Posted by: Jeff Warren | March 26, 2011

General Revelation (from “Live Forgiven”)

God may be indescribable, but He is not unknowable.  As we’ve already considered, God has revealed Himself to us through creation. Theologians call this “general revelation”.  He is seen “in general” throughout all of creation.  Through it all we catch a glimpse of who He is.  Creation reveals who He is- His character, His beauty, His “bigness”, and I think how “small” He can be as well.  God reveals Himself in “general” terms through His creation so that humans will simply humble themselves before Him and then partner with Him in to accomplish His purposes.  God doesn’t reveal Himself for kicks.  He reveals Himself “on purpose”, or even “for His purpose”.  Simply put, God’s job is to do the revealing, ours is to do the responding.  We respond to His revelation by humbling ourselves before Him and surrendering our lives to Him.

So, the logical question is this: What does creation say about who God is? And regardless of where you are in your faith journey, doesn’t it seem logical that God created all that is?  Remember, it is scientifically impossible to get something out of nothing.  In regard to the Aristotlean logic of “cause and effect”, there must be a cause for every effect.  Ultimately you are led to an “Uncaused Cause”.  What does creation reveal to us about who God is?  What can we know about Him?

Throughout all He has made God shows us how wonderfully creative He is and how thoroughly involved He is with His creation.  He cares for His creation and in ways and in places that we have never seen or think about.  When the Discovery Channel presented its series, “Planet Earth”, it quickly became a favorite in our family.  Taking years to make, a group of British scientists and photographers put together, what was for me at least, one worship sequence after another.  As they show us places and practices in creation never before seen, we’re reminded that much of God’s creation and caring seems, at times, gratuitous, unnecessary, even extravagant.

For instance, why didn’t He stop at 100 billion stars?  Why did He create billions of galaxies with trillions of stars in each one?  Why didn’t He stop at 2,000 mammals?  (There are 4,260 different types of mammals).  There are 6,787 species of reptiles, nearly 10,000 different types of birds and 28,000 species of fishes.  And of course, invertebrates outnumber all the vertebrates put together.  There are 80,000 species of mollusks and a million different kinds of insects.  Why didn’t He stop at 1,000 types of insects?  I read recently that there are 300,000 species of beetles and weevils alone!  What’s up with that?  And again, what does this say about God?  As a piece of art expresses the heart of the artist, God’s artwork, His creation, is an expression of who He is.

Why the extravagance, the lavish and seemingly excessive creativity?  Some scientists have now added to their reasons for the existence of such a vast universe this interesting thought: The Universe exists so that we might explore it and in so doing find the One who is the Creator of it all.  Again, He’s not just “out there”.  He wants to be found by us.

It’s as if He is trying to say to us throughout His creation that He is the One in control of all of life, not us.  It’s as if He wants us to know who’s in control, as if to say, “You’re going to need a God like me.  You’re going to need a God who creates and cares for His creation in ways that you don’t even see.  You’re going to need a God who gives and blesses and sustains and loves for seemingly no reason whatsoever.”  That’s the kind of God He is.  He loves because that’s who He is and we see His heart in creation.

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