Posted in theology

Delicate beauty, intelligently created

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m still in summer-ocean-seashell mode. I’d written about Gifts from the Sea a week ago, here is another short meditation on the natural world and the Creator.

I lived for two years on a sailboat, sailing from Maine to the Bahamas and back, twice. That was fun. To keep occupied, I broadened and deepened my interest in the natural world and focused that interest on shells and the animals that lived in them. I learned how to spot the animals’ habitat based on how the shell was designed. Intertidal mollusks vs. rock clinging mollusks or digging mollusks.

The one thing that attracts people to shells, though, is their beauty. And how they are designed. Did you know that a univalve (one-hole mollusk) is born with a tiny apex attached to itself? As it goes thru life it grows the shell around itself. But it grows the shell in a pattern that has a defined ratio, and this ratio is consistent throughout the mollusk world, and also the natural world. Ferns grow at the same ratio.

EPrata photo

The Italian mathematician Leonardo da Pisa, or AKA Fibonacci, discovered this. He also introduced the decimal system to Europe, replacing the Roman Numerals in the 1200s (thank goodness!) Mollusk shells grow in a logarithmic spiral manner, always. Since the mollusks don’t have a brain that tells them to grow this way, and since the logarithmic consistency is carried over to other natural elements such as the pine cone and the sunflower and a snowflake, proponents of Intelligent Design use Fibonacci as a basis for the argument that the world that has been externally designed by a Master Intelligence.

We know that ‘intelligence’ not as an intelligence, but as a Person: God.

 

In any case, shells are exquisite, and a joy to discover as you walk the beach.

Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Fractals definition: Geometrical entities characterised by basic patterns that are repeated at ever decreasing sizes. They are relevant to any system involving self-similarity repeated on diminished scales (such as a fern’s structure) as in the study of chaos.

Nautilus Photo from National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions Really cool photos!!

Posted in theology

Gifts from the Sea

By Elizabeth Prata

Happy Fourth of July long weekend, if you’re taking it off! For many of us the beginning of July is high summer. Lots of families take vacations at this time of year, and many of those, choose to go to the beach.

Shells, sea glass, rocks, coral, barnacles, and pottery from the sea, collected from Labrador to the Bahamas. Prata photo

I used to take a week off at Christmas and head to Florida, and the week of the 4th I’d go to my favorite spot in Maine, Lubec. If you see the map of Maine as a profile of a dog, Lubec is at the dog’s nose. It borders Canada separated only by a narrow inlet. The bridge from Lubec takes you to Campobello Island on the Canadian island of New Brunswick.

As you might guess, the beaches on the hardy, rockbound and foggy coast of Maine are wild. As a matter of fact, Dr Beach, AKA Stephen Leatherman, several years ago rated a beach near Lubec as the most wild in America.

In December, I took my vacation at Venice FL, where the sand beaches are white and the ocean is azure and gentle at the Gulf coast.

Beaches around the US and around the world all have their own personalities. Each one yields up its own treasures. At Jasper Beach in Machias Maine, the beach has no sand! There’s only smoothly polished rocks of rhyolite and jasper. At Lubec’s Globe Cove, the sea yields sea glass, from the hundreds of years the fishing fleet used to throw over their glass bottles. At Venice FL, the sea yields up shark’s teeth in great numbers. At the deserted beaches in The Bahamas, you find coral washed up, bleached and in interesting twisted shapes. In Labrador, you find scallop shells bigger than your hand! All you need is one of these for dinner!

You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. (Psalm 89:9)

And of course, there’s shells!

If you’re headed to the beach, or are already there, here are a few facts I found fascinating. As you amble along the borderline between ocean and ground, as you wade in the waters to cool your tired feet, as you shield your eyes and gaze out to the limitless blue expanse, praise God for making such a beautiful habitation, and its creatures so complex and wondrous.

My favorite shell is the moon snail. He has a lot of cousins. They all have that sweet spiral, so pleasing to the eye. Their hushed colors of slate grey or moon blue are also pleasing. In the US’s warmer waters and the tropics the shell colors are brighter. Some think this is because of the temperature of the ocean. Others think it’s because of the different food available that translates through digestion to the calcium the shells are made of. Scientists still aren’t sure what kinds of pigments the mollusks are using. The reasons for shell coloration and variation are a mystery to scientists, but God created them all. In one day! He knows why their colors and shaes are so varied. Perhaps to create a palette of beauty that glorifies Him.

