A Divine Message, Proclaimed by Nature’s Lips (10-15-17)

Recently, a series of diverse consecutive natural disasters have taken place in several different parts of the world. The devastating aftermath of these calamitous events have, undoubtedly, arrested the attention of the world. Once more, nature has reminded humanity of its indomitable force that is foolish to ignore. One media outlet highlighted this reminder by cleverly titling their broadcast “The Earth Speaks to Us.” Indeed, the metaphoric voice of nature is typically taken for granted by man, until it decides to raise its voice in the form of a natural disaster. It is curious to realize that nature has a unique way of communicating its messages to man. For example, when the leaves on a tree begin to change colors this communicates to man an approaching change in the season. A dormant volcano that begins to rumble serves as a warning to those who dwell near of a possible eruption or when the skies begin to darken in midday, man becomes aware that a storm is brewing in the heavens. It is truly fascinating to analyze the unique relationship that exists between nature and man. Yet, it is unfair to limit nature to communicate only in warnings and changes in the weather. There is no question that man throughout history has learned several other valuable lessons found in nature useful for his survival as well. However, there is one lesson shared by creation that is the most valuable to all of mankind; “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, emphasis mine). Despite how hard man tries to deny that there is a God, nature’s very presence is sufficient to silence all of His enemies. The inspired apostle wrote, “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” (Romans 1:20, emphasis mine). Job proves Paul’s words true since God’s Divine attributes were overwhelmingly revealed to him by His creation (Job 38:1-38). After doing so, Job acknowledges “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5, emphasis mine). Job was able to “see” Jehovah God by understanding that only an omnipotent being could have the ability to create and sustain such an amazing world. David understood the awe of Job as he, too, stood amazed by God’s flawless creation. The king states, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him” (Psalm 8:3-4)? Observe the message received by David from creation. As he marveled at the beauty of the night sky, David is humbled by the manifestation of how tiny man truly is in comparison to the rest of creation. This humbling experience was the same one Job had as God used His creation to manifest His Omnipotence to him. It is valuable to also note that it was the calm night sky that opened David’s mind to this realization, and not a catastrophic disaster. The splendor displayed by the numerous stars dressing the heavens spoke loudly enough to the king of God’s majesty and omnipresence. It confirmed to the king of how frail man is in comparison to earth. Indeed, this was a thought that also captivated the mind of Solomon as he considered “one generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever” under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:4, emphasis mine). Sadly, some use this pericope inappropriately to falsely teach that this world will not end nor will it be destroyed, ignoring that Solomon in reality is speaking of the brevity of life here on earth. Like his father, David, Solomon concludes that human life is brief like the breath that is exhaled from our mouths. Upon learning this lesson, it prompts David to inquire why? The answer he hears from the lips of nature is because man is very precious to God. So precious is humanity to God that “You have made him a little lower than the angels and You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5, emphasis mine). According to the lexicons, the inspired poet uses the Hebrew word Elohim where modern translations say “angels.” This is important to know because it reveals two valuable truths about man. First, the story of Creation was very likely on the mind of David as he wrote this Psalm. This is evident when he sates that he is considering “the work of Your fingers.” Thus, as he continues to speak of God’s creation David remembers a very important detail that is exclusive to the creation of man. Let us recall that man was created by God on the same day as the beasts of the earth, but not in the same manner. When the time came to make man, God says “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:24-26, emphasis mine). This proves that man is God’s special creation. Secondly, we cannot ignore that David specifies that we were created “a little lower than the angels.” Once more, the Hebrew word implemented in the Psalm is key to understanding what is being taught. In the Old Testament, Elohim (depending on its context) can either refer to God or a heavenly being, like an angel. It does not refer to an earthly being. Thus, in this Psalm, the purpose for using this specific word is important because of where it directs our minds. Paul adds to this instruction “seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). David’s psalm illustrates that his aspiration was to reach the heavenly realms because he was convinced that Jehovah God dwells there. A lesson he learned by the astonishing splendor displayed by His creation. How incredible to know that nature’s message for mankind is an assurance that there is a Divine being Who loves His special creation. Yet, it is tragic to see that man refuses to acknowledge His presence when nature is at ease. It is a precious lesson to value that this creation is not only a mighty testament to the power of God, but also a warning reminding man of his frailty and size. Without a doubt, there are many more Divine lessons nature can teach man about his Creator. Still, those lessons will forever elude man if he is never able to understand the most essential lesson of all. This will only flourish when man raises his head from the earth and looks onto the heavens.

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