Tag Archives: creation

Don’t Lose Your Awe (Proverbs 30)

It has been said we are in the Information Age. Do you have a question about something? Google it. You will have more information at your fingertips than you’ll know what to do with. I don’t think there is a topic out there that isn’t covered on the web.

Agur reminds us, however, that there are some things that are too wonderful for even Google to understand. He starts out by admitting he’s not God. He acknowledges that “every word of God is flawless,” and that we don’t need to add anything to what God has revealed to us. If we try, we’ll be found out as liars. God has all the answers. We don’t. We never will.

Then Agur looks in awe at Creation. He looks at an eagle flying in the sky, a snake crawling on a rock. He watches an ant, a badger, locusts, lizards, lions, roosters, and rams, and seems to just say, “Wow.” Some things are just too wonderful to understand.

Do you think you have everything figured out, that you understand the human body, the ecosystem, the physics and science behind nature? You may have studied these things for years, have multiple degrees on any given subject. That’s awesome! Just don’t lose your wonder.

Take a minute. Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Then watch that eagle soaring in the sky, the bumblebee sitting on that daisy, the clouds as they lazily cross the sky, the ant carrying that bread crumb on its back, a panting dog, the tiny fingernail of a child.

Notice how when you inhale, your lungs fill with oxygen. Feel your heart beating. Become aware of the blink of your eye. Enjoy the smell of roses in your garden.

Yes, there are scientific reasons for things. And good for you if you’ve got an understanding of those scientific reasons. But allow yourself to be awed by science, too. God created science.

God created order. Thoughtfully, carefully, intentionally, everything that is was amazingly designed by God. With. A. Word. Don’t even pretend you understand how He did that! There are some things too wonderful for us to know.

Then consider this: the same God who fashioned this world from nothing, loves YOU. He wants to have a relationship with YOU. He died so that YOU can know Him intimately, eternally.

Let’s not lose our wonder just because we can fill our heads with information. This world is amazing. Our Creator is far above any explanation, the Bible far superior to any scientific journal.

Don’t lose your awe.

July 4; Evil Didn’t Have To Be A Thing

Isaiah 13-16

We read of Satan’s fall from grace. This angel, a created being with the ability to think and choose, decided he wanted to be his own god. That, not what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, is the first recorded sin.

God didn’t create Satan evil. In fact, this angel we know as the devil was once known as the morning star, son of the dawn. But he took what God had given him, and twisted it until it died, and he was thrown out of heaven never to return.

Some people ask why a loving God would place evil in the world, why He would create sin. The answer is: He didn’t.

Ezekiel 28 seems to indicate that Satan made his decision to sin after the world was created. It would appear Satan enjoyed the garden as a perfect creation of God – until “iniquity was found” in him. Was Satan jealous of the relationship God had with Adam and Eve, and wanted them to worship him, too? (thoughts taken from “When Did Satan Fall From Heaven?” by Eric Hovind, creation today.com)

God didn’t create evil. He created choice. And with the ability to choose Him, we have the ability to choose to reject Him. We have the ability to choose to follow the Truth, and we have the ability to choose to follow our own twisted interpretation of the Truth. That’s where evil comes from. From me. And you, when we choose to deviate from the Truth of the Creator God.

When God created us with choices, He knew some would choose against Him. He knew there had to be consequences for that choice, serious consequences. And before day one of Creation, He knew He would do everything possible to help people choose Him, even as far as going to the cross in a human body to pay the ultimate price for sin Himself so we wouldn’t have to.

So no, evil didn’t have to be a thing. It still doesn’t. But it will continue as long as we who have the ability to choose between right and wrong, between evil and good, continue to choose sin.

You are going to make choices today. Are you going to make evil a thing?

 

January 1; Oh! That’s How It Goes.

Genesis 1-3

I bet many of you either gave or received a gift this year that required assembly. And if you didn’t, I imagine most of us have had to put something together at some time in our lives. And I would further imagine that there were times when we just knew we could do it without reading the instructions. After all, we’re not stupid. How hard can it be?

If you’re like me, you get started with the project pretty easily. Maybe you even get it almost done, only to find that that last piece just doesn’t fit. Or you wind up with an extra piece and have no idea where it could go. Or it’s together, but you wouldn’t want to sit on it, or let a kid play with it for fear of having it fall apart.

Then finally, with no-one looking, we pull out the instructions and read what the manufacturer says to do. Oh! That’s how it goes.

I hope you had a Christmas blessed with family and friends as you celebrated the birth of our Savior. And I trust you had a good New Year’s celebration, and ate all that food that will supposedly give you “good luck” in 2019. I found out yesterday that you aren’t supposed to do laundry on January 1 because that means you’ll just have to work all the harder in the new year. What?