Juvenile whelk, collected Gulf Coast Florida. Prata photo

Moon snails for all their delicate beauty are actually rapacious predators. The holes you see on other snail shells are made by the moon snail. He climbs on top of a shell, spits acid, uses his tongue lined with teeth to drill a hole, then spews acid onto the hapless mollusk inside. He waits for his prey to melt a little, then inserts his stomach into the hole and absorbs the prey.  Ouch! Yuck!

This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name: (Jeremiah 31:35)

Did you know that the moon snail is hatched with a little shell attached already? That’s the point at the start of the spiral. So cool.

Moon snail, collected Maine. Prata photo

Scallops can grow into the size of dinner plates, their age shown by lines on the shell – just like the rings of a tree. I found that one in the photo at the top, in Blanc Sablon near Labrador Canada.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. (Psalm 146:6)

The Bahamas has been described as having the third most extensive coral reef system in the world. Did you know? Andros Island has a 140-mile Barrier Reef – and that is one of the longest coral reefs in the world.

Coral. The Bahamas. Prata photo

Did you know? Corals are in fact animals, not plants. Coral reefs are the largest structures on earth of biological origin.

Sea glass is becoming rarer.

Did you know? Sea glass takes 20 to 40 years, and sometimes as much as 100 years, to acquire its characteristic texture and shape. Sea glass begins as normal shards of broken glass that are then persistently tumbled and ground until the sharp edges are smoothed and rounded. In this process, the glass loses its slick surface but gains a frosted appearance over many years.
Naturally produced sea glass (“genuine sea glass”) originates as pieces of glass from broken bottles, broken tableware, or even shipwrecks, which are rolled and tumbled in the ocean for years until all of their edges are rounded off, and the slickness of the glass has been worn to a frosted appearance.

This article talks about the best places to find sea glass and mentions Jasper Beach in Machiasport, Maine among other beaches Downeast. That’s where you find the round and tumbled stones. Some glass can be found there, too. But if you’re going that far, drive just a bit further to Lubec, and walk the small beach at Globe Cove. That’s where even more sea glass treasure can be found.

If you spot some sea glass, salute our God who made the ocean and currents’ motion so strong that over time his waters will wear away hard glass.

See the barnacles on the scallop? Apparently in Labrador they grow em big! Barnacles are a sea creature that attaches to things, like they did to the underside of our sailboat. Enough of them get on there and it slows down the boat considerably, creating a lot of drag. Occasionally you have to pull the boat out of the water at a marina and scrape them off.

Barnacles on a scallop. They make it hard for the scallop to swim, too. Prata photo

Did you know that the cement barnacles use is stronger than anything man can make synthetically? How barnacles did it was a mystery from time immemorial until 2014. The US Navy has been intensely interested in barnacles, partly because of the issue of slowing the boats when barnacles grow on the hull, and also because the cement the creatures use is so sticky in salt water!!

When you’re walking on a pier and see the barnacles on the pilings, salute our God who made them so super strong.

Jasper Beach Machiasport ME. Prata photo

Whether it’s shark’s teeth, shells, rocks, sea glass, pottery, or any other treasure you find on vacation, praise God who made it all in 6 days by the power of His word and the creativity of His intellect.

Below you’ll find some resources I’ve enjoyed to help me learn more (and perhaps extend my vacation even after I get home?) the wonderful finds you find at the beach!

Conchologists of America, information about the shells and the animals that inhabit them. Conchologist is a shell collector.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote a books of poems and thoughts called Gift from the Sea. Here is the link to the 50th anniversary edition

Remembering Lubec: Stories from the Easternmost Point (American Chronicles) 
is a short book about life in that harsh but beautiful climate and location

This is a good book, and pretty, too: Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems

 

Posted in encouragement, theology

Springtime! Flowers! Butterflies!

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s spring, full-on, here in the South. I was reading a passage with one of my students this week called From Chrysalis to Butterfly. It’s that time of year we start seeing the flowers bloom and then come the butterflies. I started thinking about butterflies. I like butterflies. See?

