Chapter Two: God’s Nature in Nature

Chapter Two

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever, Amen!”   Romans 11:36

Having created the heavens and the earth, and all that dwelt within and upon them, God initiated the first…and still continuing…game of ‘Hide and Go Seek’.  I’m not talking about the incident in the garden with Adam and Eve, though that did employ both components of hiding and seeking (the cause of which we will examine later).  No, I’m referring to the hiding of God’s truths about His nature in the earth’s nature. To ensure mankind would seek Him, He left him with two things:  a questioning mind and a quarry of clues.  Surely, between the two, man would uncover the Creator of all that was, and is, and is to come; surely he would find, stretched between the beginning and the ending, the One who is the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and the Omega. (Revelation 1:8)

So God waited, and He watched, and He wooed; so man pondered, and he prodded, and he ‘pothesized.   What causes the changing of the seasons?  What makes the tides come in and go out?  What holds the planets in orbit?  What causes the formation of rainbows?   Yes, God gave man a questioning mind so that, through asking, He could show up and show out that man might grow up and grow out.  Just where did God place the answers to man’s questions?  He buried them in the earth’s crust and He tucked them into the heaven’s atmosphere and He scattered them across the ocean waves, the sound waves, and the light waves.

Over the years, men have been credited with discovering the clues God embedded in His creation.  Men whose names we recognize like Copernicus, Galilei, and Newton; and men whose names (unless we’re science geeks…or amateur writers who use Google) we don’t recognize like Aristarchus, Shen Kuo, and Theodoric of Freiberg.  Since the beginning of time, man has interacted with the world God created and he has sought to find the answers for the questions that explode like split atoms in his mind.  Though discoveries tend to bear the name of the ones who identified them, it is God who created and concealed them; man simply uncovered them.  Men like Sir Francis Bacon and George Washington Carver acknowledged that their discoveries came from God.  We know because their insights still waft through time and fall upon our inquisitive hearts.

“A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back.” –Sir Francis Bacon

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” –George Washington Carver

“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” –George Washington Carver

So, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that Newton’s laws of motion are actually Elohim’s laws of movement, and Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion originated as El Shaddai’s laws of celestial cohesion.

It is within this preface and upon this premise that the Law of Opposites continues to unfold.  Having created a world defined by opposites, God crammed it with attributes comprised of opposites.  Though they are found within the entire field of science, their existence is summarized in this one statement, in this one law:  for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In textbooks, this is known as Newton’s third law of motion; in Creation’s context, it is known as God’s first law of nature, and its evidence is everywhere.

When we interact with magnets, we learn of their push and their pull: of their polar opposites.  When we look at electricity, the light switch of revelation turns on as we note the presence of electrons and protons, the recognition of negative charges and positive charges.  And what about the buoyancy principle?  According to Archimedes, “the force acting on, or buoying, a submerged or partially submerged object equals the weight of the liquid that the object displaces.”  Here we see that force is calculated by the contrast that occurs when two objects have an opposite impact upon each other; one displaces while the other holds places!

Along with the laws of nature evident within our scientific world, there are also the laws of science evident within our natural world.  For example, when studying rocks and minerals we note their texture and their density.  Are they rough or smooth; are they hard or soft? We find temperatures at which liquids freeze and liquids boil and we manipulate items as they change from a solid, to a liquid, to a gas.  With every principle and with every law there lies at its core not only the grain of truth but the God of Truth.  That which is tested examines its contents; that which is proven exalts its Creator.

And, when curiosity evolves into questions and when questioning erupts into quarrying, the game of hide and seek begins…and continues…as theories emerge and principles equate and laws establish and God expounds:  and the created beholds its Creator.  What man mistook for intellect, God meant for insight; what science mislabeled as reasonable, God not only marked but manifested as revelation, for “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.”  Within the realization of every scientific “discovery” lies the reality of the God who “hid” it.  In magnetism, poles with opposing forces work on objects to pull in and to push out; through magnetism, we uncover the attribute of God’s holiness: He pushes away sin and pulls in righteousness.  Then, there is the presence of magnetic fields which surround magnets.  Does God not have such a force around Him that also attracts and deflects?  While God desires that all men are drawn to Him through His Son (I Timothy 2:4), Jesus stated that many would push away from His teachings (John 6:66).