I’m excited about my time in God’s Word this new year. As I shared before, I’ve decided to read through the Bible chronologically in the NIV. I’m kind of like a kid with a new toy, even though I’ve read these words over and over. I love how God can speak to me every time I read what He inspired so many men to write so long ago. This book is God’s love letter to me. And I never get tired of hearing what He says.

So I read it this morning and thrilled at how God created the heavens and the earth. I don’t know HOW He did it. The Bible only tells me that He DID.

Then this afternoon I was having a conversation with some friends and all of a sudden someone said he read someone found the fossil of a horse that is 400 million years old. I said, “Well, we know that’s not true.”

Someone else reminded me that a day to God is like a thousand years, so why can’t creation have taken billions of years to happen? “Well,” I said. “How much Hebrew do you know?”

Ken Ham tells us that the word for “day” used in the original Hebrew text of Genesis 1 is “yom.” And when it is accompanied by the words, “evening” or “morning,” it specifically means a twenty-four hour period. The word “yom” accompanied by a number also indicates a twenty-four hour day. In the creation account, God is qualifying times four, a twenty-four hour, six day creation:

There was EVENING, and there was MORNING, the FIRST DAY.

I appreciate what Ken Ham has to say about this. For instance, in one of his videos he reminds us that the whole of 2 Peter 3:8 says:

…With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Kind of ruins that argument, doesn’t it? Besides, Ken Ham asked a question I hadn’t thought about before. Why is the “day” in Genesis the only “day” we question? Why don’t we question the days Jonah was in the belly of the fish? I’ve never heard anyone speculate that Jonah was in there three thousand years. It’s the same word, “yom.”

(Millions of years with Ken Ham, YouTube Video; Ken Ham’s Foundations: In Six Days, YouTube Video)

We can try to figure things out on our own, we can go to other scholars, or scientists, or friends and get their input. But that’s like trying to put together that Christmas present without looking at the instruction manual.

I figure I will always let God’s Word be the final authority. He invented life. He created this world. And when I finally go and look at what He says about it, I say, “Oh! That’s how it goes.”

It does matter what you believe about creation. I pray that you will let God’s Word speak to you, let Him be your final authority. When you read the creation account as He inspired the writer, you will be in awe of this great God who loves you so much He died to save you. That God. That Creator. That Savior.

 

2 Samuel 7-9; God’s Heart

Did you watch the total eclipse of the sun this past Monday? If you live outside the USA you might have missed the hype. It was magical.

Even though I live about 90 miles from the route of the actual total eclipse, we still had our eyes fixed on the sky to catch a glimpse of the moon traveling in front of the sun. It’s something you don’t see every day. I had the weather channel on most of the day as they followed the progression across the country. And I was impressed at what an emotional experience this unusual phenomenon was for so many people.

Today, I am sitting by the window overlooking a beautiful lake in the mountains of northern Italy. We are here for the wedding of a friend, and enjoying scenery I never imagined I would ever see. My first time in Europe, and I am in awe.

As I read 2 Samuel this morning where David got the news that he would not be building the temple for the Lord, I was touched when I heard the king thank God for telling him. It certainly was not the news David had hoped for, but he thanked God anyway.

As usual, when I read Scripture, I ask God to reveal Himself. I don’t want to ever read it as merely a book of history. And God is always faithful to point out something, to teach me something every time. This is what got my attention today:

For the sake of Your Word, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. (7:21)

Now, I know David is speaking about the kindness God showed him by letting him know someone else was going to build the temple. And I try to be careful not to take verses out of context. But there are so many verses in the Bible that share the same truth.

The heavens declare the glory of God… (Psalm 19:1)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

Why does God reveal Himself? David tells us it’s for the sake of His Word, and according to His own heart. In other words, it’s because God WANTS us to know Him.

I can look at the skies and see an intelligent Creator. I can see the world from this mountaintop vantage point and see artistry in creation, and know it stems from an intentional Creator. I can watch the dew sparkle on a spider’s web, or hear the chatter of a squirrel and recognize an imaginitve Creator.

When I look at nature, or when I study science, or when I stop to consider my own body, I know that there is purpose and reason behind it all. But then, when I read His Word, I get to know His heart and understand what my inward being has always known.

God, Creator, loves me. He wants me to know Him, to love Him. He has done all this greatness to let me know who He is. He wants me to know His heart.

I love His heart.

