Sep 22 2010

The Testimony of the Seasons

CO-Rocky-Mountain-NP-tundra-003A little after 11:00 tonight autumn will officially begin.  I’d be more excited about that if they weren’t predicting a high of 94 degrees here tomorrow.  I’ve seen a number of recent news articles indicating that this summer has been the hottest one on record.  This fall may prove to be warmer than normal too.  Still, I have no doubt that the temperatures will soon be more comfortable (for me, anyway) and that the annual brilliant show of autumn colors will shortly begin to make an appearance.

The changing of the seasons is actually something God has promised.  In Genesis 8:22 it says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  This is the promise God gave to Noah following the Flood.  Much later the prophet Daniel would remind others that it is God who causes the seasons to change.  He said, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes time and seasons…”  (Daniel 2:20-21)

CO-Maroon-Bells-021Even further down the road the apostle Paul spoke of God being behind the changing seasons and how this bears witness to His goodness and faithfulness.  Speaking to a group in Lystra who thought he and Barnabas were Hermes and Zeus because they healed a crippled man, Paul said “turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.  Yet he has not left himself without testimony.  He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

As the seasons change once again today we are reminded that God has ordered this and that it is part of His good plan for Creation.  We are also reminded that the One who consistently brings this cyclic succession is faithful and can be counted on.  This truly is the testimony of the seasons!

–Chuck

(The top image I took at Rocky Mountain National Park in late September.  The bottom picture of Maroon Bells was also taken in Colorado about the same season of the year.)


Jul 14 2010

Affirming God as Creator

Black-Canyon-Rock-094As I have indicated before, I’m reading through the Bible again this year.  Right now I’m reading the Book of Isaiah.  As I have been going through this prophet’s writings I have noticed a recurring trend.  Over and over again Isaiah goes out of his way to emphasize that Israel’s God is the Creator God. 

In Isaiah 42:5 we read, “This is what God the Lord says—he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people and life to those who walk on it.”  Isaiah 45:18 adds, “For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.”

Time and time again when God speaks He is introduced as the Creator of the world.  There are likely many reasons this is so.  For one, Israel seems to have forgotten the greatness of God.  He had become for them just one of many gods.  It was important for God to emphasize His supremacy so He says to His doubting people, “It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.” (45:12)  Israel’s God was not just any god, He was the Maker of heaven and earth.

Affirming God as Creator remains important.  As we observe the beauty, majesty and power of nature God wants us to remember that He is the source of all we see.  He is someone who both desires and deserves our devotion.  His Creation is placed before us so that we will be reminded daily of His power and presence.  It is there so that we might hear Him say, “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” (Is. 45:22)  Isaiah believed that affirming God as Creator ought to make a difference in one’s life.  I do too.

–Chuck

(The image above was taken at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.)