Contemplation

The Fixed Nature of . . . Well, Nature

The heavens are telling the glory of God;and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.Day to day pours forth speech,and night to night declares knowledge.There is no speech, nor are there words;their voice is not heard;yet their voice goes out through all the earth,and their words to the end of the world. Psalms 19:1

When I was first gifted with grace, but not yet a Christian I spent a lot of time contemplating God through nature.  I had grown closer to God through contemplation of this beauty and this helped form my opinion about what this God was like.  For example, my mom and I were great fans of Johnny Jump-Ups.

Johnny Jump-Ups always make me smile. – My mom

They are such cute little flowers that seemed to have no purpose on earth other than to make people smile and it was God that created them that way: a god who figuratively sculpted and painted them.  I used to imaging this huge white-haired, white-bearded man in a white robe holding a tiny paintbrush in one hand and a tiny Johnny Jump-Up in the other.  He did do this, but using His own means, which probably did not involve a paintbrush.

My contemplation finally led to the truth that the laws of nature were unchanging.  Here I was coming to know this God who had created all of this beauty and who could have created the world any way that He chose and He chose to make it fixed. I remember marvelling at that idea.

The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, . . . Genesis 18:16

In nature, a card laid is a card played.  You fall or jump off a high cliff and that’s it.  You’re done.  Even an unintentional misstep in the tub can lead to broken head leading to all types of complications or a long recovery process.  On first look that seems incredibly harsh, but I learned a lot about God from this contemplation.

 God’s Word is unchanging

 ” . . . then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground . . .” Genesis 2:7

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. Romans 1:20

There is no doubt in my mind that God meant us to be formed through nature, both human nature and the natural world around us.  Take a minute to think about it.  How do we form ideas?  We do this through our own human nature and thoughts about the world we live in.  For those things unseen, we draw analogies from those things seen.   The reason we can do this is because God made these things analogous and because He gave humans the ability to draw analogies. Here’s one analogy.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Lord Jesus is the Word of God and through Him all things came into being (Jn 1:3).  Using the quote above and substitute ‘The Word of God’ for ‘Jesus Christ’, then you get The Word of God is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Now, in one sense it can be very hard to see how a person can be the Word of God.  But what we can see is that God means what He says.  Just like nature is fixed, God’s Word is fixed.  This helps to explain why God seems so emphatic in the commandments:  THOU SHALL NOT.  Don’t do it because I mean what I say and I’m not going to change my mind even if I do love you.  If a commandment is trespassed punishment will follow.  This sheds an entire new light on salvation.  Instead of “Well, I’m not really a sinner, but I love you. Thanks for saving me, now where’s the new car?” we get “Wow, sin is a serious business.  By sinning I’ve put my butt in a grinder and I have NO way of getting it out except through believing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ;” the only source of our salvation. Without Him we will have to pay the ultimate price ourselves. Thanks be to God we do have that salvation and that is very good news.

Some more good news is that this makes God someone you can trust totally and completely.  God is not like fallible human beings that we can’t always trust or material things that don’t always work right. God is someone that is not going to go back on their word.  Two things to bear in mind regarding this: the first is that God chooses the method and the time for doing what He has promised and the second is that we understand what it is God is promising.  I say this because it’s easy, when we don’t have a good understanding of God, to misconstrue what God is willing to do for us.  When God doesn’t answer our prayer instead of realizing that we asked wrongly we lose faith because, in our estimation, God did not hold up to His end of the bargain, when, in fact, He never made such a promise to begin with.  However, when we understand what God has promised and ask Him to deliver on that promise, then, like Lord Jesus, we can say, “Thank you,” as soon as we have finished the prayer because that prayer is as good as answered.  Now, it’s just a question of when.  If it seems like it may be taking too long, then just remember that God’s timing is perfect.

May we all come to know and trust the Word of God implicitly!  God bless!

#contemplation #faith

The great waterfall image was provided by Jared Erondu under the Public Domain License.

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