My family and I were recently able to travel out west and visit some of the most breath-taking sights in our country. This was not our first time. As a matter of fact, it was our fourth trip out west in the last two years. We have fallen in love with the climate, landscape, and adventures. During this latest trip, we were able to drive some roads that we had never been down before. And the beauty of the land did not disappoint. It is interesting how within a 100-mile radius the scenery can change so dramatically. From towering cedars to miles of desolate land and scrub brush. From Painted Desert to the red rocks of Monument Valley. God’s mighty work is beyond compare.
The Bible is replete with acknowledgements of God’s work. We see it vividly in Psalms. David says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…” (Psalm 8:1, 3-4). And again, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4).
Certainly, these are not the extent of words recorded concerning the creative work of God. The full list would be rather lengthy. These, however, and particularly Psalm 19, demonstrate a recognition of the awesome power of God. The biblical writers seemed to be keenly aware that the beauty that encompassed them was solely the work of God. They readily attribute the wonders of the universe to the One who “was, who is, and who is to come.” Very different from our world today. It won’t take you long scrolling through the channel guide on your television to find a show which centers around the earth and its formation. Many shows focus on the various land formations, such as the Grand Canyon, and their origin. Generally, there is an explanation which features some type of earthquake, erosion, and/or explosion. Inevitably, the origin is from some other event, or natural happening, rather than by the hand of God. This is the point at which many Christians begin to experience that uncomfortable feeling, the feeling of being threatened in some way. But must we feel threatened by these explanations?
Is it possible that God, in his infinite wisdom and power, created the beauty we see around us by making use of seismic shifts or great floods? Does it somehow diminish the power of God to suggest that God set in motion the natural changes which our planet goes through? Personally, I find no conflict. The issue I see is that many fail to recognize the beauty as originating from God’s mighty work.
As we experience life here on earth, it is easy to get caught up in our routine. There are times where we move from one task to the next with little thought to the world around us. Some go their whole lives without ever recognizing the beauty of creation. It’s not that they are blind to the beauty of the landscape. It’s that they are blind to the Creator of that beauty. They see the splendor around them, but not the splendor of God who made the heavens and the earth. How sad that is. God has done many wonderful things, including creating us in his image. May our lives be a vehicle through which the mighty work of God is displayed!