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A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I went to my son’s home in Somerset to handle three days of grandparenting responsibilities.
My son, Brian, and his wife were skiing in West Virginia so Grammy and Granddaddy took care of the children.
On Saturday, we took the boys to their Upward basketball games. I sat with the minister of youth from their church who, in between bouts of live conversation, kept texting Brian to let him know how well my youngest grandson was doing on the court.
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that technology is a marvelous thing.
Well, let your mind take a trip backward in time. The year is 1844. American painter and inventor Samuel Morse was perfecting his invention of sending messages over long distances by wire. Of course, it would become known as Morse code.
The first message transmitted by the newfangled gadget was sent on May 24, 1844 between Baltimore, Md. and the old Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. The message quoted Numbers 23:23 – “What God hath wrought.” The original paper tape of the transmission is on display in the Library of Congress in our nation’s capital.
Morse code was superseded rather quickly by other means of communication and is now a quaint sort of relic from our nation’s past.
Just as quaint for many is the idea that the world and all that is in it are things that “God has wrought.” Wrought, you say? Yes, wrought. It is a perfectly good word though no longer widely used. It means formed, produced, shaped, created.
Samuel Morse was giving God the credit for the invention that history has attributed to Morse himself. He was mindful of the fact that he was simply harnessing the possibilities that were fashioned into the created order by the one who created all things.
With due respect to the wonderful genius of a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs, God has wrought it all. He has allowed men and women of vision and drive to play important participatory roles in discovery and in the unfolding of history.
But the Psalmist had it right when he wrote:
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”
What God hath wrought, indeed.
Rick Shannon is pastor at Alton Baptist Church.