Bruce Baber (6 Feb 2011)


Daily, I check various news sites looking for some new development that might tie in with Bible prophecies.  Perhaps you do the same.  While there have been recent developments that were worth noting, I have to confess that most days I come away a bit frustrated that there isn't something more tangible happening that I can recognize.


Today the thought occurred to me that even if I can't see something developing, that doesn't mean it's not happening.  Usually we only recognize big events.  We only prick up our ears and focus our attention when there is a 7.0 seismic shift in world events.  We seldom pay attention to God's hand in the small things, because we might not see how He is moving the chess pieces in ways that will set up the game changing big moves.


Allow me to illustrate with the number of possible moves in a chess game.

"From the starting position there are 20 possible moves (2 for each of 8 pawns and 2 for each knight). From there the number of permutations increases dramatically. Information theorist Claude Shannon estimated the total number of positions at 10^43, and with there being an average of 35 moves for each side per position, this makes the game tree in the order of 10^123.

This is only positions, though. Since completely different potential move orders can create the same position, this makes the number of iterations much higher. After 1 (2 ply) move by each side, the number is 400 possible move combinations (20 * 20 = 400). After just 4 moves(8 ply), the number is over 197,000. At 10 moves (20 ply) it grows to 8.350e+28. The number of distinct games, therefore, is unbounded and grows exponentially assuming no threefold repetition and no 50 move rule."


In short, there are a staggering number of possible moves in a chess game with only 32 chessmen.  Now imagine a world population of over 6 billion people and all of the millions of angels in heaven.  Imagine how many possible moves there are on earth and in heaven.  Frankly, you can't imagine the total number of possible moves and neither can I.  How many choices will you and I make today that are very small yet have larger repercussions?  How many moves were played out today that will lead to something large enough for us to recognize? I'd guess if we answered "millions" it would only be a tiny fraction of one percent.


God is actively bringing the game to a close.  Yes, I know.  "Game" might not be the best metaphor when we are talking about the lives of people and their eternal destiny.  But, it helps me to make my point.  Perhaps today I didn't see a significant change occurring, but that doesn't mean that God's hand isn't moving.



Bruce Baber