Tuesday, September 24, 2013

God, Architect of an Excellent Universe

When we see the beauty of nature around us, we should feel an inner compulsion to praise God for His wonderful works. Not only has He created a magnificent universe, He has also created a universe that supplies us with our needs.

God provides for His creation with water.

God’s power is seen as He sends the streams and rivers to water this planet and to provide life for the plants, the animals, and for us humans.
Standing at the shore, the smooth but firm sand beneath my feet, the waves lapping around my toes softly, but breaking upon the rocks down the shore, the mighty ocean stretching into the horizon where the blue of its waters meets with the blue of the sky above – my God is the Maker of this mighty ocean with its white caps, unexplored depths, and many forms of life.
God’s gracious and powerful provision for us – and for the animal life around us – in the water that He sends should cause us to praise Him for the bounteous goodness He pours out on us.

God provides for His creation with vegetation.

As C. H. Spurgeon says, “Divine power is as truly and as worthily put forth in the feeding of beasts as in the nurturing of man; watch but a blade of grass to with a devout eye and you may see God at work within it.”
God has created the plants around us for our enjoyment and also for our nourishment. He has created the trees to be the habitats of the birds. How wonderful is His creation! How gorgeous the new-born world must have been with its vibrant colors – the living green of the grass and leaves, the bright colors of the flowers, the delicate white of the blossoms – and the songs of many birds rising in the morning air to sing their Maker’s praise.

God provides for His creation in the seasons.

The habits and life patterns of the animals is based upon the conditions that God places upon them.
God created day and night and the seasons thereof. He appointed the time to sleep and the time to wake and work. The things that are in our lives are appointed by God. They are the things that we need at the present moment.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God, Architect of a Magnificent Universe

The day begins with a faint lightening of the darkness. Then, soon enough, the sun bursts forth, spreading its light on all that lies underneath it. Birds sing their songs in the trees. Grass grows and trees bud, blossom, and bring forth leaves. Animals go about their habits. Rain comes and goes. The sun continues its course until it sets in the west. The day has come to an end and the night wears on. The moon and stars make their appearances according to their seasons. Days flow into weeks, weeks into months, months into seasons. Spring, summer, fall, and winter come and go. All of nature runs its allotted course, set forth by God. The precision with which it runs is more intricate than the most sophisticated computer chip. All of creation by its very nature extols the power and beauty of God. All, that is, except man. Man makes his way through his life consumed with himself and his cares. Very rarely does he stop to even acknowledge the beauty of the creation around him, let alone stopping to bless God. As those who know God, we should bless God because of His great power and beauty, which are specifically demonstrated in His creation of the universe.

Bless God for His power that is revealed in creation.

All of creation points to the fact that a very great power lies behind the very existence of creation. The intricacy, the delicacy, and the precision that are demonstrated in the various facets of creation describe the power that is inherent in God.

God’s creative power is demonstrated in the heavens.

The heavens are but portions of God’s “palace.” To us they seem vast and beyond our comprehension, but to God they are but curtains that He has draped. They are but tools in His hands. As are also the clouds and the wind.
We can see by the vastness of the heavens the vastness of God’s power and character. As George MacDonald says,
“Think how it would be if this blue sky was only a solid. Men in ancient times believed that; it is hardly a wonder their gods were so small. But no matter how high it was, if it was limited at all it could not declare the glory of God. But it is a sphere only to the eyes; it is a foreshortening of infinitude that it may enter our sight; there is no imagining its limit. This infinite sphere, then is the only figure, image, or symbol fit to begin acquainting us with God; it is an idea incomprehensible, and we can only believe it. In like manner, God cannot be found out by searching, cannot be grasped by any mind, yet is ever before us, the one we can best know, the one we must know, the one we cannot help but know.”

God’s creative power is demonstrated upon the earth.

The waters stood and then they were dispersed. Stop and think upon God’s power. He laid the foundations of this world; He spoke it into existence. And then He commanded the waters to be where they are. How majestic God is. There is much we cannot comprehend.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Comfort in the Face of Wickedness - The Comfort of God’s Actions

Evil pervades our society. The wicked are characterized by evil, and they do evil from a wicked heart. In the midst of all of this, we find hope in God. He is in control, and He will take action.

God lifts up His hand.

The psalmist pleads with God to intervene in the injustices he sees. This is a plea that judgment will be enacted on behalf of the poor and humble. This action is then reaffirmed in verse 18, stating that truly, yes, God will judge on behalf of “the fatherless and the oppressed.”

God sees mischief and spite and repays it.

Once again, the psalmist is reaffirming the fact that God will repay the wicked person for his actions. He will not get away with what he is doing. Rather, he will answer for his actions.

God helps the fatherless and prepares the heart of humble.

God does not leave the helpless to fend for themselves. Rather, He protects them, He cares for them. This caring is not just a providing for the physical needs, but it is also a providing for the spiritual needs (“the heart of the humble”).
God will not abandon us in times when the wicked prevail. He will not only provide for our physical needs, but He will also provide that strengthening of the inner man, so that we are able to stand in the face of the oppression.

We have seen that the fact of God’s omniscience and omnipotence provide comfort in the face of the prevailing of the wicked. Though the wicked may rage around us and the outlook of the world may seem bleak and grim, we can rest assured that God is still King and that He is in control. He knows what is transpiring. As Martin Luther states in his famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, “The prince of darkness grim – we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him.” Satan and the wicked may seem to be in control of this world. But God will prevail. “God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.”

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Comfort in the Face of Wickedness - The Comfort of God’s Character

Evil is pervasive. The wicked speak evil, and they do it from a heart entrenched in wickedness. With such a bleak outlook, where do we find hope? We find hope in the Almighty God.

When faced with such evil, we can join the psalmist in pleading earnestly with God to arise and to take action on behalf of those being oppressed. We can ground our plea in the fact that we know that God is King and that God is aware of what is happening.

God’s position as King.

This kingship is not just a passing kingship (in contrast to the power which the wicked holds), but rather it is an everlasting kingship. Faith clings to the fact that God is in control, that He has authority over the universe, and that He is working out all things according to His divine purpose.

God is aware of what is happening.

The psalmist in his plea exhorts God to not forget the humble. These humble are those who are meek and poor. These are the people to whom is promised the inheritance of the earth in Psalm 37:11.
God will not forget the meek. Although at the current time the fulfillment of His promise seems to not be at hand, He will follow through in that which He has promised. He knows what is transpiring, and He will fulfill that which He has promised.
God is intently listening to the desire, to the prayers of the humble. He knows what their desires are and their pleas will not go unheeded.
God knows what we are needing, what our desires are. Our pleas do not fall on deaf ears. Quite the contrary; God is intently listening to what we are saying. Even though at times it might seem like God is not hearing us, we can rest assured that truly He is hearing us as we plead with Him in humility.

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