God Reveals Himself Through His Creation
In a post titled Does God Exist? William Lane Craig asks the question: (watch the video) “Is there meaning to life?”
(This is a long post but has three really good videos you can watch.)
Apart from making the statement in this post that “God makes sense of the universe”, in asking questions about the nature of God and the nature of life itself, this post points to the fundamental response that the creature (us) must have to the Creator.
“Are you there?” “Who are you anyway?” and “Where am I in all of this?”
Why question the meaning of life?
Questions about the meaning of life are essential to our existence. The important thing is that we have not been left to stumble about in the dark. God answers these questions as He reveals Himself to us. As Christians it is part of our walk to learn about the character of God and His plan for us, His creation.
And God reveals Himself to us in a number of ways. He speaks to us through His word, through our own natures via our conscience and our deepest longings to be united with Him, and most importantly through His Son Jesus Christ.
God reveals Himself to those who seek Him.
But there is another way that God reveals Himself to us. He does this through the natural world, through the beauty and glory that surrounds us every day. And this is called the doctrine of General Revelation.
The Bible tells us many things about God. It tells us that he is unchanging:
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17(NSB)
That He is eternal:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.”Isaiah 40:28(NSB)
But it is in nature that God’s constancy, His goodness, His graciousness and His providence surround us with overwhelming abundance.
“nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;” Acts 17:25(NSB)
When I talk about the natural world, I’m not referring to man’s handiwork; our polluted, corrupted and ravaged impact on God’s perfect natural world, though even here we see creation’s incredible endurance and regenerative capacity, as the Earth time and time again throughout the ages attempts to heal itself and undo the wounds we inflict.
Because God is good.
Ultimately, because God is good he longs to be in a healthy and loving relationship with all that He has created.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31(NSB)
Creation is the primary evidence for His existence and it is all around us. It was never God’s intention to separate Himself from us.
7 “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you;
8 Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10(NSB)
However, while we should be awed and humbled by the awesome beauty of nature, as David was in Psalm 8, we don’t worship nature as the pagans today still do, because we understand that God is not nature, and nature is not God. While God communicates with us through the world, it is not sufficient in itself for us to know Him in His entirety. For that we have to turn to God’s word, because:
It is he who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom,
And by his understanding He has stretched out the heavens. Jeremiah 10:12(NSB)
Nature brings us closer to God. It has the power on many levels to uplift us, heal us and bring us gladness. But it is not a direct line of communication to God and its revelation has limits.
Don Stewart of Blue Letter Bible puts it this way:
“Nature Is Limited As A Source Of Truth
Nature can give us only a partial perception of God. From nature we can discover the wisdom and power of God. However, nature is limited as a source of truth about God. Human beings are only able to infer certain things about God from nature because there are no explicit statements about him. We are not competent to understand anything more that certain general truths about God. This is due to our limitations as human beings as well as our fallen sinful nature.”
But there is no doubt that nature is a part of God’s perfect plan, and that we were meant to take from it all the joy and peace and happiness that was intended in the gift, for:
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19: 1-2(NSB)