Pictures From YouJanuary 2, 2015
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”
Psalm 97:6 “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”
This is an attempt to place into words, an embodiment of thought which seems nearly impossible to describe. It considers the myriad of ways by which the physical world, not only declares, the existence of God, but showcases the fact that his creative nature is incredible beyond words. As a youth, I was fascinated by the stars and studied everything available (in that pre-internet age) in regards to astronomy. Oftentimes, I would go outside during the overnight hours, gaze into the stars, and become nearly hypnotized by the display. We lived far away from the nearest city, and on a cloudless night, the view was breathtaking. My then un-regenerated mind contemplated the incalculable vastness of it all, the array of forces that had brought it to its present state, and entertained thoughts regarding the other civilizations that I was certain existed in other star systems.
Sometimes I would single out a single star; usually one that was very faint, (although that isn’t necessarily an indicator of distance) and wonder….is there life in that system? What kind of culture do they have? How do they communicate? Do they fall in love? Does their world have brilliantly blue oceans, lush rain forests, and snow capped mountains? Have they harnessed electricity and mastered advanced forms of propulsion? Do they fly into the firmament? (I didn’t use the word “firmament” back then) Do they look into the vastness and ponder the stars that fill the night sky…..one of them being our sun? Even as an unsaved teenager, my head was oftentimes in the clouds; making this present world seem mundane, and pointless. My thoughts were never 100% here, and, in a moment, my imagination could head off into the stratosphere.
Had it not been for a supernatural life-changing encounter with Jesus in September of 1983, I may well have ended up in a cult. That seemingly harmless admiration of the cosmos, coupled with an overactive imagination was a form of worshiping the creation without giving thought to the God who spoke it into existence. I subscribed to a very new age/occult world view at the time, which resulted in the embracing a lot of ideas which are contrary to scripture. And because the extraterrestrial components of the creation (the visible ones and the imagined ones) had such a mesmerizing influence, the following passage accurately identifies my pre-saved condition.
Deuteronomy 4:19 “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”
Considering the creation without giving thought to the Creator, leads to idolatry; a condition spoken of throughout scripture, where people would consider the various aspects the world around them and make them an object of worship. To deify, and then pay homage to, the sun, moon, mountains, creatures upon the earth, and what have you, was the direct result of people not wanting to retain God in their knowledge. Worship was redirected toward things that could be seen, and ultimately malicious fallen entities. This in turn, fostered rituals and traditions which were passed down to subsequent generations until they became firmly entrenched in the culture. Traditions form, as it were, a seemingly impenetrable barrier which, in turn, deflects anything that threatens their continuance.
II Kings 17:16-17 “And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Jeremiah 7:18-19 “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?”
Satan continuously seeks to direct worship away from God and onto something else. Throughout history, he has skillfully manipulated entire cultures by causing them to worship a creation which was intended to bear witness that there is a God. And this (finally) brings us to the thrust of this post. The creation declares loudly that God is. He is Creator, and is handiwork is incredible beyond description. Three passages from the new testament come to mind:
Matthew 6:28-29 “And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Romans 1:20-21 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made by things which do appear.”
After I was saved, my treks outside late in the evening took on a significance that they never had before. I would look up at the same sky…..and be fascinated by the God who had positioned everything according to his will, and then set it in motion. He established the sun to give light during the day, and the moon to give light during the night. He placed the stars according to his will and set them in motion as well. And looking into the firmament; not as an object of worship, but as a product of Gods creative nature, changed everything. To this day, my favorite times in prayer are under the stars. it’s just so endlessly huge….and our God fills the heavens and the earth. He formed the most complex galaxies and he assembled the tiniest sub-atomic particles. He created majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys, the sunset that takes ones breath away……and the starry sky which causes us to realize just how big our God is in comparison to whatever we are facing in this world.
Something else to think about. This is a fallen world. It’s present state is a far cry from what it was when the Lord first spoke it into existence…..and it still bears witness to a most amazing Creator…….who inhabits eternity, along with the entirety of the creation……and loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world, to pay for our sins with his innocent blood……so that through faith in him, we could inherit everlasting life. This passage is often quoted, however, it’s needful to quote it once again.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may ye be also.”
Your best life now? Only if you’re not saved. Because when we know Jesus, the reality that awaits us when we are forever in his presence is so incredible that nothing in this world can even come close. Well, I have to be going. My prayer is that our focus will be on eternal things and not temporal things; even though much of this post takes into consideration our current temporal setting. A setting which is going to melt with a fervent heat; along with all of the trophies, treasures, and kingdoms of men.
Nehemiah 9:6 “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
Blessings in Jesus name.