As I read the Scriptures I continue to be amazed at how often the biblical writers use nature imagery to make theological comparisons. A case in point is the passage I’ll be discussing tonight at church, Hosea 6. Starting in verse 3 the challenge is made to “acknowledge the Lord” and to “press on to acknowledge him.” Then we read: “As surely as the sun rises he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
Here we see God compared to the sun which rises each morning and to the winter and spring rains that you can count on like clockwork. Such images prove helpful to us. Since we must deal with an unseen God, it is beneficial when the biblical writers reveal that God is like something we can see with our own eyes. “What is God’s faithfulness like?” we might ask. The Bible says it is like the sun that comes up everyday—without fail. It is like the rains that return each winter and spring. In other words, God is as faithful as you can get!
In Hosea 6 nature imagery is also used to demonstrate our own unfaithfulness. God says to His people here, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears?” (v. 4) By pointing to the “morning mist” and “early dew,” both which come and go quickly, God declares that His people’s loyalty to Him is fleeting at best. Here again, by referring to something in nature that everyone is familiar with, the point is driven home powerfully.
One of the primary goals Rob and I have in sharing our thoughts with you on SeeingCreation.com is that people will realize that by paying attention to the world God has made they can learn much about God and about themselves. As Hosea 6 shows, the Scriptures can help us do that. When the sun rises tomorrow morning, I encourage you to be reminded of God’s faithfulness. If you happen to experience a morning mist or see dew around you, you may want to consider whether these may be a reflection of your own loyalty to God. There is so much in nature that makes us think about things that really matter.
(The image above of an Indian paintbrush surrounded by dew covered leaves was taken last month at Mount Rainier National Park.)