Toshiba Exif JPEG

butterfly 4

butterfly 5

There is a documentary about butterflies that I found fascinating and extremely well done. It’s called Metamorphosis: The beauty and design of butterflies

metamorphosis
Description:

Throughout history butterflies have fascinated artists and philosophers, scientists and school children with their profound mystery and beauty. In METAMORPHOSIS you will explore their remarkable world as few have before.

Spectacular photography, computer animation and magnetic resonance imaging open once hidden doors to every stage of a butterfly’s life-cycle. From an egg the size of a pinhead…to a magnificent flying insect. It is a transformation so incredible biologists have called it “butterfly magic.”

The superbly engineered body of a butterfly is magnified hundreds of times to reveal compound eyes made of thousands of individual lenses, wings covered with microscopic solar panels that warm the insect’s muscles for flight, and navigational systems that unerringly guide Monarch butterflies on their annual migration from Canada to Mexico.

How did these extraordinary creatures come into being? Are they the products of a blind, undirected process? Or, were they designed by an intelligence that transcends the material world?

Filmed in the rain forests of Ecuador, Mexico’s Trans-Volcanic mountain range, and leading research centers, METAMORPHOSIS is an unforgettable documentary filled with the joys of discovery and wonder.
—end documentary description—-

Here is the trailer for it

It is told from a Christian perspective. The movie is great family viewing, for adults just wanting some encouragement of the beauty of creation, or for homeschooling parents doing a science unit (aimed at adults, some of the documentary will have to be explained to little ones). The photography is super and it leaves you with the unavoidable conclusion that God and only God can have made this amazing creature.

Happy Spring!

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The view from space: “We are all so unbelievably small”

God is majestic. He is enormous in power, might, will, strength, and mind. He made the universe in 6 successive, literal days, with just His voice. He created all the stars and named them also. This achievement is incredible to wrap our minds around, especially since we as humans are self-centered and myopic. We can’t conceive of exactly how big the universe is partly because we’re seeking our own glory which blinds us to it. We tend to magnify our own selves as a human race. (Genesis 11:1-9).

We also diminish God in His power, especially because He is invisible. (John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8). However, God created the universe, moon, sun, and earth as a sign to us sinful creatures who in our pre-salvation state, do not know Him. As it says in Romans 1:18-20,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

It’s highly important to believe and understand that Genesis 1 is literal. It is not poetry, allegory, or hyperbole. It is lyrical, to be sure, but it is a record of actual history as it happened. It is revealed to us by the One and only witness to its creation: Jehovah.

Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.
(Revelation 4:11.)

When Paul preached to the Gentiles, he used creation to convict them of God’s existence. (Acts 14:15; 17:24-26.) He then used that truth in the Gospel’s proclamation. By this, we know that Paul believed the opening chapters of Genesis as historical fact as revealed.

I’ve felt an increasing burden for the evangelical world’s compromise of and even outright rejection of Genesis 1 as literal fact. On blogs, I see that when asked, major ministries claim that Genesis 1/literal creation/young earth is a tangential issue not appropriate to bring up in evangelism. Yet Paul used creation and Genesis 1 as the foundation of evangelism in Acts and Romans!

In personal conversations with people they tell me that Genesis 1 isn’t a battleground because, well, the Gospel isn’t there. But it is! Genesis 1 & 2 demonstrate the Creator to whom we are all responsible.  Genesis 3 shows us the reason we need the Gospel and contains the protoevangelium.

I’ve been feeling this burden for Genesis 1 for a few months now. I intuit that it is from the Lord and that it is in my heart and mind for a reason. I’ll be writing about it, I surmise, several times in upcoming blogs.

Today’s point I’d be pleased that you take away is that preaching a literal Genesis 1 aligns with the foundational truth Paul used when he preached to the Gentiles.  Preaching Genesis 1’s literal and 6-day creation doesn’t have the same impact, say, if you were to tell the Gentile it’s just a poem.

Please watch this short video to see how unbelievably small we are, and by comparison how unbelievably big God is. I don’t think it is produced with a Creation/Creator perspective in mind, but it is factual and amazing nonetheless.