Genesis 1-2 The Mystery Myth

Wow! When I said I was going to slow down this year in my Bible reading, I had no idea what that would mean. I spent the first three days of this new year just in Genesis 1. And I am loving it!

The other day I met a man who is adamant in his belief that the earth is billions of years old. He said he has to believe that, because that’s the only way it makes sense to him. I chuckled when he said that, until I realized he was serious. Then I knew that I understand creation much more than this man who prides himself in his intellect and higher-level thinking skills. He had no idea how foolish he sounded.

Can God create light before He created the sun? Can there be an evening and a morning without the earth revolving around the sun? Can vegetation grow without the sun? Not if it were up to me.

Or the man I recently met. The sun wasn’t created until the fourth day. It doesn’t make sense.

And I believe that’s why God created things the way He did. He is not us. He is far above the most intelligent of us. He is not dependent on creation. He doesn’t need the sun to provide light. Creation is, however, dependent on Him.

The man I talked to marveled at the fact that the earth is in exactly the right position in the universe in order to sustain life. But, didn’t God create the universe AROUND this planet? The stars and galaxies were “created also” for our benefit. We didn’t just happen to land at just the right spot after some Big Bang. God carefully and lovingly surrounded us with the vast expanse of space and threw in some twinkling stars for our pleasure, for signs and navigation, and to show us just how amazing He is! The more we know, the more we can recognize that He is beyond our understanding.

If we insist on understanding the complexities of creation, in fitting it into a tiny box that makes sense to us, we are limiting God. When the truth of the matter is, He is limitless. Dear one, there is no mystery to the creation of this universe. God has shared with us every detail we need to know. Read Genesis 1-2. That is how creation occurred.

Period.

Your not understanding it, or not being unable to make sense of it, just reinforces the fact that you are not God.

Creator God, I bow before You, unable to comprehend the “how” of creation. But I thank You that You have so lovingly inspired the writer of Genesis to record everything I need to know.  Thank You for this beautiful creation, for eyes to see, ears to hear, for touch and smell, so that I can enjoy what You have made. Thank You for the stars, for the warmth of the sun, for plants and animals, for oxygen and gravity.  And thank You for the dear ones You have given me in my life who share this creation with me. You are truly amazing. And I worship You.

June 15 – Praise

Psalms 134, 146-150

These psalms are all about praise. And as I read them I hear the author say God is worthy of our praise. More than that, the reality of who He is demands our praise.

All nature praises God. The sun and moon, angels, water, wind, mountains, trees… He is worthy of praise because of who He is, what He has done, what He continues to do. It’s all about Him.

I am challenged to live a life of praise, by the choices I make, my resolve to obey Him, to include Him in every minute of my day, to talk to and about Him, to walk with Him. I want to see Him in the summer rain that’s pounding against my window right now. I want to hear Him in the song of birds, recognize Him in a rainbow, the hug of a child, holding the hand of an elderly person, my beating heart.

I want to be truly grateful to the One who loves me and died for me. It occurs to me that when I make praising God a priority, it doesn’t leave much room for self pity or anger.

God deserves my praise.

 

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness. Praise Him! Praise Him ever in joyful song!

May my life be a life of praise to my Creator, my Savior.

April 30 – He Just Did

Psalms 102-104

Creation or evolution? Purpose or chance? People have been trying to figure out the “how” of our existence for thousands of years. Even the psalmist considered the subject. But when considering life, the psalmist often throws in a verse or two that points to our Creator.

Like 102:25. He’s talking about his short life compared to God’s eternal one, and says: “Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”

The entire 104th psalm celebrates creation, and the fact that God didn’t stop at creation, but that He continues to care for this world yet today.

There need by no mystery as to how we got here. It’s all here for us in detail in the Words God inspired men to write. Everything we need to know! How did God make something from nothing? I don’t know. He just did. He’s God.

Knowing the God of Creation loves me and longs for fellowship with me makes how He breathed life into mankind insignificant. In fact, I might go as far as to say spending more time searching for answers can be Satan’s way of getting our eyes off God Himself, of keeping us from that fellowship with the Lord. In eternity, those answers will no longer seem important.

Just because I don’t have a scientific mind, doesn’t mean I think that being curious is a sin. It isn’t. I’m glad God has used scientific, questioning minds to improve our life on this planet. But I would ask you who do have that scientific curiosity, why you ask those questions? Is it to prove there is no God? Or to make yourself equal to God? Or to better appreciate the creation?

My longing isn’t for knowledge, or answers derived from someone’s opinion. I can let God be God. And I can enjoy His Presence through the blood of Jesus. I can enjoy the warm sun on my skin, the sounds of birds in the green trees, be refreshed by a spring rain, and have complete faith in the Creator.

