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March 26, 2014

Text:  “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.” Psalms 19:1-2 (ESV)

When a writer attributes speech, thought and other human abilities to an inanimate object he is using a literary device called “personification”. That is, he is assigning human attributes to something that does not have life, and thus does not have the capacity to think, speak, etc. There are several of these literary devices that we use each day. Similarly, the Bible, being a literary production, uses such devices to portray things as comparisons which through our eyes gives us a message.

King David uses personification in our text to point out to us that God’s natural creation bears unspoken testimony to his existence. Even though there is no actual spoken word, the message is discernible. The message says, “There is a God who made this universe.”  This is sometimes known as “natural revelation”. The writer tells us that the handiwork of God proclaims his work. Though we hear no testimony, yet the message speaks plainly. David says, “Their voice goes out through all the earth.” So it is a universal message which speaks the same thing to all mankind.

We all are awed by productions of God: sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, flowers, waterfalls, etc. When we see these beauties tears come to our eyes and warmth to our hearts. But, as many as these testimonies are, they have but one brief message to proclaim: “There is a God.” But that is not enough. To know what God is like we must  read his further revelation of himself: the Bible. Nature can reveal no more than its own beauties, but God’s word portrays him, his works, his will, and his character.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16  In order to learn the person of God you have to ingest the words of scripture. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalms 119: 103-104  Did you eat breakfast this morning? Why? Surely because you needed energy to fuel your work every day.  So is the word of God fuel for your soul and should be consumed every day.

Nevertheless, we ought to appreciate the message of God’s creation. Most everyone enjoys nature’s beauty, but even some of these do not “get it” and fail to see nature’s brief message. They ignore the very thing God intended them to see. Others (such as atheists) dismiss nature as being the material happenstance of evolution. Pray that God will adjust their spectacles! Such dim wits will deter the salvation of men’s souls.

Here are some things the Christian should practice.

Appreciate nature, not  only its beauty, but also its declaration of God’s existence.

Let nature speak, but do not press it beyond its intent.

As nature is only a notification of the existence of deity, study the Bible for the rest of the story.

For those who “feel closer” to God while in touch with nature, tell them how much they are missing by  slighting God’s word.

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7




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