God and Creation
By Don Ruhl
Is nature an end in itself, or is it a means to an end? The biblical view maintains that nature is not an end in itself, but because it is a creation, it is a means to an end. Creation leads us to God and to the true or real creation, which is heaven. Logically then, we avoid worshiping nature that we might worship the one true God. Since creation is a means to an end, it has a powerful message for us.
The Creative Power of God
Psalm 33.6 gives a fascinating announcement of the creative power of God, for it declares that by His mere spoken word God brought the heavens into existence,
“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”
Such creative power is too wonderful for us, we cannot attain to it. It is so wonderful for us that we cannot even comprehend it. We cannot speak the most insignificant and smallest piece of matter into existence, but God can speak, so that by the breath of His mouth He brings the infinite universe, with all of its precision, beauty, power, resources, and magnificence into being!
The next verse (7) in Psalm 33 also proclaims the mighty creative power of God,
“He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.”
We boast of our accomplishments, if we are able to dam up a little river and make a lake, but lakes are only a molecule compared to the God-created reservoir the oceans.
As Psalm 33.8 then says, everyone should be awed by God,
“Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
He who is not awed by God, does not know God, nor His power. Every ounce of reverence within us we should devote to the God of creation.
Think on what God has made, that just by commanding it to be, it was, as Psalm 33.9 says,
“For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.”
This is matchless authority. It shows that He is truly God. Psalm 33.6–9 is a commentary on Genesis 1.1, 2, which says,
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis goes on to say that everything about the earth God created by speaking it into existence. Ten times, in the creation narrative of Genesis chapter one, Moses says, “And God said…” Each day of creation begins with God speaking what He wants, and because God said for it to be, it was so.
By reading slowly and deliberately, let the simplicity and brevity of verse three strike you with the profoundness of and infinite nature of the power of God, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen 1.3). God said and it happened. It is just that simple.
Creation Shows Us That There is a God and That He has Wrought Something Beautiful
Psalm 19.1–3 affirms a truth that every keen observer and lover of God’s creation knows,
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.”
David stood outside and could not ignore what the heavens said to him, whether at night or during the day. Yet, the heavens did not speak with a literal voice, but what David saw in the heavens was so clear in its message that it was as though the heavens were speaking to him, saying, “I am a manifestation of the glorious beauty of God; and I am showing you His handiwork.”
Rare is the man who does not wonder at the majesty of creation, but both evolutionist and creationist, scientist and layman, poet and illiterate all acknowledge marvelous revelation of glory and beauty in creation. There is something about that black canvas with specks of light on it; and there is something about that blue canvas that has been transformed from blackness into blue and is transformed back into black again, that captivates everyone.
The heavens preach that we are not alone, and that there is something or Someone who is much greater than we are. Romans 1.20 carries this message that multitudes of people have known since the beginning of creation,
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”
First, creation shows that indescribable power was poured forth to bring matter into existence from nothing. Even evolutionists acknowledge that before the beginning nothing existed, and the creationist agrees that at one time nothing material existed. The evolutionist proposes that an unbelievable and incomprehensible explosion of nothingness brought something into existence, and over billions of years the present state of nature, including the complexities of life, evolved. The creationist knows, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11.3). God said let it be and in an instant it was. Not that He began the process of evolution, but from the moment of His speaking, fully formed, fully mature, fully functional entities came into existence.
Therefore, creation does not show unbridled, purposeless, unintelligent, and chaotic power, but an intentional production. The precision of creation demands an intelligence that man does not even come close to possessing, nor will he ever possess. The artistry of nature reveals an Artistic Genius that man will never attain, but shows nature to be chef d’oeuvre (a masterpiece).
Nature is as much the work of God as is the Bible. Knowing that the Bible is God’s creation we study it, spend time with it, learn from it, respect it, and live by it. Knowing that nature is also God’s work should lead the Christian to have an appreciation of nature unequaled by any unbeliever, leading the Christian to learn from the cosmos about God and doing the best that each of us can to enjoy it, use it, and take care of it, as it is written in Genesis 2.15, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
Creation Teaches Us Some Things About God
Jesus taught us to look at creation and to think of God taking care of it through natural processes, and know that we are more valuable than the rest of creation; hence God will also take care of us. In Luke 12.24, 27 Jesus said, “Consider the ravens…Consider the lilies…” Therefore, it is perfectly scriptural to observe nature and to study it for the lessons that it contains about God, because it does not declare evolution, but creation declares a Creator.
Isaiah 55.8, 9 uses the infinite distance between heaven and earth to illustrate the infinite distance between God and man, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” God wants us to think about the vast distance between heaven and earth—and our modern reaches into the heavens have not refuted this Scripture—but have only reinforced it, making it stronger, because we know how limitless is space. Now realize that is how far God and man are in their ways and thoughts from each other.
Jesus used nature frequently in His parables, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…” (Matt 13.31). Again, the Lord wants us to dwell upon the grain of mustard seed, and in verse 32 He wants us to dwell upon the smallness of the seed in particular, pointing out that the mustard seed, “…is less than all seeds.” Once that truth has been established in our minds, we should think on the fact that the kingdom of God also starts out small, but soon grows, becoming great, as Jesus continues, “…when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
Let us not become so locked into our man-made environments that we miss the innumerable lessons of creation.
Something is Wrong With the Earth
As beautiful as the earth is, it has a curse on it. According to Genesis 3.17b–19, God said this to Adam, after he had sinned by eating of the forbidden tree,
“Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it”: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.'”
If the earth is as magnificent as it is with a curse on it and after having been destroyed with a worldwide Flood, how wonderful it must have been before the curse and the Flood! Moreover, the Garden of Eden was a special garden planted by God (Gen 2.8), so its beauty must have been even greater than the rest of the unspoiled creation. Still again, heaven is even better than the Garden of Eden, for heaven is the true Paradise of God (Rev 2.7), and the true tree of life is in heaven (Rev 22.2)! Something is wrong with the earth, because it is less than what it used to be.
The earth is also growing old and winding down, as it is written in Hebrews 1.11, 12,
“They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail.”
Our planet is certainly one beautiful place, yet God considers the earth as nothing more than His footstool, saying through Isaiah, “…and the earth is My footstool…” (Isa 66.1).
Heaven is Much Different
Heaven is a place of unexcelled blessings and beauties, so that nothing on earth compares. Heaven is the anti-type, making earth the type, or the mere shadow of the true paradise of heaven. If earth with all of its glories is merely a shadow, what must the real thing be like?
Here men are concerned about the environment and we know that it has changed drastically from what it was in the beginning. In our own generation many plants and animals have become extinct, and many more will, whether through man’s fault, or just simply that the earth is growing old and winding down. Heaven does not have this problem, for as Peter says, it is an, “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1Pe 1.4).
Think about this also. Earlier we read where God said that the earth is His footstool, which implies that something must be His throne. Listen again to the words of Isaiah, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?” (Isa 66.1). How much greater is a throne than a footstool!
God Has Provided For Us
We can see in this creation that God has provided for us marvelously, but He has not stopped there. Let us be like the patriarchs of old, who desired that place of better provisions, which is, “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Heb 11.16). Strive for the heavenly creation by faithful obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
220 NE Savage Street • Grants Pass, Oregon • 97526-1310 • 541-476-3100 • Rdruhl@aol.com