Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God Revealed: Seeing Is Believing

I took a shot in the dark this year by doing something I’ve never done before; I planted a garden. I tried to recall all the things I had learned in my childhood from my father who was a master gardener. In the early Spring I plugged seeds into the without a lot of faith that much would come of them. Now, two months later, I have more beans, radishes, cucumbers and tomatoes than I know what to do with. I am astonished at the miracle I see. A tiny, miniature seed germinates and produces dozens of succotash and pumpkins. Every evening I admire my little lush, green garden and I can only think: There must be a God.

I enjoy walking early in the morning before the sun rises. I don’t know if the old axiom is true or not but it certainly does seem to be “darkest before the dawn.” In every cloudless morning I admire the diamond studs scattered across a black velvet sky. I have seen the meteorite leave its blazing scar on the night sky. I stopped in my tracks to admire the reflective beauty of the harvest moon and I can only think: There must be a God.

Every Spring I watch as a green blanket is stretched out over the naked forest. I love to sit on my front porch and watch the arrival of an angry summer storm. I can sometimes hear the snapping of branches in the pine forest as they finally succumb to the strength of the tossing winds. As the storm lashes through the valleys that lie beyond, dark clouds are lined with silver as the sun tries to smile again on the earth. Occasionally I’ll see the wonderful array of colors as a rainbow will arch across the sky and I’m still titillated by the prospects of a pot of gold that lie at its end. The earth is showered clean, the birds return with their music and the flowers drink deeply once again and I am reminded that there must surely be a God.

C.S. Lewis, who was a master of literature, once said that the 19th Psalm was the greatest piece of poetry ever written. It is certainly one of my favorites: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (v. 1-4)

What is it about the night sky that causes my soul to dance? Why do I feel excitement every time I look upward into that darkness? David says the skies “are the work of God’s hands.” I see so much more than stars and planets. I see an infinite God who is vastly immense. I see design and order and I ponder with wonder the absurdity that this could be a freak accident of nature. I see a vast display of God’s creation through which he has intended to reveal his glory. God is shouting to his creatures, “I am perfect in holiness, perfect in love, perfect in wisdom and in power.” God’s creation is the canvas upon which he has revealed his gloriousness to mankind.

This revelation is universal and refuses to discharge man of the knowledge of the Almighty. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) This observation is universal. Not everyone has heard of the Christ who demonstrates the person of God. Not everyone has in his possession a Bible which reveals the promise of God. But every creature who has ever lived upon earth has lifted his eyes toward the skies. Men who have belonged to all ages have seen the same glory in the sun, stars and moon. The heavenly bodies shout out the existence of God in a way that leaves no man with an excuse for unbelief.

The skies are a perpetual revelation of God’s handiwork. Stars never cease shining. Meteorites are occasionally shooting. Moons are reflecting and comets are constantly coming. There are continuous rotations and revolutions and enough unsolved mysteries in the eternal blackness to keep scientists busy for a million years.

Albert Einstein refuted atheism when he likened man’s struggle to understand reality to a child entering a vast library full of books written in many different languages. The child does not know what knowledge lies within the books but he knows they were all written by someone. The language, the order and arrangement are a great mystery to the child. Einstein compared this scenario with intelligent men who observe the vastness of material existence. He doesn’t understand how it got there nor does he understand the natural laws that govern it. “Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” Removing God from the formula doesn’t just bring confusion, it brings insanity.

Nature is a revelation of God’s glory but it makes no provision for a personal relationship with God. It would be like marrying a woman on video. You can see her beauty and admire her loveliness but you can’t really know her, you can only see her. God can be seen through nature but he can only be known through his Son. Christ alone makes a personal relationship with God possible. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

Be cautious, many modern environmentalists and naturalists have confused the video with the real deal. They have chosen to worship the creation rather than the Creator. The creation simply points us in the direction of the Creator. Real admiration should be given to the Artist, not the canvas.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

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