The Heavens Declare

Do you hear the speech of the trees, of the birds, and of the sun? Do the stars and moon talk to you, so that you understand them? A great danger that we must guard against, as we live in this machine age of speed and transition, is to become deaf to nature. This is easily done, and unless we put forth a definite effort to listen, we may fail to hear a most wonderful tale.

Take a walk with me, not necessarily to the woods with her sylvan array of majesty and somber meditation, but down your street, in your own backyard and neighborhood. Look about and listen closely to the millions of creatures speaking to you. Hear the bird as she earnestly puts forth all her effort to sing her song. See the squirrel, the ants, and the hundreds of seemingly insignificant insects. Look at the trees, the shrubs, the ground, and the sun.

What do they say? Listen – “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth forth His handiwork.” All of nature speaks, because nature is the speech of God. God has revealed Himself in nature, the work of His creation.

All revelation is the speech of God to the creature. God has revealed Himself by two means, viz. Scripture and creation. Nature is the word of God. God expresses Himself in nature. Especially in nature itself, that is the plant and animal kingdoms, we have a picture of the glory and magnitude of our God. A godly saint once told me that of all that exists in the world today, surely nature is least tainted with sin. Yet, even that nature groans to await deliverance. It has a story to tell us, because God uses nature as a means, a tool, to speak to us.

That speech of God is not to he neglected. Nature, as a revelation of God, has power to condemn all those who do not listen to her speech. The word of God in nature is significant. Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by those things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” The speech of God in nature is meaningful to those who understand the Scripture. The Scripture is the chief means by which we know God. The Bible relates to us the whole plan of God. Through the written Word of God, we understand the meaning of nature. As Calvin stated it, “We understand nature through the spectacles of the Word of God.” Without the Bible we are not able to hear that speech of God. Yet, His speech is there, Man, even though he does not hear it of himself because of his inability through sin, is accountable for that speech of God.

God has given us the Bible, in order that through it we may understand His purpose for all things, including nature. If man does not listen to the written Word and willfully disobeys it, hence making himself unable to hear the word of God in nature, God justly punishes him. That is the promise of God. To those who listen to His Word, both written in the Bible and uttered in nature, He will also give to them by His Spirit, the promises that are contained in them. Likewise to those who do not hear the speech of God in neither the written Word nor in nature, God will justly condemn to eternal condemnation.

Thus nature speaks, and by the grace of God with the written Word engrafted in our hearts, we hear that speech. The darkness of night speaks of the terrible guilt of our sin, yet the rising of the sun comforts us for it assures us that our sins are washed away through the merit of the “dayspring from on high.” The whiteness of the snow reminds us of the purity of God, how He demands holiness and hates corruption. The moon speaks of the faithfulness of God, because the moon, who receives her light from the sun, confirms the truth that the sun is present even though we do not see it. The stars and the infinite number of grains of sand remind us of the host of the covenant. The lightning and thunder speak of the power of our God. All nature, as a united whole, indicates to us the all sustaining hand of God. God controls all things and He works in all things so that they speak of His glory. Isa. 45:7, “1 form the light and create darkness: 1 make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.”

All of nature glorifies our God. Man, who was created in the image of God, has the capacity to glorify his Creator. Through regeneration, man’s capacity is filled with the glory he radiates to his Creator. All of nature, the plants and animals whether great or small, glorify God through man as head of creation. Man with his capacity to reflect the glory which God has given to all creation, reflects that glory to the Creator. God is glorified in His creation which is glorious in itself, and which glory is returned unto the Giver of all glory through man.

Unless we hear that Word of God in nature through faith, nature itself will testify against us in the day of days. God speaks, and let us listen with diligence to His Word. Truly, there is no reason why we should not have a song of gladness in our heart as redeemed children of God for “All nature sings and round Him rings the beauty of the spheres.”

Originally Published In:

Vol. 18 No. 2 March 1958