Saturday, March 7, 2009

When I Consider Your Heavens

When Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old mentioned the title of his second Mullins lecture, I was greatly intrigued. Knowing that the majority of SBTS students do not hold to the Lord's Day as the Christian Sabbath, I wondered what would be said. I really wish the audience questions had been recorded, since I would have loved to hear them. But, as they say, "somebody's gotta work!"

The lecture was honestly different than what I anticipated, though. I had never really heard someone discuss the Sabbath as remembering and appreciating God's physical creation. It makes total sense, but I think this is because Christ's saving work, resurrection, and the new creation are the predominant themes in the Bible and in apostolic preaching. But then again, we aren't gnostics. God does give us all things richly to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). God's creation is a good thing (Gen. 1:31), and we can see His power and majesty displayed in it (Rom. 1:20). As Dr. Old pointed out, many of the Psalms glorify God for His handiwork and call upon all things to glorify God. Sure, Christ's redemption is obviously going to be the primary focus of our minds and hearts, but, like the Psalmist, I can also consider creation and ask, "Who are we, Lord, that You are mindful of us?" (Psalm 8).

Perhaps this has never been so true in my own life as on a Lord's Day while on the Alpha & Omega apologetics cruise to Alaska several years ago. We were headed through the Northwest Passage, and, as is common, it was stormy. After we met for worship, I decided to go and get some fresh air by walking around the outer deck of the ship. The ocean was slate gray, and the choppy waves went as far as the eye could see. It caused me to meditate upon how small the ship was, and how small I was on it. God's majesty was displayed in the wind and the waves and the sea, but God's mercy and love was also displayed by the fact that I was standing there glorifying Him for all of it! To think that God had all of creation to praise Him (He didn't even have to create that, since He had the fellowship of the Son and the Spirit!), and yet He chose to redeem a remnant of fallen man, who had placed a curse upon the creation that God made!

This reminds me of the excellent sermon Pastor James preached last Lord's Day on Romans 8:18-25: Longing For Deliverance


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