Through Andre-Marie Ampere’s curiosity, God revealed the relationship between magnetism and electricity.  Ampere found that magnetic fields have moving particles and that this movement, or current, can produce electricity.  Where there is no movement, there is no attraction.  Read that again.  Where there is no movement, there is no attraction.  Need I charge your Biblical worldview battery here, or do you already feel the force of that magnetic field?  We know we serve a living, moving, current-flowing God whose one intent is to draw all men to Him, but do we also realize that for Him to draw, we need to move?  Do we realize that our attraction to God will wane with the decrease or absence of His current, of His Spirit, flowing through us?  Science revealed it…God inhabits it.  And, as being made in the image of God, we also display the attributes of our Father.  But, lacking His holiness, we can use our magnetism, our “force fields”, to influence others positively or negatively.  We can pull them in that they too may learn about the God who first pulled us, or we can push them away and miss the connection…and increased current…God made available to us.

And what about our buoyancy principle?  Just how do we amass God’s presence in this?  (See the pun…oh, I love it when these float up!)  As Archimedes soaked in his tub, God’s truth rose to the surface.  Archimedes sat down and the water rose up; Archimedes rose up and the water sat down.  To keep from having to actually explain the law of displacement any further, for fear that I would have to plunge into waters deeper than any tub could hold…or my mind could contain, let me plug the drain right here:  that which is displaced can be measured by that which it replaced.  To relate this to God’s nature, we would say that which God removes can be measured by that which God replaces. In Joel 2:25, God introduces the law of displacement:  “The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.”  Here we see God’s restorative nature as He promises to replace that which He removed.  When it feels like our losses are greater than our gains, we cling to the God who holds us up…the God who keeps us afloat in shallow tubs and in high seas.  (I fear I’ve held my breath too long pondering over the simplification of this principle and, as such, am now experiencing the cranial bends.   Therefore, if my accuracy has been displaced as my analogy submerged, please forgive me and seek the truth yourself as you soak in your own thoughts…or tub.)

While these are but a sampling of examples, I believe them to be accurately depictive of God’s created nature and of His revealed nature; I believe God’s creations bear not only His fingerprints but His DNA as well. Within the world that God created, He not only left visible signs of His omniscience but He also left invisible signs of His omnipotence and of His omnipresence; God inhabits the works of His hands and reveals Himself through its principles, its laws, and its truths.  And, when He set things in order and then in motion, He established the first law of nature:  for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. God is the God of opposites.  It was manifested when He separated light from dark, the heavens above from the earth below, the waters from the land, and when He created mankind:  male and female He created them.  And the evidence of opposites is apparent not only in the creation of the world but also in the sustaining of world for the law of opposites courses through the very laws through which God holds all things together.  The law of opposites pulses through creation and is as palpable as a heartbeat detected by a doctor’s stethoscope; it is the heartbeat of God:  for every rhythm, there is an equal and opposite rhythm…for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things…to God be the glory forever!  Amen.

newtons 3rd law cartoon

Next week…the law of opposites revealed first in heaven…and then in the garden.

Our Prepositional God

Our Prepositional God

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.”  Romans 11:36

                Have you ever tried to describe God?  Have you ever tried to pack the God of the universe into a word or words?  Some terms offer sizable storage space such as omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; these words have expandable sides allowing extra packing room.  Then, there are the names of God which come with their own handles, enabling their title specific contents to be packed up, picked up, and passed about.  Names such as Jehovah (Self-Existent), Elohim (Creator; Triune God), and Adonai (Master) serve as containers in which we can store the multiple dimensions of God.  And then there are the Samsonites of the Ages:  Scripture verses.  Once filled, these trunks allow us to unpack them again, and again, and again, each time finding new attributes of God.  Trunks such as Psalm 116:5, “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”; Psalm 86:5, “For You, Oh Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.”; and Deuteronomy 4:31, “For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you.”   But even with these options, it is difficult to find the right word, the right storage unit, in which to pack the truths about our Sovereign LORD.