I hope you can do the same, even if you are sitting there enjoying the sun God created, and trying to figure out how that bumblebee is able to fly.

March 14 – Our Awesome God

Deuteronomy 8-10

Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? (10:12-13)

Moses has been reminding the Jews all the things God has done on their behalf. Now he wants to remind them WHO God is. I hope you read Deuteronomy 10:12-22 today, and let yourself worship this awesome God of ours.

God created the heavens and earth, yet set His affection to love us. God who loved us so much He sent Jesus, so that anyone who believes in Him will live forever with Him. (John 3:16)

God is the God above all Gods, Lord of lords, great, mighty, and awesome.

He is our praise and He is our God.

Amen!

Counting Hawks

My dad was an observer and a lover of nature. I can’t count the hours he spent looking out into his back yard, watching birds, squirrels, rabbits, and deer. He taught us girls to notice things like sunsets and clouds, like lightning in storms, like new buds on trees in spring, and like the sparkle and beauty of a snowfall. He and Mom always challenged each other to see which of them could spot the most hawks every time they went somewhere in the car. I never see a hawk today without thinking about them.

Dad could have been a psalmist. I read Psalm 104 today and once again am reminded what an incredible thing is creation. Nothing… NOTHING… happened by chance. The beauty and majesty of our world was carefully constructed, from the tiniest seed to the highest mountain.

Is life throwing roadblocks in your way? Are you troubled, lonely, afraid? Take a minute and look outside. Better yet, take a walk. Listen to birds sing, the breeze rustle through trees. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, or allow raindrops to mix with your tears. Count the hawks perched in the trees, and know even they fit in your Creator’s design.

The God who created the fragrant flowers you smell, the oceans and deserts, the God who created you wants to walk with you today. In this whole great big world of ours, there is no one he loves more, no one he thinks of more, no one he longs to call his own more than you! Give him your heart. Rejoice in his grace. Praise him for Jesus. Look around. His love is stamped all over the place.

Storms may come. No, storms WILL come. Take his hand and let him get you through.

Dear Creator, Words fall short of expressing the awe I feel as I observe nature, as I see your hand in all that there is, and as I understand that you love me. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for making me your child when I repented of my sin. Walk with me today, Lord, as you wish. And may I never take for granted what your creation entails.

Message in the Clouds

My sister teaches science to middle schoolers. She is a Christian woman with a very scientific mind. And, yes, those two are not mutually exclusive!

I was walking with her yesterday and she pointed out some wispy clouds in the sky. They were beautiful and delicate, just like lace. She told me those clouds indicated a storm was coming.

The sky was blue. The streaks of white painted a gorgeous picture. It looked anything but stormy. She told me about the different levels of atmosphere and fronts and why those clouds warned of impending rain. But I have to confess, I couldn’t see it. I only saw a breathtakingly beautiful blue sky.

This morning, at about 2:00, I was awakened by a clap of thunder. I listened as rain pelted my window. Those delicate clouds were not wrong.

David tells us in Psalm 19 that the heavens proclaim the glory of God. In fact, all of nature points to the Creator, his power and majesty. Whether enjoying a colorful sunrise, watching trees and flowers come to life in the spring, gazing at stars and realizing the enormity of space, or holding a newborn baby and marveling at the wonder of birth, God is evident in nature.

You can try to deny it. But denying God just makes you look foolish.(Psalm 14:1, 53:1; I Corinthians 1:23-24)

David reminds us that the heavens, although wordless, speak loudly of God’s glory and craftsmanship. The NLT translates Psalm 19:2-4  like this:

Day after day they continue to speak;

night after night they make him known.

They speak without a sound or word;

their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

and their words to all the world.

To think this powerful Creator wants to walk with me. With you. Do you know him? Have you accepted his Son Jesus as your Savior, repenting of sin and allowing him to free you? Then you can fellowship with the Creator David writes about in the Psalm.

Look to the sky. The clouds are shouting a message to you that God wants you to hear. He is real. He is the Creator. He loves you. And he wants to forgive you so he can walk with you today and in eternity.

My Creator, I praise you for this world that you designed for us to enjoy. I thank you for the warmth of the sun, the changing of the seasons, a cool breeze, or sparkling snow. I thank you for clouds and stars, the moon and blue skies, for rain and blooming flowers. And I thank you that your name is written all over creation. I pray for those reading this today. May we each recognize your power and craftsmanship and declare with nature that you are God. I pray that each of us will bow before you, repent of sin, accept Jesus’ grace, and walk with you today. What a privilege! Thank you, my Creator, for this beautiful world.