"AND GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD"
In the beginning God made everything beautiful. The universe, the earth, the trees and animals of all sizes and colors including birds and butterflies were wonderfully made. Of this creation, the Bible declares that, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:4,10).
David, the psalmist, who experienced the awe of the majesty and glory of God in nature testified of this reality in the following way:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat” (Psalm 19:1-6; NIV).
While it is true that God’s creation in our world today is marred and affected by sin, the fact is that nature still speaks of the wisdom and power of God as Creator. It is a statement of fact that nature, with all of it’s unique design, was created for the glory of the Maker and for our enjoyment. In this sense, we see an expression of God’s love and care in the natural environment that surrounds us daily. This is a general revelation of God. It makes the statement that He is both Creator and Owner of everything.
And yet, above ground on this active volcanic landmass, one can see green ground cover spotted with colorful wild flowers, gentle thermal streams, snow and ice, and picturesque waterfalls. In many ways, I felt as if I were experiencing, first hand, the creative acts of God."
Volcanoes and Vegetation are Good
In a visit to Iceland for the Trans-European Advisory for treasurers, stewardship ministries and trust services directors in 2012, my spirit was moved as I looked out on the vast open spaces and contrasting landscapes displaying fresh remains of volcanic activity. In fact, there were still tremors and small earthquakes being registered many miles below ground while we were there. Even today the possibility of future volcanic eruptions is very real. And yet, above ground on this active volcanic landmass, one can see green ground cover spotted with colorful wild flowers, gentle thermal streams, snow and ice, and picturesque waterfalls. In many ways, I felt as if I were experiencing, first hand, the creative acts of God. These were the expressions of God’s mind and grace. As a steward, I can only say that, “God made all these things beautiful.” He saw that this land was good.
Waterfalls and Rainbows are Good
While visiting our church members and the local congregation near Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, in May 2012, I was privileged to hear and see the largest curtain of water in the world thundering down the gorge. What amazed me about this wonder of nature, was the volume and the power of the water as it rushes through this part of the Zambezi River and down into the gorge. It was an incredible scene to behold. As a matter of fact, we heard the deafening roar of the water crashing down the falls many meters away, long before we were able to see the falls. At about the same time, we also experienced a cool and refreshing shower from the mist generated by the falls carried on the breeze coming from the direction of the Zambezi Gorge. This was a moment to savor and remember. As I was clicking away on the camera, trying to capture this amazing display of water-power, there, right above the falls, was another expression of God’s presence and promise—a rainbow in the mist. In the language of the Bible, “God saw that it was good.”
Rainforests and Sand Dunes are Good
And so as I reflect on these varied scenes and sounds, not to mention those also of the Amazon rainforest of South America and the sand dunes of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, I’m just in awe of this great Master Designer who made all of these things so different and yet so beautiful. At the same time, I am also reminded, and indeed challenged that as a Christian steward, I’m called to protect and care for these natural resources of the earth for the benefit and enjoyment of others to follow. This is a critical aspect of Biblical stewardship.