Friday, February 23, 2007

God's Glory in Creation

Psalm 19 famously affirms, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork." Job 9:8-9 says, "He alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea; He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the constellations of the south." And finally, Paul writes in Romans 1:20, "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 they are without excuse."

The thread that binds these verses together is the doctrine of God's glory in His creating this magnificent universe. Simple observation of the night sky should be enough to convince anyone that there is a God, and that God is in control of this universe. God is the invisible engine which sustains and continues to create and hold together the very fabric of existence. The apostle Paul goes further, saying that we can clearly learn about God's nature from observing the nature God created.

What can we learn? To start, He is eternally powerful. The sheer enormity and beauty of the universe testify to God's omnipotence. Who but God could "spread out the heavens" and fashion galaxies and constellations? The Bible teaches what is called by philosophers and theologians the "Teleological argument." God's existence is proved by creation. If one finds a watch on the ground, there must have been a watchmaker. Voltaire, no Christian he, wrote, "If a watch proves the existence of watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a Great Architect, then I consent to be called a fool." In other words, only an idiot or a willful unbeliever can deny the greatness and glory of God when one looks upon the universe.

The word "teleological" comes from the Greek word telos, which means "end" or "purpose." Since God clearly created the universe, He did so for a reason ~ namely, for His own glory. Our hearts and minds are lifted up from the earth and sky to worship the majesty behind all that we see. Calvin wrote, "The world is the theater of God's glory." To recognize this leads one deeper into the mysteries of the Christian faith, and to a life devoted to worship and godliness. "The heavens declare the glory of God," but most men's heads are down, to their incalculable loss.

{photo: galaxy ic342 - a prosaic name for such wondrous beauty}


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