The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty…..The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. (Psalm29:4-7)
Everyone of us has had experiences which we have not been able to explain in: a sudden sense of loneliness, or a feeling of wonder or awe in the face of the universal vastness. Or we have had a fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that our origins are divine.
Explain such things as we will, I think we have not been fair to the facts until we allow at least the possibility that such experiences may arise from the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind. Let us not dismiss such an hypothesis too flippantly.
It is my own belief (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin- blocked response to the creative Voice sounding over the earth. The moral philosophers who dreamed their high dreams of virtue, the religious thinkers who speculated about God and immortality, the poets and artists who created out of common stuff pure and lasting beauty: how can we explain them? It is not enough to say simply, “It was genius.” What then is genius? Could it be that a genius is a man haunted by the speaking Voice, laboring and striving like one possessed to achieve ends which he only vaguely understands? That the great man may have missed God in his labors, that he may even have spoken or written against God does not destroy the idea that I am advancing.
God’s redemptive revelation in the Holy Scriptures is necessary to saving faith and peace with God. Faith in a risen Savior is necessary if the vague stirrings toward immortality are to bring us to restful and satisfying communion with God.
A. W. Tozer
“The heavens declare Your glory,” the Psalmist says and so it is. All of creation reflects to some degree the power of its Creator. Even in the fallen state, nature reflects in its beauty and splendor God.
We know that God is the Creator and Author of all things and in their original creation all that was created was good. Listen to the creation account of Genesis:
“And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it; and God separated the light [distinguishing it] from the darkness. Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place [of standing, pooling together], and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that this was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it. So God said, “Let the earth sprout [tender] vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind, whose seed is in them upon the earth”; and it was so. The earth sprouted and abundantly produced vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, according to their kind; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. God made the two great lights—the greater light (the sun) to rule the day, and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night; He made the [galaxies of] stars also [that is, all the amazing wonders in the heavens]. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to provide light upon the earth, to rule over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. Then God said, “Let the waters swarm and abundantly produce living creatures, and let birds soar above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind; and God saw that it was good and He affirmed and sustained it. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind: livestock, crawling things, and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds”; and it was so [because He had spoken them into creation]. So God made the wild animals of the earth according to their kind, and the cattle according to their kind, and everything that creeps and crawls on the earth according to its kind; and God saw that it was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it. then the Lord God formed [that is, created the body of] man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit]. And the Lord God planted a garden (oasis) in the east, in Eden (delight, land of happiness); and He put the man whom He had formed (created) there. And [in that garden] the Lord God caused to grow from the ground every tree that is desirable and pleasing to the sight and good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the [experiential] knowledge (recognition) of [the difference between] good and evil.
Read again if you will the bold highlighted parts of the creation account of Genesis and notice that everything God created was good.
We then must ask what was the purpose of all this that was created and was good? And then we find the reason. God formed humans and placed them in the midst of His good creation so that they might enjoy all He had made and it is apparent that God took great pleasure watching them enjoy all the beauty and all the good of His work.
Because God wished to have a relationship with humans by their choice rather than by demand, He also created the tree of test. Here was the opportunity to abandon their relationship with God and choose rather to listen to the other voice, the voice of Satan. So Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit and yield themselves to the Destroyer. As they opened their spirits to Satan to follow his instructions, they unleashed the power of sin over all of creation and we today find ourselves in a world twisted and evil as a result of that choice. The Bible teaches us that now humans that were created in the image of God are born into sin and that sin nature produces the destructive behavior which we can see in our world around us.
Often God is blamed for the ugly and evil done in the world. There have been and are those who even profess that their evil acts are being directed by God. Insurance companies have coined the phrase, “Act of God” to describe the reason for natural disasters.
But no evil can be truly attributed to God and even in the midst of broken humanity and in a sin-cursed world, we still see glimpses of the intended beauty that God desired. The New Testament writers make know to us that sin has not only affected humanity but all of nature as well. And that nature itself and all of creation awaits the day of full redemption by Christ Jesus.
While we walk in this dark world, let us strive to seek the beauty of what God has given us and perhaps we might see the grace and love of the Creator who designed and desires that His masterpiece, humans, could enjoy the beauty and good rather than the ugly and evil we see far too often now.
“For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection].”
What then does creation eagerly wait for?
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [as their God,] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven final plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a vast and lofty mountain, and showed me the holy (sanctified) city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having God’s glory [filled with His radiant light]. The brilliance of it resembled a rare and very precious jewel, like jasper, shining and clear as crystal. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all] and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the glory (splendor, radiance) of God has illumined it, and the Lamb is its lamp and light. The nations [the redeemed people from the earth] will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring into it their glory. By day ( for there will be no night there ) its gates will never be closed [in fear of evil]; and they will bring the glory (splendor, majesty) and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed will ever enter it, nor anyone who practices abominations [detestable, morally repugnant things] and lying, but only those [will be admitted] whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Christ), in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer exist anything that is cursed [because sin and illness and death are gone]; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve and worship Him [with great awe and joy and loving devotion]; they will [be privileged to] see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign [as kings] forever and ever.”
What a day! Glorious day that will be! It is this that we strive toward. It is the restoration of all things to God’s perfect state of good. But there’s more than even all this waiting for us!
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory]. And everyone who has this hope [confidently placed] in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (holy, undefiled, guiltless).”
1 John 3:1-3
Not only will we enjoy all of God’s creation renewed and restored, but we ourselves will be returned to our original state of being as He is, being like Him.
Until that day we give thanks to God for those occasional glimpses of all He is whether it is the awe of nature or that intangible touch on our hearts by His presence or that feeling of being a child of God. So we wait in hope and peace with joy for that which is to come.
“For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:12-13
As I reflect on how incredible my journey has thus far and all the blessings and blessed experiences and encounters, I can only imagine what waits for us. This is the hope that carries us through the dark days for that small glimpse we see of His goodness is sufficient to sustain us until the day when we see fully.
Sent from my iPad
Dr. John Thompson