God’s Powerful Presence in His Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Recently I went on a hike in Vermont to a place called Deer Leap with my husband Ken, my sister-in-law Barbara and my brother-in-law Bruce. The forecast called for scattered thunderstorms.
When Ken and I had hiked the trail seven years earlier, we’d had the same forecast. We’d climbed to the lookout rocks at the top of the summit without a problem, but then rain had begun to pour, making the rocks very slippery. I’d taken a quick peek at the view below, but turned away when I saw lightning. I’d felt my heart rate increase as we’d hurried down the mountain with the wind blowing branches from the trees overhead.
Surely that wouldn’t happen again, I thought. Well, it did. And another powerful storm sent us hurrying back down the trail.
People sometimes blame bad weather on Mother Nature, a personification of nature based on Greek mythology. Even if they’re only joking, they’re missing an opportunity to reflect on God’s greatness. Giving Mother Nature credit for the weather denies all that God revealed about Himself in creation and in the Bible.
Romans 1:20 says that the invisible attributes of God are clearly evident in what He has made. We can see the magnitude of His eternal power and His infinite creativity throughout the natural realm. The Israelites worshiped God by praising Him for His creative acts (ex. Psalm 147:15-18, 148:1-10). David wrote a hymn of praise after he’d witnessed a devastating storm (Psalm 29).
Isaac Watts wrote a hymn of praise to the God of Storms too. In “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” he said:
There’s not a plant nor flower below but makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempest blow by order from Thy throne.
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,
And everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there.
Have you stopped lately to respect God’s glory by acknowledging His powerful presence in His creation?
The idea of “Mother Nature” as the power over the world of nature goes back to Greek mythology and personifies nature in the form of a mother goddess. How is this idea in opposition to what the Bible teaches about creation in such places as Genesis 1 and 2?
Read Matthew 6:26-34. In this passage about not needing to worry, what three examples does God give from nature? How does God care for them? How does He care for us?
There are many melodies given for Watt’s hymn. One is flowery like part of the hymn, but the one that best matches Watt’s depiction of God’s majestic power is the one entitled Ellacombe (after a village in Devonshire, England) by an anonymous lyricist. Go to: http://www.nethymnal.org/htm/i/s/isingthe.htm. Click on Ellacombe.
Nancy J. Baker