Happy Earth Day.

This morning I read Psalm 89 in my Bible, and I was fascinated by verses 36-37:

“HIs seed shall endure forever, and His throne as the sun before Me; it shall be established forever like the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky.”

The psalmist (in this case, Ethan the Ezrahite) is referencing God’s promise to David and the covenant He made with him.  But what strikes me about this verse is how the moon is described as a “faithful witness”.  It made me think of other passages in Scripture that talk about the creation as witnesses to God and subject to His power.

“…the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord…” Psalm 89:5

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…” Romans 1:20

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delievered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Romans 8:19-22

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.  For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.” Psalm 24:1-2

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridgegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race.  Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-6

“Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds.  And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth.” Job 37:10-12

“Then the earth shook trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry.  Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it.  He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet.  And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.  He made darkness Hissecret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.  He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.  Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.” Psalm 18:7-15

“With Him, have you spread out the skies, strong as a cast metal mirror?” Job 37:18

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place…[?]” Job 38:12

“Have you entered the treasury of the snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?  By what way is light diffused, or the east wind scattered over the earth?  Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, or a path for the thunderbolt, to cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, a wilderness in which there is no man; to satisfy the desolate waste, and cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?  Has the rain a father?  Or who has begotten the drops of dew?  From whose womb comes the ice?  And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?” Job 38:22-29

“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” Psalm 147:4

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?  Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?” Job 38:39-41

“At this also my heart trembles, and leaps from its place.  Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that comes from His mouth.  He sends it forth under the whole haeven, His lightning to the ends of the earth.  After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain them when His voice is heard.  God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.  For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength…by the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen.” Job 37:1-6

“Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” Job 37:16

“Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered.  For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man.  Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?  Look, He scatters His light upon it, and covers the depths of the sea.  For by these He judges the peoples; He gives food in abundance.  He covers His hands with lightning, and commands it to strike.  His thunder declares it, the cattle also, concerning the rising storm.” Job 36:26-33

“Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?” Job 38:16

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell Me, if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements?  Surely you know!  Or who stretched the line upon it?  To what were its foundations fastened?  Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7

“And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves.  But He was asleep.  Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us!  We are perishing!’  But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’ ” Matthew 8:24-27

Bless the LORD, O my soul!  O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed ith honor and majesty, who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.  He lays the beams of His upper champers in the waters, who makes the clouds His chariot, who walks on the wings of the wind, who makes His angels siprits, His ministers a flame of fire.” Psalm 104:1-4

“These all wait for You, that You may given them their food in due season.  What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good.  You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.  You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.” Psalm 104:27-30

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:3-4

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them…” Matthew 5:26

“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with  loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘ “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!” Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’  And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’  But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’ ” Luke 19:37-40

 

These passages and so many more richly illustrate the power and glory of God manifested in His creation.  Today is Earth Day, and people around the world are “worship[ing] and serv[ing] the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:25) as they “exchange the truth of God for the lie”.  Our society praises “Mother Nature” and almost feverishly worships our planet.  And yet Jesus tesitified that the very stones long sing His praises.  That is what truly amazes me about these passages.  If God allowed trees and rocks and lakes and rivers and oceans and mountains and stars and moons and planets and flowers and waterfalls to speak, they would shout the glory of God and sing to His name.

Please take the time to read the last few chapters in the book of Job, full of glorious pictures of God’s power and sovereign control, or Psalm 104, a beautiful poetic attribution to the Creator.  I wish I could have quoted these chapters in their entirety here!  Search the Bible for more beautiful passages about the Creator that I didn’t include here (I’d love it if you comment with what you find!).  Our God is so great.  While the world celebrates Earth Day, I pray that you will take this opportunity to celebrate our good and awesome Creator.  We should be good stewards of this world He has given us, and we should appreciate the beauty and majesty of what He has created.  But we should also remember that this world is passing…Romans 8 says that it is literally aching in anticipation for the return of Christ and the revealing of His true children…and our time here is to be spent in service to our all-wonderful and all-deserving Lord.  I love to know that the God who calls the stars by name and visits the storehouses of the snow knows and loves and cherishes me.  That is a truth to embrace and to lean on in these turbulent times.  God bless you!

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