“As the attentive student, guided by the Holy Spirit, observes nature, they will find that the act of creation was but an expression of God’s love”
“We see that in nature everything exists entirely to minister to another’s good”
“But like everything else in creation, man cannot declare or reveal God’s glory unless he himself has the very character of God.”
Interpreting Love Notes
By: Akilah Ballard
One of the most rudimentary spiritual truths we first learn is that God is our Creator. However, as we grow in our relationship with God a more thought provoking question might present itself as to what does the act of creation reveal about the Creator? As I meditated on the first chapter of Genesis – the story of creation – one morning, my heart was quickened with an overwhelming joy and adoration for God. It was as if each line of scripture was a love note which was sweeter than honey to my soul. We find that David as well had a sweet experience as his mind dwelt on this theme.
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?” Psalms 8:3-4.
When David considered, or meditated, on creation he came to a conclusion about God: that He was mindful (or thoughtful) of man. Again in Psalms 19:1, David makes mention that “the heavens declare the glory of God…” Thus creation itself reveals something about its Maker. As the attentive student, guided by the Holy Spirit, observes nature, they will find that the act of creation was but an expression of God’s love. As they note how everything made provides for the happiness and adapts to the needs, not only of man, but of every living creature(1), they would declare in a spirit of praise with the psalmist: “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing” Psalms 145:16.
But creation can only show God’s glory as it itself bares the same character of God. As God is good, so His creation was good. And we find that in the beginning, before the fall of man, this was so. Throughout the creation account, after nearly every element of nature was made, this comment was given: “…and God saw that it was good” (Gn 1:4, 10, 12, 17, 21, 25, 31). The word “saw” implies that God examined or at least observed it. What can be observed about nature which would elicit the Divine assessment that “it was good”? Shortly put: it was unselfish.
We see that in nature everything exists entirely to minister to another’s good. The soil, full of nutrients and minerals, would be wholly useless unless a plant through its roots receives those nutrients. The fruit tree in turn does not bear fruit to feed itself, but provides food for another. Trees not only soothe man with the calming effect of its green color and shade from heat, but they also absorbs carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and in turn release a very vital element for man’s existence: oxygen. The beautiful scenes of nature (such as the flowers, waterfalls and mountains) do not bask in their own beauty, but gladden the hearts of those whose eyes rest upon its delightful splendor.
Just as the heavens declare God’s glory, so Isaiah 43:7 teaches us that man was created for the glory of God. But like everything else in creation, man cannot declare or reveal God’s glory unless he himself has the very character of God. The next natural question of the thoughtful mind would be: so should man then, whom God has created…the same God who has created everything else with the attribute of “seeking not her own”, be wholly shut up to himself?
Christ taught that love, the basis of the law, is expressed in two distinct ways: love for God and love for man (note Mt 22:36 – 40; Gal 5:14). Therefore, if the decision of how to dress, what occupation to obtain, what to eat or what type of entertainment to engage in for example, cannot produce the desired effect of ministering to another’s good or of pleasing God, it should be forsaken. One should ask oneself: Is my sole ambition in life to live to please God and to serve others, or do I study only my own advancement, even to the detriment of others? Just as the soil’s qualities is of no good use except it receives to give, so man’s life is of no good use except he uses his gifts to the betterment of others.
Sin, the transgression of God’s law, has defaced the very image of God in man. Yet, as every manifestation of creative power is an expression of Divine love(2), so the act of recreating His image in man is an expression of love. Psalms 136:1 reasons that God is good because of His enduring mercy. Where can one see the goodness described as the enduring mercy of God? As it was only the fall of man which necessitated mercy, so it is only through the study of the plan of redemption that man can see a depth of God’s mercy and love that heretofore were unseen. Additionally Romans 1:17 tells us that within the gospel the righteousness (or the character) of God is revealed. May the Holy Spirit help us to interpret every passage of scripture and the handwritings in nature as love notes which testify to the gracious, merciful and loving character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ,(Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1892), 9.
(2) Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1890), 33.