The Coming of Snow and the Coming of the Word

I love this extended analogy–although it’s almost eastern in its “coming into one,” it deftly expresses the connection between natural and human expressions of praise and how they are all useful in His eyes:

Snow.” As sure as every falling flake of winter’s snow has a part in the great economy of nature, so surely has every Word of God which falls within the sanctuary its end to accomplish in the moral sphere. I have stood on a winter’s day, and seen the tiny flakes in little clouds lose themselves one by one in the rushing river. They seemed to die to no purpose – to be swallowed up by an enemy which ignored both their power and their existence. And so have I seen the Word of God fall upon human hearts. Sent of God, from day to day and from year to year, I have seen it dropping apparently all resultless into the fierce current of unbelief – into the fiercer gulf-stream of worldliness which was sweeping through the minds and the lives of the hearers. But as I stood upon the river’s bank and looked upon what seemed to be the death of the little fluttering crystal, a second thought assured me that it was but death into life, and that every tiny flake which wept its life away in the rushing waters, became incorporate with the river’s being. So when I have seen the Word of God fall apparently fruitless upon the restless, seething, rushing current of human life, a recovered faith in the immutable declaration of God has assured me that what I looked upon was not a chance or idle death, but rather the falling of the soldier, after that he had wrought his life-force into the destiny of a nation and into the history of a world. And so it must ever be. The Word of God ever reaches unto its end. – S. S. Mitchell, in a Sermon entitled “The Coming of the Snow and the Coming of the Word,” 1884.

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Psalm 149 Creation Praising Their Creator

I like the way this psalm hems everything in with praise to Him.  From Adam and Eve to the end of the world, the right state of all human and natural things is to proclaim the glory of their Lord.  On the past:

“Milton, in his Paradise Lost (Book V., line 153, etc.), has elegantly imitated this Psalm, and put it into the mouth of Adam and Eve as their morning hymn in a state of innocency.”

– James Anderson.

Note to self:  I need to read Paradise Lost again some day–slowly.  And on the future:

This Psalm is neither more nor less than a glorious prophecy of that coming day, when not only shall the knowledge of the Lord be spread over the whole earth, as the waters cover the sea, but from every created object in heaven and in earth, animate and inanimate, from the highest archangel through every grade and phase of being, down to the tiniest atom – young men and maidens, old men and children, and all kings and princes, and judges of the earth, shall unite in this millennial anthem to the Redeemer’s praise.

– Barton Bouchier

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Psa 148:1  Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise Him from the skies!
Psa 148:2  Praise Him, all His angels! Praise Him, all the armies of heaven!
Psa 148:3  Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all you twinkling stars!
Psa 148:4  Praise Him, skies above! Praise Him, vapors high above the clouds!
Psa 148:5  Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for He issued His command, and they came into being.

Just occurred to me in passing that the new agers have it all backward—it should be the creation praising the Creator, not the creation praising the creation.  We should not praise the stars, sun and moon, nor look at them for divination.  Someday those very stars will also bow and praise Him–as it should be.

and….

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship.  Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known.  They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.  Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. ”

-Psalm 19:1-4

The Character of God is Revealed by His Creation

Evolution may be atheistic; but the doctrine of creation logically demands worship; and hence, as the tree is known by its fruit, it proves itself to be true. Those who were created by command are under command to adore their Creator. The voice which said “Let them be,” now saith “Let them praise.”   -Spurgeon

Once there is a Creator, an original “mover” or whatever you wish to call God, then His work demands a response.  How can we look at the majesty of His creation and not lift our eyes to worship Him?  I like his comment here too:

“The highest praise of God is to declare what he is. We can invent nothing which would magnify the Lord: we can never extol him better than by repeating his name, or describing his character. The Lord is to be extolled as creating all things that exist, and as doing so by the simple agency of his word. He created by a command; what a power is this!”  -Spurgeon

The order of creation, the way that time and the universe orderly continue to work out His plans, testify to His attributes and praise.  Thus, it makes sense to me when I read yesterday that our yes should be yes and our no, no; we should keep our promises humble because we have so very little under our own control.   We do not have the power to change the color of even one of our hairs, to add one day to the scope of our earthy lives or an inch to our stature while here.   We are fragile needy people who should not make promises that we cannot keep or guarantee:

“But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” -Matthew 5:34-36

I think Christ and the Psalmist’s point in both cases is to allow the glory of His creation and what He can do dominate the landscape of our minds.   As we acknowledge and witness His greatness, we are able to see our own position with right eyes and a right heart.

“His almighty power upholds all things in their spheres, securing the march of stars and the flight of seraphs; and thus the music of the upper regions is never marred by discord, nor interrupted by destruction. The eternal hymn is for ever chanted; even the solemn silence of the spheres is a perpetual psalm.” -Spurgeon

When we look up at the stars and feel very small, we can feel lost, even insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe.  We should look up with eyes that appreciate Him and glory in the thought that He created us with some resemblance to Him at all.  We hold a privileged place in His creation.   We are granted the ability to be self aware and other-aware.  Let us not waste the gifts we have been given or make so much of ourselves that we can’t see Him for who He is.

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Another thought on this creationist/evolutionist perspective–this time from Psalm 147:

“And the wonder of the peculiarity is enhanced by thoughts borrowed from the wonders of nature. We know a thousand times more of the nature, formation, and purpose of the snow than the Psalmist did. But that knowledge is dearly earned if our science destroys our faith. What amount or precision of scientific knowledge can compensate us for the loss of the spiritual sensibility, Which in all the wonders and beauties of the Creation brings us into personal contact with an infinitely wise mind and an infinitely loving heart?” – Hugh Macmillan, in “Two Worlds are Ours,” 1880.