Recognizing the Earth Is the Lord’s
It was Bonaventure who offered the thought: “In order that we may be able to extol and glorify God, and in order that we may advance to the knowledge of God, we must transfer to the divine that which pertains to the creature … nearly all creatures possess certain noble characteristics which furnish a source for our understanding of God, e.g., the lion possesses fortitude; the lamb, meekness; the rock, solidity; the serpent, prudence—hence it is necessary that many names be transferred to God.”
John Calvin agreed with these sentiments. “There is not an atom of the universe in which you cannot see some brilliant sparks at least of His glory.”
The earth, nature that surrounds us, the world—everything is full of God. Nature is a glorious theater, a spectacular sound-and-light show of the beauty of God. But nature is not God. To worship the whole or any part of nature is idolatry. To confuse God and nature is to fall into pantheism, an intolerable monism that obscures the distinction between creatures and Creator.
But the universe is God’s handiwork. It sparkles with the revelation of its Maker. It is not an independent entity existing alongside and apart from God. There is no dualism divorcing God from the world. The earth is the Lord’s.
Spend some time today enjoying the beauties of nature, remembering that the earth is the Lord’s.
Passages for Further Study
- Psalm 24:1
- Psalm 50:2
- Psalm 53:1