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"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Ps 19:1-3.

From the solemn roll of the deep-toned thunder
and old ocean's ceaseless roar,
to the glad songs
that make the forests vocal with melody,
nature's ten thousand voices
speak His praise.

Nature is talking to us every day and every night. There are alphabets in nature just as there are alphabets in the written word. In the written word, we put alphabets together to make words, and words make sentences, sentences make paragraphs and we come up with stories, messages, instructions, etc., that make sense and have meaning to us.

When nature puts together these alphabets, it tells us stories of God's love to man. If our hearts are in tune with God, we hear these stories and messages, we hear the counsels and admonitions, and we hear ten thousand voices speaking His praises.

In earth, and sea, and sky,
with their marvelous tint and color,
varying in gorgeous contrast
or blended in harmony,
we behold His glory.
The everlasting hills tell us of His power.
The trees that wave their
green banners in the sunlight,
and the flowers in their delicate beauty,
point to their creator...
The sun rising in the heavens
is a representative of Him
who is the life and light
of all that He has made.
All the brightness and beauty that
adorn the earth and light up the heavens,
speak of God.

In the book, Steps to Christ, page 2, we find this beautiful quotation: "God's love is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green--all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God, and to His desire to make His children happy."

Again in same book, page 1,  we read: "Nature and revelation alike testify of God's Love...If we will but listen, God's created works will teach us precious lessons of obedience and trust. From the stars that in their trackless courses through space follow from age to age their appointed path, down to the minutest atom, the things of nature obey the Creator's will."

One beautiful windy morning I stood by the banks of the St. John's River and watched as the water splash upon the rocks at the banks. I stood there marveling at how 'obedient' the water was to its Creator who said: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed." (Job 38:11). Immediately I felt rebuked that I have not always been obedient to my Heavenly Father, but now have a great desire to obey Him in every way and be in harmony with Him, just as all Nature, animate or inanimate, are in harmony with Him.

In the book, "Counsel and Advice", page 189, we read: "To the heart softened by the grace of God, the sun, the moon, the stars, the lofty trees, the flowers of the field, utter their words of counsel and advice. The sowing of the seed carries the mind to spiritual seed sowing. The tree stands forth declaring that a good tree cannot bear evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bear good fruit. 'Ye shall know them by their fruits.' Matthew 7:16."

When we moved to our new house in Orange Park years ago, there was a 2-foot high bush growing by the side of the house. I didn't know what it was and wanted to get rid of it for it looked unsightly. It had a large stump that went deep into the ground, and I couldn't pull it out. I meant to dig it out later with a shovel, but never got around to doing it. I went ahead and planted roses and other flowering plants along both sides of the house and also in the back. I watered the roses and other plants but I never bothered to water this bush. It didn't seem to be growing any, but it wasn't dying either.

A year or two went by, and I still hadn't dug the thing out. As always it appeared not to be doing anything. However, one morning, I got the surprise of my life. This bush had the most gorgeous azalea blooms I have ever seen in my life. Coming from San Diego where azaleas were not as common as over here in Florida, I did not recognize the plant at all.

The lesson that stuck in my mind concerning this incident was: Do not be quick to judge. What if I dug the 'unsightly bush' and threw it out? I would have missed the blessing of beholding a beauty of nature, wouldn't I? Do we sometimes judge people quickly and negatively without really knowing them? Do we cut people out of our lives without first knowing them in a more personal way? What about stereotyping people? Do we do it sometimes? We do, don't we? We miss out tremendously on the joy and blessing of friendship when we judge and stereotype people.

The wisterias were not as fortunate as the azalea bush above. There was a profusion of what appeared to be dead twisted and tangled vines that were clinging tenaciously to the fence in the backyard. Since we had just purchased the property, we were determined to obliterate everything unsightly. We cleared all the dead vines off the fence. After the work was done, we were very, very tired, but proud of our accomplishment. When spring came, we were dismayed to realize that we had destroyed a profusion of mature wisteria vines. Wisteria sprouts were thrusting through the soil along the fence line.

The animals teach us precious lessons. In Job 12:7,8 (NIV), we read: "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you."

"The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future. And the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of trust. Our heavenly Father provides for them; but they must gather the food, they must build their nests and rear their young. Every moment they are exposed to enemies that seek to destroy them. Yet how cheerily they go about their work! How full of joy are their little songs!

"How beautiful the psalmist's description of God's care for the creatures of the woods--'The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; And the rocks for the conies.' Psalm 104: 18.  He sends the springs to run among the hills, where the birds have their habitation and 'sing among the branches.'  Psalm 104:12. All the creatures of the woods and hills are a part of His great household. He opens His hand and satisfies 'the desire of every living thing.' Psalm 145:16." --Child Guidance, Pages 58-59.

Lessons in unselfish ministry in giving to and blessing others can be learned from nature.

There is no leaf of the forest,
or lovely blade of grass,
but has its ministry.
Every tree and shrub and leaf
pours forth that element of life
without which
neither man nor animal could live;
and man and animal, in turn,
minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf.
The flowers breath fragrance and
unfold their beauty in blessing to the world.
The sun sheds its light
to gladden a thousand worlds.
The ocean, itself the source
of all our springs and fountains,
receives the streams from every land,
but takes to give.
the mists ascending from its bosom
fall in showers to water the earth,
that it may bring forth and bud.

