FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

“In the beginning You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.” (Psalm 102:25)

If you have not moved beyond your surroundings or your country you have not yet seen the beauty of the earth, alive before your very eyes---and I am not talking about pictures or videos. See God’s handiwork in the natural and you will marvel at Creation. Those who do not want to give honour and credit where they are due, call it the work of Mother Nature. Nature did not create itself. The Bible teaches that the world was framed when God spoke and things took shape and form. “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

The beauty of the earth reflects God’s view of excellence, His picturesque and artistic representation of things. Whatever He spoke came out of nothing but took the form that He had already conceived in His heart. The earth is such a jigsaw puzzle of gorgeous scenes where everything fits together. To have created such attractive and spotless beauty, God must be beautiful Himself. The hymn writer Pierpoint captures it in poetry thusly: ‘For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light.’ Stop and watch the next time you see the sun set or the next time you see a rainbow and sing ‘Gracious God to you we raise, this our sacrifice of praise’ in appreciation.

The heart of David explodes with admiration as he beheld the heavens, because the skies speak eloquently about God’s greatness. “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 into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4) The more we relate to God’s creation, the deeper the insight into the divine intelligence behind it.  In another psalm, David elevates God’s handiwork in these terms: “When I consider 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, the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4) He makes a sober comparison between an Infinite, Almighty, All-knowing, Ever-present and Limitless God, alongside finite, frail and fragile humans. In another anonymous psalm, the writer pens: “He (God) determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 147:4-5)

Nehemiah wrote: “You alone are the Lord, You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

In the Book of Job, the reality of space and creation was revealed long before science acknowledged it. “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing.” (26:7)

Stewardship

God does not live on the earth, He has His throne in heaven. All He created is for our benefit and enjoyment. It is our responsibility to be worthy stewards of what He has entrusted us with. It is a remarkable gift. God told Adam and Eve; “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)

Before our very eyes, the greed of the human race is slowly destroying the harmony and beauty that characterised God’s creation. The senseless and wanton destruction of our inheritance does not augur well for posterity. Would we stand and watch this happen? All of us, without exception, owe it to our children’s children to speak up and save what is left of our beautiful world before matters take a desperate and irreversible turn.