Friday, February 15, 2013

Through a Glass, Darkly

First Quarter 2013 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
Through a Glass, Darkly
For the week of Feb. 16, 2013
Through a Glass, Darkly
            The Bible calls for our Worship of God, not only due to salvation, but due to the fact that He as Creator has demonstrated His love for His creation.  We may see in every leaf, every creature, every aspect of nature the love and intelligence of the Creator's hand.  Certainly sin has greatly influenced and degraded God's creation, and the themes of death and decay are everywhere, but the themes of resurrection and restoration are also seen in the cycle of life, in the birth of new creatures, in the miracle of the seed, and the scientific properties that keep seas in their boundaries, etc. we see the miracle of the Hand of God. 

            What does nature reveal, and not reveal, about the character of God?  We obviously have the reality that organic matter did not originate from nothing, implying the reality of,  and necessity for a creator.  As He is the creator, He is the owner of all, and responsible for the care and vigilant watch over all creation.  We are told to worship Him who created the earth and all that is in it, and the Sabbath, in one of its many functions, reminds us of the act of Creation and the fact that God made all things good. 

            Because the earth, in its unfallen state, was created good, the truth of our dependence on God for all things leads inevitably to the truth that such dependence leads to being treated good.  "Come Taste and See that the Lord is good."  "It is the goodness of God that leads thee to repentance."  We are Christ's by Creation and Redemption, and both acts are incredible demonstrations of a Father's love.  The earth bears evidence of the curse from sin, from decay and death, conflict, warfare, immorality, selfishness, and many other aspects of this troubled world, yet God maintains this world, continues to "rain on the just and unjust", and provides for basic human needs.  We see the work of righteousness and love as well as sin all around us. 

            The evidences of the warfare in the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan are ever before us.  The effects of sin are on the psyche of every human being, and the world is broken, groaning, and slowly dying, waiting for the day that God will remake the heavens and the earth in holiness.  Satan does have the ability to cause great destruction and suffering.  We must be careful in the conclusions we draw about God and His creation, but there is evidence of the laws of nature, the healing power inherent in the human body, the resilience of nature, the miraculous properties we find in the processes of biology and other sciences, and many other miracles of the power of God. 

            I once knew a psychologist who was also a pathologist, and he spoke of his experience in doing a study of the human brain, central nervous system, and the human eye.  He spoke in awe at his growing respect for God's creative power and his surrender to the truth that creation was not the random act of biological forces, but the work of intelligence and love. 

            Theodore Roosevelt used to stand on the portico at the White House with one of his aides, and as they looked up into the heavens, and recited the statistics of the vast universe, the number of galaxies then known, the number of stars in each galaxy, etc. Roosevelt would laugh and smile his toothy grin and say, "We can go to sleep now.  Now I feel small enough."  As Psalm 4:4 says, "Stand in awe, and sin not."  The creation truly speaks of God's care, and the concept that an intelligent being could oversee this vast expanse of the universe speaks of a love and intelligence that is totally beyond our comprehension.  Yet this testimony and witness is incomplete, and we will someday see God and comprehend Him in a way we are not fully capable of now.                                                                                                                                                                                                    
-Thomas Cusack

Raul Diaz