8:4)

Don’t you wish your city planners had consulted God for advice before they built your city?
But we have hope…One day soon we will go to live in a city God planned and it will be according to His perfect design, an Eternal City where our joy will be continual and we will never grow old.


Lovella said...

someday we will reside in the perfect city, for now I'm content.

Demara said...

Julie? Yellow doesn't taste good??!! Haha you're so funny!!!

And yes I can't wait to live in that perfect house with many rooms on a golden street and a chrystal sea running through the backyard.

I too thought about the quiet before you know? and how it seems to be so peaceful. I DID hear "the quiet" ONCE, when all the power went out COMPLETELY...have you ever stood outside in the city when a whole BLOCK'S power is off? It doesn't usually last long but if it ever has had happened to you before you know what I mean.

I stood there on the padio thinking:

I now know what it was like for the shepherd boys in the fields of the Lord under the stars with no street lamps and no power, except God's power, it was so peaceful. The shepherd boys must have had VERY GOOD be able to breathe in that clean crisp non polluted quiet I can only imagine.

Thanks for the teed bit of a personal aspect to this post too (about your complex and acreage), I LIKE THAT!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie
I've been reading your blog for a while now - thank you for inviting me into blog world. It has been an amazing discovery for me. I feel that if I'm going to read your blog and others it's only polite to make a comment. Your writings are such a blessing and today's was no exception. As you know we are building on acreage and it is a comfort to think that God is pleased. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you are blessed to be such a voice for the Lord.


Cherie said...

Hi Aunt Julie,

That is funny about the pickles - did Uncle Vic think you would make them for him? I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. It means a lot. Have a good day - so far no news on the surgery being moved up.