Revelation 4; Nehemiah 5:1-7:4; Psalm 99
When you think of giants in the computer industry, two names come to mind: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Those two built the two dominant computer companies from the basement or garage up to some of the largest companies in the world. Oh sure, they had partners, but when you think of Apple, you think of Jobs, not Steve Wozniak; when you think about Microsoft, you think about Gates, not Paul Allen. Those two are known as the main creators of the computer industry and they receive the accolades, and the criticisms due for what they’ve done. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you probably have one of those two to thank, if not both. (or blame, I guess)
Creators deserve plaudits for the work they do. Working among authors, I continue to be amazed by the creative story telling I see. How many ways can you manipulate words to produce stories. Just when you think all the possible good ideas have been taken, someone writes a story with an amazing twist on an old theme and we marvel at their cleverness. As we admire such work, we need to remember that while these creators use their minds in such amazing ways, ultimately credit for all forms of creation go back to the original Creator: God. The scene John describes in heaven reminds us that God alone has created all things. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11)
Our world today is split between the idea that things “just happened” through a long, drawn-out process of evolution, or that God, in His infinite wisdom and creative power, created this world and all that is in it. While that argument didn’t exist back in John’s day, they argued over which of the gods created what part of the world. John’s word here, and the teaching of the Bible on this issue make an amazing statement of faith. This whole world, every creature, every rock and mountain, every tree and flower, every river and every ocean, the planets, the moons, and the stars have all been created by God and they were created for His glory. That is a statement of faith which flies in the face of a world that believes in chance. The ultimate question about our origins revolves around whether we are a part of a grand design, or whether or not we exist by chance. The message of John as he views heaven’s throne room is that we have all been created by God for a purpose and that ultimately, we will honor God.
One of my favorite things to do is photograph birds. I am amazed at their variety and how so many of them seem designed to perform specific functions in life. It’s a good thing, for instance, that hummingbirds don’t eat meat to survive. On the other hand, turkey vultures would have a hard time sipping the nectar from those little flowers. The amazing way that each of these birds function in our world, and the amazing variations of color and patterning scream to me that these birds are not an accident of nature; they are part of a grand design. When it comes to making a statement on the question of design or chance, I stand firmly in the belief that we have been created by God along with the whole of the rest of creation. And I’m going to make sure that you know where I stand: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could not have achieved what they have without God’s work in their lives. Nobel Prize winners are being announced this week. We may marvel at the works that earned them this prestigious award, but ultimately, they used their God given brains to discover something about the world that God created. We cannot discover anything, unless God has created it. Without His creation of our minds, we would not be able to show any creative power at all. Praise God He has made us in His creative image!
Oh Lord, this world and all that is in it is Your creation. Even what we think we have made, comes from