Scripture cannot be broken, and the battle for Genesis 1 as literal and historical is the primary and starting hill to die on.

 

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday: Sin’s poison is visible in the world

A version of this was originally published on The End Time in December 2009

Jan Brueghel the Elder
THE GARDEN OF EDEN WITH THE FALL OF MAN

In these waning days of the Age, do you think about the Garden of Eden? What untainted creation must have looked like? I do. The only mirror I have of earth as originally intended is in Genesis 1, and there, the LORD called it “good.” The reverse of that is earth in today’s condition. And today it looks pretty bad.

How far and deep has the effect of sin permeated our waters, our land, our food, and our very bodies and brains? Everything seems as poison now. Creation itself is laboring under the poisonous effects of a sinful world. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:20-22)

“[T]herefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.” (Jer 9:15) Matthew Henry writes of that verse, “Every thing about them, till it comes to their very meat and drink, shall be a terror and torment to them. God will curse their blessings.” Malachi 2:2 is that reminder of His promise to curse even the blessings of food and water.

I am not referring to the curse of oil spills or overflowing landfills or garbage scows nor greenhouse effects. I am talking the tide of sin-pollution and its impact on a falling world. “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets, ‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land.’” (Jeremiah 23:15). If we insist on wallowing in sin, then the Lord obliges by sending its visible manifestation to us and causes us to eat and drink of it.

Worse, “Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.” (Malachi 2:4). Does the dung promise to mean that if we speak refuse, live in refuse, offer Him refuse, that we will eat refuse? That just as we punish a puppy who messes in the house with rubbing his face in it, God will do the same?

How we have allowed sin’s effects to creep like a tide of polluted water to poison the world. How often we see the bitter herb ‘wormwood’ used in the bible as a visible materialization of our sin. And so it will be again: “The name of the star is called Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:11)

Sin is a terminal condition. Do not underestimate how seriously God takes it when we refuse to turn away from sin!! Do not underestimate your own sin! Do not think you will escape! The only remedy is the blessed Hope, His forgiveness, made possible because of His sacrifice of blood on the cross. If you feel burdened with guilt for your misdeeds, and believe Jesus died and rose again for your sin, then ask him with sincere heart to forgive you. Believe on His name. Only the forgiven of sin can dwell with the Most High and Holy. Those with sin in them will be given over to the poison that it truly is, now made increasingly visible and manifest in this dying world.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

God created a colorful world. He didn’t have to…

Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth

When God created the earth, He could have made it colorless. He could have used only His brush strokes of black, or gray, or brown. The world could look like this:

Did you ever wonder why God graced us with a common grace of color? He has made the world beautiful in its time, says Ecclesiastes 3:11. This beauty includes the spectrum of colors which we enjoy in all its prettiness. I particularly enjoy colorful flowers.

The Bible has in it of course, references to colors. It doesn’t, however, really explain if colors of the tabernacle meant anything, if they individually had a symbolism. Other colors do have a symbolism. Here is Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary’s entry on color:

Color, Symbolic Meaning Of

Although the Bible contains relatively few references to individual colors, their symbolic associations are theologically significant. Colors usually symbolize redemptive and eschatological themes. The Bible is, however, silent on whether the colors used in the tabernacle, temple, and priestly garments held symbolic meaning.

Black signifies gloom, mourning, evil, judgment, and death (Lam 4:8; Micah 3:6; Zechariah 6:2 Zechariah 6:6; Revelation 6:5 Revelation 6:12). Its image is often one of dense, impenetrable darkness (Job 3:5; Isa 50:3). The terms “darkness” and “night” parallel this usage (Job 3:3-7; Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15). Hell is the place of “blackest darkness” reserved for the godless (2 Peter 2:17; Jude 13).

The pale horse of Revelation 6:8 resembles the color of the terror-stricken and corpses (cf. Jer 30:6; Dan 10:8). The horse’s color matches the work of its rider. Its rider is called Death, who, with Hades, goes forth to kill a fourth of humankind.

