It’s that time of year again when restoration from the frigid winter has finally come. I am always reminded of the grand narrative of the Bible in the Spring, when I look around and see new life budding and blooming all around.
It is quite a privilege to walk this earth and experience the beauty God has designed in it. Have you ever thought about that? We get to wander around this incredibly composed sphere and enjoy the fingerprints of our Creator. From the smallest of creation, to the largest, we’re made to enjoy and be amazed.
Have you ever taken the time to look at a blade of grass? A bug? A leaf? I mean really look at them? Now, I know you may be thinking, either this guy has too much time on his hands or he’s crazy (maybe you’re thinking both). Well maybe you’re right, but I bring this up because if we took the time to take in the intricacies of creation, I strongly believe it would increase our joy and worship.
Creation bears witness to God (Rom. 1:20). It reveals to humanity His existence and character. This is what we call general revelation. God gives us glimpses of His glory through His creation. We were meant to enjoy the beauty of His handiwork before our eyes simply because it points us to Him.
Steve DeWitt describes this well in his book Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything. He writes:
“Beauty was created by God for a purpose: to give us the experience of wonder. And wonder, in turn, is intended to lead us to the ultimate human expression and privilege: worship. Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.” (91)
Do you see that? The beauty of creation is intended to lead us to worship, which as DeWitt correctly describes, is the ultimate human expression and privilege. How great of a gift is that? All around you are expressions and reflections of God Himself. DeWitt states:
“Wouldn’t such beautiful and desirable reflections mean that their Source must be even more beautiful — and, ultimately, most desirable?” (8)
What an amazing truth! Do you think about this when you watch a sunset? Or as you bike on a trail through the woods, or as you fish on a lake? Creation is meant to point us to the glory of the Creator. He gets glory in our enjoyment of Him and we get satisfaction. What an amazing design of God.
I urge you to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we will be having in the upcoming months. I pray that you will find great joy in your Creator through the gifts of creation that He has graciously given us.
This last week we made our way through the book of Numbers. We learned how this book, filled with some pretty famous Sunday School type of stories, is also shot-through with the sad themes of unbelief and rebellion. It is shocking how a people who experienced so many displays of God’s faithfulness could still be ungrateful and unsatisfied with his provision and timing. Which ironically makes it so relevant for our study, for we all struggle with being satisfied with the circumstances of our lives.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
There are a number of major themes that weave their way through the whole story of the Bible: covenant, kingdom, and temple, just to name a few. This last Sunday we looked at the theme of God’s presence in each of the sections of the story that we have covered thus far (Genesis 1-11, Genesis 12-50, and Exodus 1-18), and then how this idea of God’s presence comes into a bit of a sharper focus in Exodus 19-40.
I think it is probably safe to say that there are two great peaks in the mountain range of God’s rescue and restoration of the earth. What the cross-resurrection event is to the New Testament, the exodus is to the Old Testament. In each case, the great redemptive salvation act (exodus/cross) produces the covenant community of God’s people (Israel/church) who are called to serve God and his universal mission.
Genesis 12-50: I Will Bless You
It is hard to look at any one text in the Bible and say that it is more important than any other text of the Bible. Since the whole Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s Words, it is all equally valid and useful for growth in the grace and knowledge of our King, Jesus (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18). At the same time, there are those passages that are particularly vital and important to knowing what God is up to in his rescue and restoration plan for the world.
The Whole Story: Genesis One Through Eleven
This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven...
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.