I enjoy walking with my dog at night. I enjoy the sweet delicate scent from night blooming jasmines and other night blooming flowers. The stars and constellations in the velvet black sky are like sparkling diamonds lavished upon me by the Creator making me feel that I'm the wealthiest person in the world. The sweeping expanse of the firmament makes me realize how BIG God is--so BIG, He rules the mighty universe, yet, so small, He lives within my heart.

In the book entitled, "The Book of Daniel" by Stephen N. Haskell, page 290, we find these words: "From the creation of the world, the very order and arrangement of the stars have told the plan of redemption, but man, devoid of the spirit of truth, cannot understand the alphabet of the celestial dome; and while the story has been repeated night after night, he has failed to see the Law of God in the firmament."

From the same book, we read: "Jehovah today points us to the stars that we may learn the lesson given to Abraham as He called him to his tent door, and traced the promise of the Saviour in the sky. The Star rose upon Israel, and wise men of the East, inspired by God, knew that it was the Christ star. Men, using God-given ability, have invented wonderful instruments for searching the heavens, and God has encouraged the effort in hopes that it would lead to an understanding of the divine story written there."

Not too long ago, I had a dream. I was at a retirement party sponsored by my work. It wasn't clear who the retirement party was for. In the real work world, I was the one who was eligible for retirement sooner than anybody else in my department, and it could very well be that the retirement party was for me. However, in the real world, I had never attended parties sponsored by my work, whether it was a Christmas party or Thanksgiving party, because more often than not they conflicted with the Sabbath and/or Sabbath preparation.

Anyway, I was at this party in my dream. I don't remember people eating or drinking or carrying on in a rowdy manner. It seemed that it was just a nice quiet gathering with a bunch of people from my work. At some point in the party, I separated myself from the throng and found myself sitting at a doorstep of a house looking up at the beautiful night sky in total awe. In the midst of a million twinkling stars stood a large luminous Cross like a heavenly body hung in space. It was a most beautiful, impressive and solemn scene I have ever seen. In my dream I was in awe for I literally and clearly saw and read the story of redemption in the sky.

The bigness, awesomeness, and mysteriousness of Nature and the God of Nature help us to realize our own ignorance, weakness, and limitation.

He who studies most deeply
into the mysteries of nature
will realize most fully
his own ignorance and weakness.
He will realize that there are
depths and heights which he cannot reach,
secrets which he cannot penetrate,
vast fields of truth lying before him unentered.
He will be ready to say, with Newton,
'I seem to myself
to have been like a child on the seashore
finding pebbles and shells,
while the great ocean of truth
lay undiscovered before me.'

Is Nature more worshipful of its Creator than man? Here's a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier that we can glean lessons from in our spontaneous praise and worship of God:

The harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.

And prayer is made, and praise is given,
By all things near and far;
The ocean looketh up to heaven,
And mirrors every star.

Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand--
The priesthood of the sea!

They pour their glittering treasures forth,
Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the listening hills of earth
Take up the song and sing.

The green earth sends her incense up
From many a mountain shrine;
From folded leaf and dewy cup
She pours her sacred wine.

The mists above the morning rills
Rise white as wings of prayer;
The altar curtains of the hills
Are sunset's purple air.

The winds with hymns of praise are loud,
Or low with sobs of pain--
The thunder-organ of the cloud,
The dropping tears of rain.

With drooping head and branches crossed,
The twilight forest grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost
From all its sunlit leaves.

The blue sky is the temple's arch,
Its transept, earth and air,
The music of its starry march,
The chorus of a prayer.

So Nature keeps the reverent frame
With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame
The prayerless heart of man.

The study of Nature and its mysteries speaks with an eloquence that compels us to stand in silent wonder and awe before our Creator. Shall we not bow down and worship Him? Shall we not sing of His Goodness and His Mighty Power?

I sing the mighty power of God
That made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad
And built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained
The sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command,
And all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord
That filled the earth with food;
He formed the creatures with His word
And then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed
Where'er I turn my eye:
If I survey the ground I tread,
Or gaze upon the sky!

There's not a plant or flower below
But makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempest blow
By order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee
Is ever in Thy care,
And everywhere that man can be,
Thou, God, art present there.

--Isaac Watts

From the endless variety of plants and flowers, we may learn an important lesson. All blossoms are not the same in form or color. Some possess healing virtues. Some are always fragrant. There are professing Christians who think it their duty to make every other Christian like themselves. This is man's plan, not the plan of God. In the church of God there is room for characters as varied as are the flowers in a garden. In His spiritual garden there are many varieties of flowers." Our High Calling, page 254.

Yes, Nature tells us wonderful stories about our Heavenly Father and teaches us all kinds of lessons if we would only slow down and look, listen, and hear with our hearts. We can have a glimpse of the glories of our celestial home.

...the great Master Artist has painted
upon heaven's shifting, changing canvas
the glories of the setting sun.
He has tinted and gilded the heavens
with gold, silver, and crimson,
as though the portals of high heaven
were thrown open,
that we might view its gleaming,
and our imagination
take hold of the glory within.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Ps 19:1-3.

Click here to see This Is My Father's World.

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