As humans, we inhabit the planet earth as our home. We become so familiar with our surroundings that for the most part, we are unawed by them. Depending on which corner of the earth you reside in, you can expect certain things to happen daily or seasonally. The sun shines and marks the day, the moon appears as a crescent at night and over days becomes a sphere, both brightening their assigned times of the day and night. The clouds gather and the rains come down in their season, then come the dry season when the rains cease. Hurricanes and tornadoes, in spite of the havoc that accompanies them, also have their seasons. Then there is winter and snowfalls. The plants and animals also respond to the seasons: flowers bloom and show off their beautiful colours and fruits are borne; animals migrate to more favourable climes and adjust their metabolisms accordingly. For many, they are too busy with trying to make ends meet that they rarely pause to take in the beauty and wonder that God has graciously placed around them. But God was quite deliberate in creating the world:

For many, they are too busy with trying to make ends meet that they rarely pause to take in the beauty and wonder that God has graciously placed around them.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1-3

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Before man was created, God ensured that all that is required for life on this planet was put in place. He first dealt with the chaos that was the formlessness, shapelessness, emptiness and darkness of the world. He spoke light into existence. He also called into existence those things that were not as though they were.

The earth is not even anywhere near the biggest of God’s creations. He made the universe, the planets with their solar systems and hundreds of billions of galaxies. Even that number is in the observable universe. It is estimated that there are in this observable universe, as many as a septillion (1×1024) stars. That is more stars than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of planet earth. All of that creation, the Bible says are but the outer fringes of God’s power, the outskirts, mere samples of his works (Job 26:14). And he sustains all of these things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).

Then He made man. He moulded him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul. Man is the crown jewel of God’s creation. That complex mixture of molecules, cells, tissues, organs and systems, coordinated and controlled by the brain, that you call your body, is a magnificently wonderful thing. The Psalmist says he’s been fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Deep to the skin is hidden beauty. I recall how in one of our earliest anatomy dissection sessions, I was so awed by the wonder of the human body that I called the attention of a colleague and reminded him that the Bible says this stuff was moulded. Perhaps too wonderful for him to believe, he said it wasn’t true that the body was first moulded, that mould as recorded in scripture meant something else. How could something so complex and breathtakingly beautiful be moulded? But it is God moulding that we are dealing with. That’s how wonderful the body you carry about is.

Wake Up to Wonder

One of God’s gifts to mankind is sight, the ability to see the things around us. Those who know say the sense of sight is our most precious sense. Familiarity with our bodies and the creation around us can dull our senses to the beauty in them. But our eyes are meant for more than just seeing the way ahead of us; they are meant to enable us appreciate the wonders of creation.

Familiarity with our bodies and the creation around us can dull our senses to the beauty in them.

The ultimate purpose of it all is that we might see God in his creation and give him glory. All things, after all, were created by him and for him (Colossians 1:16). When you look at the planets, when you see how night follows day and never fails, when you watch the national geographic channel on television and see all that wonder, what should be your response to it all? The praise of the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects, the praise of his glory. Consider the vast multitude of plants of different species; think about the different animals in the world, from single-celled organisms to multicellular animals, some microscopic, others gigantic and still others somewhere in between. What does that tell you of their origin? God – glorious, majestic, powerful. The man is not functioning properly who beholds a majestic work of art but doesn’t have a stir in his heart as to its beauty. Ultimately, all of that is supposed to give you a glimpse into the character of the one who created it all, God.

When Job passed through intense suffering and yelled at God, the Holy One showed up. When he did, it was to the wonders of his creation that he drew the suffering man’s attention:

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you will answer me.’” – Job 38:1-3

You would expect that God would take Job in a course on the attributes of God such as his holiness, righteousness, wisdom, omnipotence, omniscience, justice, love and mercy. No, the Almighty pointed him to the wonders of his creation. Here’s a sample of his questions:

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? What is the abode of light? And where does darkness hide? Can you take them to their places? Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Then he asks Job to consider the animal world:

“Do you hunt prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions? Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Will the wild ox consent to serve you? Do you give the horse his strength? Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom? Can you pull the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

Midway through the questions, Job doesn’t have a single answer. He says, “I am unworthy –how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer –twice, but I will say no more.” –Job 40:4-5

But God wasn’t done just yet. Job had to wake up from his blindness to the wonders of creation and in them, see God. When God was done with him, he responded:

“I know you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted … Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” –Job 42:2-3,5-6

You have eyes, what have they seen? Don’t wait for God to ask you questions that you can never answer. Look at creation and see the Creator. Like Job, many things may be too wonderful for you to understand, but at least you will see God. And there is nothing more wonderful to behold than him.

Creation and the Gospel

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities –his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” – Roman 1:20

God expects that when men look at what he has created, they would “clearly see his invisible qualities” and come to know him. The only way to come to him is of course through Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. No one will be excused for not knowing God when he can be seen in what he has created. Paul says clearly that “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law” (Romans 2:12). Creation is there to also preach the gospel, which it has been doing since it was created. It is left for men to see and hear. So when you look around, see Jesus.

Creation and the Return of Christ

One of the blessings of scripture is the questions that have been asked in it – they provide an opportunity for revelation. Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives and his disciples came to him privately to enquire about the sign of His second coming and the end of the age.

In his response, Jesus, among other things, refers them to the signs that the created world will bear. Hear him: “There will be famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). So as a student of scripture, whenever you hear of famine or an earthquake in the news, those events should remind you of the return of your Saviour. When others use geography alone to explain them away, you should know better. Concerning the rise of false prophets who would appear and point to a localized Christ, Jesus uses creation to forewarn us: “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:27). Let no one deceive you, learn from the created lightning. The return of Christ will not be in an obscure corner of the world like Bethlehem of those days, it will be a global event that will be seen by all. And when the day comes, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29).

The return of Christ will not be in an obscure corner of the world like Bethlehem of those days, it will be a global event that will be seen by all.

You, therefore, wake up to the wonders of what God has created. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made, offer your body as a living sacrifice to God. Don’t be blind to the beautiful and complex systems around you. When you see them, see the invisible qualities of God, who though being an invisible Spirit, has given mankind visible magnificence, so that through them, we may behold God. As you await your final salvation, let the creation keep you alert to your Saviour’s impending return.