In the words of Maria Von Trapp, “Let’s start at the very beginning.”
It would be great if you had time to click on the link below and read the Creation account before moving into the next message.
As I read through Genesis one, the phrase that kept jumping out was “And God saw what He had made and behold it was good.” And after He created, He rested. Psalms 121 tells us that God, the creator of the Universe, never sleeps or slumbers. Yet God took roughly 15% of the recorded time in creation to rest. He did this not to take a nap, but to enjoy the fruit of His labor.
When was the last time you took a moment to rest, observe all that God has made, take a deep breath, and say “This is very good?”
Why should we study creation?
He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him, all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. And he is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-16 (ESV)
It seems that creation is a pretty big deal to God, so maybe it should be important to us as well. He created all of this to point us to Him.
They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature so they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:19-20 NLT
Like the Giant Sequoias in Kings Canyon or the breathtaking Redwoods along the Northern California Coast, all creation points upward to our Creator. Creation was given to us as a gift so that we may know our Creator. The Heavens declare His glory.
In speaking with Job, God said this: “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10 ESV
If the animals know their creator, well enough to teach us about Him, how much more should we, the first fruits of all creation, seek to know Him?
We study God’s creation so that we can know Him and the power of His might, so we can trust him; so we can enjoy everything that He made and say “that is very good.”
And if all of that is not a good enough reason, finally friends there is this:
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
I know I am not the only one who has trouble sitting still. But I can sit for hours with my feet in the sand, listening to the waves or in the mountains listening to the wind blow through the trees and the birds sing, because it is then that I can clear the clutter out of my brain and my heart and truly listen to the voice of my creator and worship along with all of creation.
I like Daniel Darling’s four point explanation of why we should study creation.
“The Bible asserts that a loving Father formed the universe and carefully crafted the human beings who bear His image… Creation matters because it helps correct ideas about God, about humanity, and about the cosmos…. Creation is a powerful way in which God communicates”
1. “Creation reveals a God who is not like us. When we create, we use materials already in existence…”
We use fabric, paint, wood, flour and eggs, but when God created, He simply spoke it into existence with all of the intricate details already in place.
If you have ever visited Disneyland, you will be awed by the detail that goes into every inch of the park. In many places the detail mimics nature yet it pales in comparison to the intricate design and detail God has put into every hair on our heads, feather on a bird, or the flowers in the field
Daniel Darling says “It should bring us comfort to know that there is a God who is above the messiness of this world. In our culture, we sometimes want a God who we can reduce to our size, a God who overlooks our flaws and blesses our indiscretions. We want a god we can shape and shift… but is this what we REALLY want? A god who is limited to our limitations. A god who is subject to our fears and captive to our whims? When we are praying at the bedside of a loved one, over our children, we are praying to a God we need to be bigger than we are.“
This makes me think of the song we sang when my kids were little “My God is so Big so Strong and so Mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do” As we get older and face bigger problems, we tend to forget that.
Darling goes on to explain, “A big God, A God I can’t understand, a God I see with a holy awe, is a God whom I can trust is managing a world I cannot control, a God who can uphold the universe as I lay my head on my pillow and as I send my children out into the world and as I huddle in the darkness during a violent storm. Deep down in our souls we don’t want the cheap plastic gods of our age, but an all-powerful God who is bigger than the problems we face and can defeat the things that haunt us.”
2. “Creation reveals a God of order and beauty. – God is not a God of chaos or division, but a God of beauty, unity and order.”
Everything that He created has a unique and intricate design, yes, an intelligent design. You only have to look at the leaves of a tree or the shape of a snowflake or look at your DNA sequence and your network of veins and arteries to know that we have an intelligent designer.
He made us with five senses to use in our observation of His creation. Eyes to see and behold all he has made, ears to hear all creation singing, the sense of smell to enjoy the scents of flowers, trees… and coffee… the sense of touch to feel the soft downy hair of a newborn, the sense of taste so we can enjoy the task of what we need to do to stay alive… eat. He also built into those senses a level of protection. If something is bitter, maybe we should not eat it. If something is hot maybe we should not pick it up. We could do a whole doctoral dissertation on this one intricate design element of God’s creation.
GOD IS UNDERSTOOD BY THE “SIMPLE” BUT CONFOUNDS THE “WISE”
As much as they have tried, even the most intelligent scientists and mathematicians and artists have not been able to understand or recreate the mysteries of creation.
I Corinthians 1:27 tells us But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Psalm 19 spends the first six verses telling us how all creation (what some would say is “natural order”) declares the glory of God and then verse seven tells us this:
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
I want to be that simple…
3. “Creation reveals a God who is personal. ~ God can be very hard to see in a world gone mad.”
So, look away from the crazy and go to the mountains lest you be swept away. In Genesis 19 The angels were speaking to Lot ~ When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be swept away (destroyed).”
He is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in a time of trouble. Psalms 46
He is our very personal help and strength. I might need strength in ministering to my parents, while a new mom might need help in ministering to her children. Or someone may need Him to take their hand and drag them out of the ‘city’ and tell them to run from the sin lest they be swept away. He is our very personal helper and walks every step with us.
4. “Creation reveals a God of the beginning and end. ~ Beginnings are only beginnings because they have endings”. Sandra Richter writes “Everything that lies in between Eden’s gate and the New Jerusalem, the bulk of our Bibles, is in essence a huge rescue plan. In Genesis 3 humanity was driven out of the garden. In Revelation 21-22 They are welcomed home.”
We study Creation to know more about God and ultimately join with the rest of creation in worshiping our Creator.
The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:7
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
He gave us creation as a way to explain himself to us in terms we humans can understand. What does anything need to live, grow, and survive? Food, water, the sun, and shelter. He is the bread of life, living water, light of life, and a shelter in a time of storm.
If you have enjoyed this, please feel free to share it and drop your email to me by clicking the “Follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner of this page. Tune in next week for part two of “Knowing God Through His Magnificent Creation.”
The “four points” and some of the text is from Daniel Darling’s book. “The Characters of Creation.” I used his points and added my own thoughts and narratives and scripture to further explain and understand why we should study creation.
To read more from Daniel Darling click here on his name.
Used with permission from Keri L. Willis.