Wisdom 13: 1-9
For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature;
and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists,
nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works;
but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,
or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,
or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is their Lord,
for the author of beauty created them.
And if people were amazed at their power and working,
let them perceive from them
how much more powerful is the one who formed them.
For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.
Yet these people are little to be blamed,
for perhaps they go astray
while seeking God and desiring to find him.
For while they live among his works, they keep searching,
and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful.
Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
for if they had the power to know so much
that they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?
Psalm 19: 1-4
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
All artists know that when they create a piece of art, it started first as an idea within them. Then the idea starts to grow and can almost burn within them urging them to create. When the piece is in existence, we marvel at it’s beauty while the artists sees a tiny reflection of themselves in the work. The art came completely from them, but the art is nowhere near the entirety of the artist. While there is beauty to be marveled at within the art itself, too often our wonderment stops there. The deeper marvel would be to ponder the artist asking what inspired them and how they obtained their skill. Too often in the secular world, our intrigue stops at the creation itself instead of pressing in to seek the creator.
In our modern world we are especially concerned about the impact of the climate and we wonder if our planet is headed toward destruction due to our actions. These are reasonable questions to ask and a fair concern to have. It’s fair because the earth was given to us by God to care for. However, the extremist view of preserving nature can frequently turn into a glorification of nature where we are worshipping the created instead of the creator. God made the earth and all of us because some part of His divine imagination burned within Him until He did. But He did not intend for us to be so caught up in the beauty of nature that we only acknowledge its wonder without seeing Him as the divine artist.
So what does God ask of us? God wants us to seek Him in all things because all of creation is designed to bring us into relation with God. His heart is that we recognize Him in His works and thank and praise Him.
Today, the Lord is reminding us to go beyond the grandeur of what He has done to see how grand He is. Do we seek to honor God in gratitude for His presence in our lives, and seek the giver of the goodness, or goodness itself? Take time today to express gratitude and praise to the Lord and ask Him to appropriately align your values so that all glory, honor, and praise is given to Him.