But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
My family and I were living in central Wisconsin about 15 years ago. Where we lived was known as Wisconsin’s “Tornado Alley.”
Every year, between February and early October, there would be violent thunderstorms and the tornado sirens would sound – sometimes as many as 4 or 5 times a season.
Nancy and I had bought our first house and were living there about a month or so when a nasty storm hit. It was Memorial Day weekend.
Nancy and the boys had come to Saturday night worship so as to spend Sunday getting ready for the big Memorial Day party we were going to host, which would also be a celebration of Eddie’s birthday.
About midnight or so that night, the tornado sirens went off and we took the boys and the dog into the basement. The power went out for a couple of hours.
After the storm had subsided, we all went back upstairs and back to bed.
I got up Sunday morning, dressed and headed over to church for worship services.
When I got back, I took a look at the front of the house as I pulled into the driveway. The corner of the roof above Nancy and my bedroom had been damaged by the storm. It looked as if some giant had come and tried to peel the roof off of the house.
I walked over to get a closer look. Then I walked around to the back of the house and on the back deck was half a tree. It had clipped the back part of the roof as it blew past the house, taking off only part of the gutter.
We learned later that it wasn’t a tornado but a straight-line wind that had blown through.
The amazing thing about this incident, and all the future storms and tornado warnings that we endured through the years, was our dog.
Seamus – our black Labrador Retriever – somehow knew the storms were coming.
That night, about a minute or two before the sirens went off, Seamus was pacing around the room and whining. He began to claw at the door just before we heard the siren.
He knew that danger was approaching. He could sense it.
That’s what Job says to Zophar in Job 12.
The beasts, the birds, the bushes, the fish all know about God and can tell us about God.
They all point us to the Creator. Their complexity, their resiliency, their uniqueness all reveal that an intelligent, caring, Creator is at work in this universe.
This they tell us.
What they can’t tell us is why God loves us and how God resolves the deadly problem of sin.
In other words, the heavens can declare the glory of God, the skies can proclaim the work of his hands (see Psalm 19).
This is called the “Natural Revelation of God.”
But the one thing the Natural Revelation of God cannot reveal is the Gospel.
Creation tells us many things about God. But it takes the Special Revelation of God – that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ – to tell us about God’s love for us and his solution to sin.
In nature and in the peoples and nations of the world we can witness the power of God and the wrath of God.
Draughts and floods.
The rise and fall of nations.
The mysteries of the deep oceans.
These can be seen in the world and Job tells us this in Job 12:15-24.
But without the Special Revelation of God we can only “grope in the dark without light.”
In the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can witness and know the love of God in Jesus Christ.
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