“The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or knowledge where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the world, their words to the end of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
You were made to be an observer of the Creation. God’s voice is there, but many fail to hear and respond. The Creation teaches who God is and who you are in relation to him. In observation you can converse with him as you delight in what he has given for the purpose of your delight and glory. His glory is manifest through its magnificence.
As a combat infantry platoon leader in the jungles of Vietnam, I very much relied on my powers of observation; apart from God’s providence, the life of my men and my own life rested on astute observation. The potential ambush seen in little markers in the landscape, the slight change in jungle foliage, and changes to the normal all required experienced observation. The deceptive placement of lethal booby-traps within the way soldiers would choose to move through and on the jungle floor called for sharp observation, or a quick death. Not all observation in life is weighed on a physical death and life scale as is the immediacy of a combat zone where human enemies seek your imminent demise. In this instance, the observation was for the purposes of redeeming life, but so is the everyday calling for you to observe the Creation in which you live and move and have your being. Not so much as to detect an enemy, but to observe the work and craftsmanship of a friend; for in your observation and consideration you will learn about that friend what is redemptive to your heart and mind. We miss his voice when we fail to observe how amazingly he has constructed the Creation which has a voice. Do you agree with the Psalmist who tells you the Creation POURS forth speech? Not a paltry dribble, but a flood of redeeming and romantic language.
Moving through life oblivious to essential and visible truths while allowing your mind to be non-curious about the meaning of life in a non-mute Creation in which ears are kept plugged is the height of absurdity. I have often heard the moniker that someone appears to be “as dumb as a post.” Unfortunately, there are too many marvelously made human creatures meandering through life like so many “dumb posts.” The truth is that God is, and He is definitely not silent! Yet the unobservant move through life robotically unhearing, unaware of being a superbly made creature, crowned with glory and honor, and appointed a ruler, unlike any but the angels, over the work of God’s hands (Psalm 8).
Will Rogers once said, “People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” True, but the obstacle is first getting people to thoughtfully observe, rather than obstinately fighting to retain blinders to avoid the obvious. The young men at the PAYH work on its beautiful campus with busy hands, eyes, and minds in the midst of his Creation; too many of them never thoughtfully consider its origin, meaning, or Maker, apparently deaf to his voice. That our visible Cosmos has in time, hundreds of billions of years it is presumed, materialized from nothing with no defined reason or initiator is one projected idea with missing links to logic and observable sense; or another possibility, the Creation displaying logic and sense in its design and sustainment manifests an intelligent designer and creator possessing infinitely diverse creativity. Observe the ant, the bird, the deer, the entire animal, fish, insect, and amoeba worlds; observe the myriad shapes and variety of color and structure in leaves, trees, flowers, sky, rock, dirt, elements molded together, not monochromatically, but in a kaleidoscope of unique differences and color; observe the nature, mind, and makeup of yourself and all humanity. Can a non-thoughtful, mechanistic, unguided “force” produce what we observe today? The odds are infinitely astronomical against such a proposal. There is no greater leap of blind faith than falling into the pit of such absurdity. Yet an increasing number capitulate to the propaganda.
You are designed to observe the Creation of which you are a part and where you live, to hear its revelation of the Maker and of you in relationship to it and to him, and generously benefit from the praise of God which its magnificence inspires in heart and mind. If this called-for “act of true living” is missing in your life, you are truly to be pitied, and deserve the loss of its treasure of joy and blessing; it would have been better for you to have been born in darkness and isolation so as not to waste the beauty in which you have been graciously placed while manifesting unthankfulness to the One who gave it.
As Psalm 19 naturally connects the word of Creation and the word of Scripture, hear them both. Observe thoughtfully what he has made and given for your pleasure. The Creation has a voice always speaking to receptive ears. Read and listen with humility and obedience to his voice in the words of the Bible. God is speaking to you through his Creation and through his chosen revelation in the books of Genesis to Revelation. Ignore neither. Praise-inducing observation and conversation with God is what you are made and called to do; it is your reason for being. From the joy of Adam and Eve walking and conversing with God in the Garden of his Creation, then devastatingly interrupted by sin, to the renewed fellowship of walking in the light as Jesus is in the light (1 John 1), being purified from sin, our whole reason for being comes before our eyes in perfect clarity: satisfying fellowship with our Triune God. As a foretaste of this eternal fellowship, now whetting your appetite, observe him in his Creation and observe him in his Word. Both are speaking to you, every moment. Use the observational skills you have in being made in his image.
Focusing today on your observation of his Creation alone, approach it with as much seriousness as I once did in the jungles of Vietnam to save lives. Why? Because the Creator says it is good and will increase your personal knowledge of him, as well as your love for and nearness to him. He says, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10) Jesus said, “Consider the birds of the air…Consider the flowers of the field…” (Matthew 6) because observing them teaches you how God cares for you and what constitutes his character and intentions toward you. Throughout the Bible, the believer is pointed to observe and consider the Creation of God for the purpose of knowing him and drawing near to him in such engagement with his work.
The Scriptures reveal that God is a person, as is his Spirit, and his Son. As persons ourselves, we know we can relate to him, and we know he can relate to us. As a person who designed and made you, we know he knows what beauty and love is; he knows what it is to be fully satisfied and that there is nothing better than this Creation which he has made your home, except for the Creation restored without sin yet to come.
We discount greatly the voice of God in his work of Creation. Become a more focused observer with the purpose of drawing closer to the One who graciously surrounded you with its wonders. Every “oooh and “ahhh at an amazing sunset or observing the intricacy of an alpine flower ought to elicit thanks to its Maker and consideration of who he is and what he is teaching us about himself and about us. We often do not take these occurrences to their most revelatory heights. You ask, “Where is God?” He is near, and he speaks in his word and in his glorious Creation. Open your eyes and your ears and converse with him.
“In the stars His handiwork I see, on the wind He speaks with majesty, tho’ He ruleth over land and sea, What is that to me? ‘Til by faith I met Him face to face, and I felt the wonder of his grace, then I knew that He was more than just a God who didn’t care, that lived away out there, and now He walks beside me day by day, ever watching o’er me lest I stray, helping me to find that narrow way, He’s Everything to me.”
(Song written by Ralph Carmichael in 1960’s)
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