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Friday, January 24, 2014

When God Speaks Through Creation

Romans 1 : 18 – 23, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. NKJV
If you have personally tasted and seen that the Lord is good, then you might wonder why people turn away from the love of God. Perhaps the Words of Jesus explains how so many people in the world have rejected, or at the least ignored God’s forgiveness and His great love. It is because they have not taken the time to experience it. However, Jesus tells us that when someone has been forgiven of much, there will be much love. Therefore, for those who have participated in His unmerited favor and the riches of His glory dwelling in their hearts, it seems unnatural to them that anyone would not want to partake of God’s goodness.
Until a person humbles their heart and turns to the Lord, Satan will continually offer temptations and distractions as a means to prevent them from getting to know God personally. Even though millions of people throughout the world discount or dishonor the relevance and significance of God’s love and grace, God has not rejected them.    
Peter teaches us in his epistle that God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Therefore, God reveals Himself to them through His creation. I know that may sound a little unorthodox, but it’s the truth. Reread today’s passages from Romans to confirm that what I am writing to you is the truth. Paul says that God uses creation to make known His invisible attributes to those who have rejected the “orthodox” method (preaching) of reaching them. You see; God is the Creator of all things. Consequently, His invisible fingerprint is on His creation. It’s not that creation is something that is to be worshiped; it will, however, lead us back to its Creator.  
God has and will continue to use both His creation and the creatures that He has made to remind man that He is God. I’ll give you a few examples: The prophet Balaam was called on by King Balak to speak a curse over Israel. God warned Balaam not to go; nevertheless, Balaam hardened his heart to God’s voice. The prophet saddled his donkey and moved ahead with his plans to appease King Balak. On the way to his destination, Balaam was about to encounter the sword of an angel. Even though Balaam couldn’t see the angel and his drawn sword, his donkey saw him. Afraid to go on any further, the donkey refused to move, even though Balaam beat him. Finally, the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey to tell Balaam that there was an angel, who wouldn’t allow him to pass by. When his beast of burden spoke, it got the attention of Balaam, the prophet, who had decided to ignore the voice of God.
In both illustrations that I have shared, the man was in rebellion to God’s voice. Therefore, God used an animal to speak on His behalf. If it seems strange that an animal would be able to communicate to a person, let me remind you of Eve and the serpent. In her story, it wasn’t the woman who was in rebellion; it was the serpent that was being used by Satan. The serpent spoke lies to Eve and deceived her into believing that she would become like God if she partook of the tree of knowledge. In the previous stories, it was God who used the animals. However, in this one, it was Satan who was using the serpent. I use Eve’s encounter with a serpent to show you that not only did God speak through animals, but so did Satan. Satan uses God’s creation as an attempt to turn people’s hearts away from worshiping God, and to persuade them to worship creation.  
When God uses the creation to deal with the hearts of the rebellious, it will point them back to God. Nevertheless, when Satan uses the creation to harden people’s hearts, it will lead them away from God. Neither the trees nor the creatures are God; nonetheless, they will clearly reflect the attributes of their Creator. Only God is to be worshiped.
Witnessing the Invisible Attributes of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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