“[The LORD] covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.”Psalm 147:8-9
I love the Psalms! I love all of God’s Word, but as someone who works with engineering and science on a daily basis, I especially love how God’s work in His creation is on clear display in the Psalms. In particular, the Psalms reveal to us His daily, ongoing care and sustenance. We see this type of description of God’s work in this passage. Of particular note is the use of active verbs describing God’s work: “covers,” “prepares,” “makes,” and “gives.” This type of language leaves no room for a deist mentality of God as watchmaker, simply establishing His creation and letting it do its thing. Rather, this passage and many others in the Psalms clearly indicate God’s active hand in creation.
While I certainly know with my mind that God did not simply wind up His creation and let it go, I find that my heart does not always quite agree. I find it easy to act like a “Christian Deist,” to know that God is Creator and daily Sustainer, but to live as if the world just does its thing and ticks away on its own. Truly recognizing God as creation’s second-by-second Sustainer should produce overflowing gratitude and joy every day, but so often we simply take His upholding hand for granted.
Consider, for example, that God could just as easily and justly have the world rotating in one direction one day and another direction the next. Can you imagine the chaos if we could not be sure how long the day was going to be or if the sun was going to rise in the east or the west tomorrow? Or, consider if the steel we use to build a bridge would be stronger than concrete one day but weaker than spaghetti the next. I certainly would not want to be an engineer in that universe!
But God, in His amazing love and graciousness to us, does not choose to be sporadic in His sustaining care. He is not a capricious God. Rather, He upholds His creation in an orderly way by “laws” of nature, and His sustenance is so careful and loving that we can even use science to begin to understand and use His creation. What a great and gracious God we serve! He loves us enough to care for His creation in an orderly manner, and He promises in Genesis 8:22 to always do so: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Thank Him today for His loving, consistent, upholding hand.