God’s Two Books

Do you know that God can speak to us through the beauty of His creation? There is not an audible voice, nor a still small voice. But as we marvel and look out, we can enjoy and recognize the fingerprints of God.

Where do we see them? We can find them in the hues of color that paint the sky each day at dawn and at dusk. We see God’s fingerprints in the stunning array of the heavens whose courses and paths have been charted since of old. We see it in the orderliness of every creature and plant, in the rhythm of the abiding seasons, in the constancy and preservation of our world.

Psalm 19 is the classic text for considering the world in this way. There David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1 ESV) In other words, you can know that our Creator God reigns because you see the evidence of His creation and providence all around you every single day. 

Even more than that, God made Himself known in you. Romans 1:19-20 teaches us that God has inscribed His own mark on each human: “For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” The evidence of God is within our very nature as creatures made in His image.

Protestant Reformer, John Calvin, explained this further in his classic Christian handbook, Institutes of the Christian Religion, “[God] not only sowed in men’s minds that seed of religion . . . but revealed Himself and daily discloses himself in the whole workmanship of the universe. As a consequence, men cannot open their eyes without being compelled to see him.” (Institutes, 1.5.1) 

Why is this all good? This is wonderful and beautiful because there will never be a lack of evidence for the character, beauty, and power of God in our world. Every particle in existence demonstrates the power and wisdom of the LORD God who reigns forever and ever. The evidence for God in creation is referred to as the book of nature. 

However, there is something lacking in the book of nature. Nature can broadcast clearly to you whether God exists and what sort of God He is, but it cannot tell you everything about this God. There is a need for more than what nature can provide. I need to point this out because too often people want to act as if the church of the woods without Scripture, the sacraments, and people of God is equivalent to the church assembled with preaching, the sacraments and the church gathered. For all the beauty of creation, God has still spoken clearest through His Word. Note that in it, God calls His people to assemble together to worship Him under His ordained leaders (cf. Hebrews 13:7).

The Westminster Larger Catechism, a Reformed discipleship tool, asks, “How doth it appear that there is a God?” It answers in this way: “The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his Word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.” (WLC 2) Our salvation can only be found in the Word of God. God’s immensity is seen in the heavens. God’s wisdom is broadcasted in the creatures, especially as they prepare for winter. God’s power is showcased by the sun and the moon. God’s righteousness is even displayed within our nature as we long for a world free from evil, violence, and deception. But we can know nothing of God as our Father, of Christ as our Savior, or the Spirit as our Sanctifier apart from the Old and New Testament.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The Scripture is our authoritative, sufficient, clear, and flawless guide as Christians.

Is this how you view the Bible? Or has it become merely one voice amongst many? God has so delivered His Word that we might receive His counsel for all of life, both our beliefs as well as our living. Today this may be less popular, but truth and popularity are rarely the same. All humans everywhere are duty bound to honor this Word. But the first step to seeing its global success is in your willingness to take up this gift, the book of Scripture, and make it yours. Make it yours by clinging to each word. Make it yours by receiving it as it ought, namely, as the very words of God.