An expensive dye, purple represents wealth and royalty (Judges 8:26; Est 8:15; Daniel 5:7, Daniel 5:16, Daniel 5:29; Luke 16:19); for this reason, idols were attired in purple (Jer 10:9). The purple dress of the harlot symbolized Roman imperial rank (Rev 17:4; Revelation 18:12, Revelation 18:16). Before his crucifixion, Jesus was robed in purple in mockery of him as “king of the Jews” (Mark 15:17, Mark 15:20; John 19:2, John 19:5; cf. Matt 27:28,; “scarlet robe”). Garments of purple suitably clothe a wife of noble character (Prov 31:22).

Red symbolizes blood. Israel’s sin as brilliant scarlet and deep-red crimson is analogous to the bloodstained hands of murderers (Isaiah 1:15 Isaiah 1:18). The images of red, blood-soaked garments of God as an avenging warrior (Isa 63:1-6) and the fiery red horse bringing slaughter through warfare (Zech 6:2; Rev 6:4) describe divine retribution against evildoers (see also Joel 2:31; Rev 6:12). The red color of the dragon (Rev 12:3) and beast (17:3) symbolizes the shedding of innocent blood (11:7; 16:6). The red heifer (Nu 19:1-10) and scarlet wool (Heb 9:19) symbolize the Old Testament means of purification through blood; the New Testament powerfully expresses the fullness of Christ’s atoning work through a contradictory color image: believers’ robes are washed pure white through the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:9 Revelation 7:13-14 ; 19:13-14).

White signifies purity and holiness. It depicts complete forgiveness of sin. David and Israel’s bloodguilt would be fully removed, leaving them whiter than snow/wool (Psalm 51:7; Isa 1:18). It represents the absolute moral purity of God (Da 7:9), Christ (Rev 1:14; Mark 9:3; pars.), angels (Mark 16:5 ; pars. Acts 1:10), and believers (Rev 2:17; 3:4-5; 4:4), and thus of the divine judgment of God (20:11) and Christ (14:14). It indicates the certainty of God’s conquest and victory over evil (Zechariah 6:3 Zechariah 6:6; Rev 6:2; 19:11).

H. Douglas Buckwalter, Bibliography. G. W. Thatcher, Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible, 1:456-58; P. L. Garber, ISBE, 1:729-32; A. Brenner, Colour Terms in the Old Testament; “Color, ” BEB, 1:494-96.

Color is a common grace. Every person on the planet whether young or old, saved and acknowledging the creator or unsaved and worshiping the creation, enjoys the colors of this earth. Everyone can admire a sunset, colorful avian plumage, floral hues that delight the senses.

Theopedia defines common grace as

Common Grace refers to the grace of God that is common to all humankind. It is “common” because its benefits are experienced by the whole human race without distinction between one person and another, believers or unbelievers. It is “grace” because it is undeserved and sovereignly bestowed by God.

The Lord God created a world that is beautiful. Its beauty is enhanced by the colors He created for us (and Him!) to enjoy in our common grace. The painted desert, the lush tropics, the animals, insects, and fish in all their rich tones and hues are a joy. He didn’t have to But He did.

Thank you Lord!

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Worshiping the Creator of creation

I like natural history. It’s God’s creation. I like thinking about how He has created everything from nothing with just a word. I see the intricacy of His creatures and flora and fauna and I’m just amazed. But reading natural history books is a two-edged sword. Most are written from a secular point of view, and at some point the pricks of the constant lies within such books grate, and I abandon the endeavor.

Only to try again later, lol.

I wrote recently about the Victorian craze for seaweed collecting. This was a craze in which mostly women who were constrained by cultural pressure not to collect the more seductive looking plants participated. It was based on an original article at Atlas Obscura, which is a secular magazine. My article was to look at the issue through a biblical lens.

One of the natural history books mentioned in the Atlas Obscura article was a seaweed journal by Margaret Gatty. AO wrote of her,

One of the best known and most dedicated of these so-called seaweeders was Margaret Gatty, a children’s book author who took up the hobby while convalescing in Hastings, on Britain’s southeast coast, in 1848. Gatty’s crowning work of algology, British Sea-Weeds, is an exhaustive compilation of local seaweeds, fully described and illustrated in 86 colored plates.

