I have been in love with the Creator and with His creation all of my life. This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a class on forest ecology and sat amazed for three and a half hours pondering how God in His wisdom assembled the ecosystems that function with such intricacy throughout creation. Psalm 112:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.”
While there’s a lot of discussion regarding the matter of origins and how it all came to be, my increasing preference is to focus on the question of “why” it all came to be. The “how” question only seems to divide people including believers, and in all honesty, the Church hasn’t always been the leaders in scientific thought and discovery. Remember Galileo?
Recently I came across this statement from the Belgic Confession (doctrinal standard of the 14th century Reformed Churches in Belgium and Netherlands) that affirms in a deep theological way, the answer to the question – “Why did God create the universe?”
Here is how it reads:
Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God
We know him by two means:
- First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God: his eternal power, and his divinity, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20 “All these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse.”
- Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own.
John Stott, a leading evangelical thinker, writer, lecturer, and although unknown to many, an avid naturalist and ornithologist, summarized it by saying, “It is through God’s creation that we see his glory; it is by his Word [Bible] that we come understand his grace.”
In a recent gathering, a friend shared how he has been searching for proof of God’s existence for the past year. He has been asking God to show him a sign, to do something so he could be sure of his existence. It’s sad to think that God has demonstrated his glory to us in such extravagant ways and yet we miss the point. As one participant in the discussion put it, “For years I tried to follow the big bang theory to the very end of its logical course and when I did I still could not answer the question – but then who created the first hydrogen atom?”
I’ll tell you what, turn off the television tonight and step outside your back door. Look up at the sky and try to fathom the fact that no other planet in all the universe has been found that supports life as we know it here on earth. Then ask yourself why, not how. Why did God create an entire universe in which it appears earth may be the only planet on which life, as we know it, can be supported? And just why did he cause us to ponder questions like this? Finally, what conclusion do you think he intends us to draw?