God and His Machine
A machine is defined as a device that simply transforms the direction or magnitude of a force, in so doing it uses energy of that force to achieve a particular goal. Simply put, machines are tools that help the user to achieve a process that otherwise would be very hard or impossible to do. Typically they consist consists of one or more parts: some moving and some static. Machines are usually powered by mechanical, chemical, thermal, or electrical means, and are frequently motorized. A large number of machines exist; some examples include vehicles, electronic systems, molecular machines, computers, television, and radio.
We mentioned that machines are typically motorized. A motor or engine is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Following we are several examples. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines (such as steam engines) burn a fuel to create heat, which is then used to create motion. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air and others, such as wind-up toys use elastic energy.
Being that machines are made to accomplish a process, they must be designed to do what they do. Once manufactured, machines have to be powered to do it; and someone has to start them. Some think that machines work by themselves, but that is not completely true. Machines have to be supervised, maintained and occasionally repaired. Many have to be operated. Parts get old, deteriorate, and brake. So, we have people to service the machines. Perhaps the easiest example is the automobile or similar machines, i.e. buses, trucks, tractors, etc. The car must be operated in order to accomplish what it was designed and built to do: Move from point a to point b. Most of them need fuel to move. A human being supplies the fuel. They must be powered on, a human being does that. Also, there is periodic checking, exchanging and refilling of other oils and liquids: i.e. oil, transmission liquid, windshield fluid, coolant or antifreeze, and brake fluid. There is also a periodic checking and exchanging of parts: i.e. tires, breaks, motor filter, air filter, wipers, etc. So, there is a constant overseeing of the machine.
The human body works like a machine. It works on fuel: food, air, water, and sunlight. It has moving parts which sole purpose is to achieve a process or goal. The body must be taken care of: it needs activity, rest, washing, etc. You could argue that a machine, as well our our body is in fact a system of interconnected machines, working together operated by our brain.
Some say creation is not like a machine. But, they have a misunderstanding of machines. It seems that many who use the machine metaphor believe that machines are left to work on their own. But, as we have established, that is a misrepresentation of machines. Machines need constant observation and intervention. Just as God constantly observes and intervenes in His creation. He is constantly involved in sustaining what He has created. Nothing in the universe exists independently of the Lord. He created everything that was created. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3, NIV). Not only that, but He is the One who sustains it all. Even more astonishing, the One who created and sustains it all was the One who was crucified for us.
“The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declares of Christ that ‘all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’ Colossians 1:16, 17, R.V., margin. The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.”-Ellen G. White, Education, p. 132.
God is your designer, builder and sustainer. He is your operator. He is your service man. Let Him work on you.