Can you picture a sunset at Cottlesloe Beach? Have you ever sat still and watched the sun drop behind the horizon seemingly swallowed up by the ocean? It’s an awe-inspiring sight! But of course, we know that our eyes are playing a trick on us. The sun doesn’t actually rise in the east and set in the west. We know that a sunset is really caused by the spinning of the earth around its own axis at almost 1700 km/hr. And we also know, from Jesus’ sermon on the mount, that God the Father is the One who governs all of creation and causes the earth to spin so that the sun looks like it’s rising and setting. God the Father commands the earth to turn according to known scientific laws and the earth obeys. Pretty incredible! But did you know that God the Father also commands you to turn? In Isaiah 45:22 we read, “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”
In this verse, God isn’t talking about the earth’s rotation. God is talking about a spiritual rotation. God is telling all of us who live on earth that we must turn or we cannot be saved. Turn from what? Saved from what? The Bible teaches that everyone is born into this world a rebel against God. By nature, we have all sinned against God by breaking his law, the 10 commandments. Even worse, we love to break God’s law. By nature, we are completely focused on loving ourselves instead of God and our neighbour. We are willing to lie to someone if it helps us, we are willing to be angry and impatient with someone if we feel we deserve something from them. We are not willing to give God the time he deserves by worshipping Him on the Lord’s Day. So, a spiritual rotation is necessary. We must repent. We must turn our focus away from sin.
But that’s not all. In our world, in order for night time to turn into day time the earth must turn toward the sun. And for our spiritual night time to turn into spiritual day time, we must turn toward Jesus Christ. How does one do this? We can’t even see Jesus! Well, certainly not physically but we can see him by faith. When we read the Bible, we see that Christ died on a cross for guilty sinners and rose from the dead after conquering Satan and sin. And when we trust him alone to take away our sin we are turning to him in faith. When we pray to him, confessing ourselves to be poor, needy, ignorant sinners the Lord Jesus graciously gives us his perfect righteousness as a free gift.
So, the next time you see a brilliant Indian Ocean sunset, remember it’s the earth that’s turning at God’s command. And ask yourself, Have I obeyed God and turned to Christ?