These are selected plates of her seaweed drawings,

Selected plates from Margaret Gatty’s “British Sea-Weeds.” BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE LIBRARY/PUBLIC DOMAIN

I love those colored plates from natural history books from the 1800s. I own two rare books,

A popular history of the mollusca : comprising a familiar account of their classification, instincts and habits and of the growth and distinguishing characters of their shells, by Mary Roberts, 1851; and

Popular British conchology. A familiar history of the molluscs inhabiting the British Isles, By George Brettingham Sowerby, 1854.

I love the hand colored plates of the plants or animals they carefully drew. I also have several books by Harvard University paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (secular guy, sigh). There’s French poet-philosopher Paul Valery in his engaging meditation on the aesthetics of the seashell, as Amazon describes his work. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s musings on shells in her famous Gift from the Sea. And so many other books. I guess now that I’m thinking of listing them, my library contains quite a few natural history books. Rachel Carson, Farley Mowat, John Hay, Abbot & Dance…

In this article I enjoyed from the New York Times Review of Books, I learned from this article “What the Trees Say,

In 1664 John Evelyn, diarist, country gentleman, and commissioner at the court of Charles II, produced his monumental book on trees: Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest Trees. It was a seventeenth-century best seller. Evelyn was a true son of the Renaissance. His book is learned and witty and practical and passionate all by turns. No later book on trees has ever had such an impact on the British public.

I love trees. Maybe I’ll get that book. Hmmm. Maybe you’ll get those books.

As much as I love reading about the creation from scientists of various kinds, there’s nothing like reading the Bible, God’s actual account of His world. As poetic as Lindbergh was, as witty as John Evelyn was, as precise as Sowerby or Roberts was, the thrill of reading about the creation from God Himself never fails to thrill me. As familiar as these verses are, they still ignite a reverent awe at His power:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7And God madeb the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:1-8)

Nature displays God’s glory. The best place to read about that is His word, what He, Himself, has declared.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. (Psalm 96:11-12)

We are glad because as Job 12:10 says,

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Is there any better place to be, if you’re saved? In His hand? Is there any worse place to be, if you’re not saved?

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)

Read of His creation. The essays, poems, philosophies of the secular writers and scientists is fine, also good are Natural History books on the Bible such as The Scripture Alphabet of Animals by Mrs. Harriet N. Cook, 1842; The Plants of the Bible by John Hutton Balfour, 1885. But the originator of it all is the one to be worshiped and the best place to do that is read of Him in His word.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable. (Isaiah 40:28)
Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The earth groans, too

The creation itself groans under the weight of the curse laid upon it.

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; (Genesis 3:17a)

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:22).

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:39-40)

For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond. (Habakkuk 2:11)

the stones, &c.—Hitherto the Lord had discouraged all demonstrations in His favor; latterly He had begun an opposite course; on this one occasion He seems to yield His whole soul to the wide and deep acclaim with a mysterious satisfaction, regarding it as so necessary a part of the regal dignity in which as Messiah He for this last time entered the city, that if not offered by the vast multitude, it would have been wrung out of the stones rather than be withheld (Hab 2:11). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

A humble praise to the Lord of all creation, the One who has the very earth in His hands. The King of all Glory- Psalm 24:1-4

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,

    the world and those who dwell therein,

for he has founded it upon the seas

    and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

    And who shall stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

    who does not lift up his soul to what is false

    and does not swear deceitfully.

In response to Bible reading, prayers, and devotional this week, I offer my own humble praise to the Lord, who will release the earth and all its believing inhabitants from the curse. Our hearts will be refreshed and made free from sin’s presence. The earth itself will flourish without tempest or stain. What a day that will be!

May the frothy brine

hurling itself upon the stony shores

and heaving in boundless surge

soon whisper your glorious name

in serene tranquility.

May the trees which quiver and shake

in unending winds

driven relentlessly against them,

soon stand as majestic towers of tranquility,

affirming your creative glory.

May the ground under the feet

of the righteous and wicked,

fields and foundations that reel like a drunkard,

soon quell in serene repose

placid under the nail scarred soles of the returning King.

May the earth disgorge its dead-

some to eternal life and others to unending contempt,

yet all to cry out that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

~ By EPrata

[Inspiring verses: Philippians 2:11, Zechariah 14:4, Isaiah 24:20, Luke 19:40]