Weekly Devotion

Psalm 98

Last week in Bible study there was a discussion about the nature of, well, nature. If sin has affected not just humanity but all of creation (Genesis 3, Romans 8), nature will be restored or recreated when our Lord returns as well. I shared my odd suspicion that when this happens, we’ll learn our convenient classifications for things (animal, vegetable, mineral) and the attendant qualities associated with these classifications have been inadequate. Possibly even inaccurate. We trust these classifications in their assertions about the nature of nature. Plants are alive but not conscious. Animals are conscious and live. Rocks and minerals are neither conscious nor alive.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if creation itself is far more intricate and alive than we presume it to be? There are plenty of places in Scripture where nature is treated in a personal way, and the psalms are a primary ground for it. The earth is exhorted in this psalm to give praise to God, with certain elements – the seas, rivers, and hills – singled out. It is appropriate for all of God’s creation to praise him, not just human beings. It’s exciting to think that the creation we take for granted and all too easily take advantage of will one day give praise to God in ways appropriate for it to do so!

In this age of eco-awareness, Christians should be at the forefront of concerns about how we use the resources God has provided in creation. We do so not in a spirit of fear for the future, but in terms of love of God and his creation, and respect for our God-given roles as stewards of that creation. Whether it’s figuring out how to be better at recycling or more efficient with our water use, we care for God’s creation, knowing that this creation is a fellow recipient of the redemptive work of God the Father through the death and resurrection of God the Son.

Maybe our classifications will continue to work well in eternity. Or maybe we’ll better be able to see and experience the miraculous richness and depth of our God’s creation. Whatever the case, we know there will be unlimited reasons and opportunities to give him thanks and praise!

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