However, I think I have found some words that, though seemingly one-dimensional, not only have the depth, width, and length needed to be useful storage units but they also have an elasticity that enables them to stretch above and beyond the rigid capacities of other terms, or units.  Think of them as the “buffet pants” of words.  You know the type…you pull them out around Thanksgiving and put them up a week or two after Christmas.  (Or make a resolution to have them off by March…or April…or May…or…perhaps to buy them in another, more slimming, color!)  The words I am referring to are prepositions.  If that part of speech is beyond your remembrance, then let me jog your memory by giving you a list of some of them:  above, among, before, behind, beneath, beside, by, for, from, inside, near, over, through, underneath, upon, and within.  Does that bring back the thrill of elementary English?  Are visions of dangling participles and conjugated verbs now wafting through your formerly suppressed literary cortex?  Good.  Now, while you’re in your happy place, think back and dredge up the reasons for learning those prepositions.  First, you’ll recall that prepositions are positional identifiers.  They tell where things are located: above the house, among the trees, beside the bench, near the lake, within the nest.  Secondly, you’ll remember that prepositions serve as connectors, forming phrases by joining the preposition with a noun, pronoun, adjective, or adverb.  Finally, there is the usefulness of removing all prepositional phrases from a sentence so that the subject might be clearly seen, because…as everyone knows…the subject would never, ever hide out in a prepositional phrase!

Now, before you dismiss my submittal of prepositions as storage worthy words, please take a closer look at them and see if they aren’t packed with powerful potential…or have the powerful potential to pack.  Take, for example, these simple word sets that are able to carry as much as their bulkier counterparts:

  • Within, through…vs…omniscient; God is all-knowing because He lives and moves…
    • Within our hearts
    • Through our thoughts
  • Above, below, before, behind…vs…omnipresent; God is all-present because He is…
    • Above us
    • Below us
    • Before us
    • Behind us
  • Against, around, between, over…vs…omnipotent; God is all-powerful because He is…
    • Against our foes
    • Around our flesh
    • Between us and our enemies
    • Over our weaknesses
  • Among, near, with…vs…Jehovah-Shammah; we can call on “The LORD Who Is There” because…
    • He dwells among us
    • He is near us
    • He is with us
  • In front of, on top of, instead of…vs…Jehovah-Nissi; we can stand under “The LORD Our Banner” because…
    • His army goes in front of us
    • His angels stay on top of us
    • His adversary falls instead of us

Then, there is my favorite prepositional Bible verse, Romans 11:36:

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.” 

Isn’t it amazing?  Isn’t it awe-some? Isn’t it a bottomless trunk that will never be completely unpacked?  With the use of three prepositions, we learn that everything comes from God, is done through God, and returns to God.  Wow.  So simple yet so profound; so small yet so expansive; so solid yet so fluid. It’s God’s thread through which we are stitched into His heavenly pattern.  Here’s the visual I have.  Picture a huge needle, held by an extremely large hand and threaded with golden strands, descending from heaven, swooping through you, and gathering you back up to heaven.  There, you find yourself embedded in a beautiful tapestry that, to your surprise, God has been working on for an eternity.  And there you are, right where you’re supposed to be, right beside the other pieces that, when viewed as a whole, make a beautiful pattern; an everlasting pattern.  Think of it as God’s version of an Infinity Quilt!  The thread, a depiction of God’s power, presence, and purpose, plunges, pierces, then proceeds back to the One from which it came.  It’s incredible:  from Him, through Him, to Him. I know the Bible as a whole is meant to be read and studied precept upon precept, but I have to say that this verse, on its own, stacks up precept upon precept…upon precept!

So, there you have my rationale for suggesting that prepositions are some of the most expandable words one can use when describing God.  We may not sound as scholarly as those who know, and can pronounce, the names of God in Hebrew or whose syl-odometer never drops below the cruise rate of six syllables per word, but we can still say as much…if we know our prepositions.  When was the world created?  In the beginning.  How did God make it?  Out of nothing. How did disease and death enter in?  Through sin. Why did God send His Son?  To save mankind.  How was our sin debt paid?  Through Christ, upon a cross.  How are all saved? By faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Where will the redeemed go?  Into the New Jerusalem.  How will Christ return?  With a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God.  Bam! The gospel…in a prepositional nutshell!

                How does one describe God? Well, He’s above, across, among, around, before, behind, below, beside, between, inside, near, over, under, upon, with, within, and without. Like the prepositions He inhabits, He’s our identifier and our connector, but unlike the prepositional phrases He inhabits, He is the subject of them all…because from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To God be the glory forever. Amen

preposition 1