Love Nature, Love God!


One of the overarching themes of the bible, seen again and again throughout the New and Old Testaments, is idolatry.  What do we put first in our lives?  What are we worshipping?  Do we worship the God who created it all, or do we instead worship some small part of His good creation? 
 
Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire…The people of Israel had never actually seen God.   When He actually appeared before them, they saw no form – “And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” Exodus‬ ‭19:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  They had never actually seen God, and so they were prone to create their own images of whatever they thought He might look like (not unlike today).  
 
beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.   The cultures around Israel would create their own images to worship, and it was a great temptation for the Israelites to follow suit and do the same.  After all, seeing is believing, and maybe the thought of an abstract, distant God just wasn’t satisfying to them.  The Canaanites and Egyptians would create idols in the form of all kinds of creatures, whether man and woman, or the beasts of the earth.  The Egyptians in particular would worship idols in the form of oxen, cows, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, hawks, cranes, crocodiles, frogs, beetles, and any and all of the fish of the Nile.  So, here we have a specific warning not to follow suit and worship these idols as their surrounding cultures did.  This is a warning not to worship any living thing created by God, but to worship the God who created it.

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.   The stars above us have been worshipped from the beginning of time.  These hosts of heaven here are actually being referred to as Gods to be worshipped by the nations Yahweh rejected as His own.  The Israelites are His people and they are to worship Him only.  
This really brings me to my point today.  The creation of God is awe inspiring in its beauty and majesty.  We look at the variety of life in our planet and wonder how it all came to be.  But we look at the beauty and majesty of the world we live in, and we come to worship the creation rather than the creator.  We may not make idols of an ape, or an eagle, or an elephant, or a mountain, or the sky above.  But we certainly fall into a trap of idolizing the whole of creation.  We worship our good Mother Nature, learning all we can about her laws and how she works, forgetting the creator who made it all.  We create alternative religions worshipping the delicate balance that’s required to keep it all going.  We marvel at the intricate, precise design of it all.  But we forget the designer of it all.  We can’t comprehend the intelligence behind it all, so we simply declare it to be some kind of random chance happening multiplied over time.  But look at the world around you.  Look at all the life in the oceans and rivers, from the smallest phytoplankton to the 100 foot blue whale.   The minnow in the stream to the great white shark.  Look at the land and the skies.  The insects to the mouse to the cat to the lion to the elephant to the giraffe.  The hummingbird to the crow to the vulture to the falcon to the eagle.  To us.  The mountains and the valleys.  The smallest dandelion to the Redwood Forest.  They want to tell us it all comes from a random amoeba, which itself appeared randomly from nothing.  
Seriously, take a breath.  Oxygen.  Exhale, carbon dioxide.  Just look around you.  Love nature.  But know that it is not some random accident.  You are not a random accident.  
Love God!!
 


“”Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:15-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/deu.4.15-19.esv

 

John Lewis

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