America the Beautiful
The breathtaking grandeur of the Grand Canyon (Claudia Gestro)
My wife and I recently returned from a vacation. We drove west. The Grand Canyon, Petrified Forrest, Painted Dessert, an Ice Cave, and a volcano were all stops we made in the American Southwest.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to see most of the United States. I have pretty much been everywhere except the Pacific Northwest and the Eastern Panhandle. I have always wanted to visit Maine, maybe in a few years.
While admiring the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, I could not help but think of how all this beauty was formed as the waters from Noah’s flood receded. My mind moves to the obvious layers of the Canyon. The weightier stuff is on the bottom, just as things would settle in a glass of water. Thinking deeper, I consider the fossil record, again, the smaller animals on top, heavier animals at the bottom, settled by weight. Then my crazy mind thinks of fossil fuels, formed by massive pressure, not over millions of years but from the water of Noah’s flood. The immense weight of the water crushed all living things as the waters fell from heaven and came up through every crevice (Genesis 7:11, 8:2). Only those on the ark survived. Next time you stop at the gas station, remember that might be great, great, great, add about 117 more greats here, grandpa, you are putting in the tank.
Okay, if you are still reading, let us move on from the science of the flood to the glory of creation.
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” These are the first words of Scripture and are God’s great take it or leave it statement. If God is the Creator, then you can believe the rest of the book. Why? There were no human eyewitnesses of the origin of the universe. Adam did not show up till day six. Moses, who wrote Genesis, came some 2,000 years later. If the creation account of Genesis is correct, it proves the truth of Scripture.
If God is not the Creator, if the universe came by some gigantic galactic accident or a natural process that took billions of years, then the book’s first line is a lie. How then can you believe the rest?
Science thought the world was flat for a long, long time. Isaiah 40:22 was written a little before 700 BC, roughly 2200 years before Columbus. The verse speaks of the “circle of the earth,” telling us the world is round. “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:” Follow the truth, aka, the Bible.
Our planet sits where it does in the universe because God put it there. Similar to hanging an ornament onto a Christmas tree. Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”
One fascinating thing about the story of creation in Genesis One is that God starts with nothing. Except for mankind, He created everything by speaking it into existence. Repeatedly throughout the chapter, it reads, “And God said…” It is not until chapter two that we read of God making Adam from the earth’s dirt and Eve from Adam’s rib.
The Psalmist backs up the power of God’s creative voice. Psalm 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”
All life comes from God. God’s miracle of giving life happens every day. With wild and domesticated animals and us humans. God is the giver of life, and He forms life in the womb. Life has no other source. (John 1:3-4, John 14:6, Colossians 1:16).
God created the universe and you. Isaiah 44:24, “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;”
From before the moment of conception, God knows you and has a plan for you, just as He did for the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
One last thing about God being the Creator – The earth we stand on, the stars of the sky, the galaxies far, far, away, is called the universe. Uni means one, and verse means voice. The word universe means one voice. Even our language understands, “And God said…”
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With houses of worship still under restrictions across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com