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Creation and the Revelation of God
By Ellen G. White
In the garden of Eden the existence of God was demonstrated in the objects of nature that surrounded them. Every tree of the garden spoke to them. The invisible things of God were clearly seen, being understood by the things which were made, even His eternal power and Godhead. . . .
The things of nature upon which we look today give us but a faint conception of Eden's beauty and glory; yet the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the glory of God. In the things of nature, marred as they are by the blight of sin, much that is beautiful remains. One omnipotent in power, great in goodness, in mercy, and love, has created the earth, and even in its blighted state it inculcates truths in regard to the skilful Master Artist.
In this book of nature opened to us—in the beautiful, scented flowers, with their varied and delicate coloring—God gives to us an unmistakable expression of His love. After the transgression of Adam, God might have destroyed every opening bud and blooming flower, or He might have taken away their fragrance, so grateful to the senses. In the earth, seared and marred by the curse, in the briers, the thistles, the thorns, the tares, we may read the law of condemnation; but in the delicate color and perfume of the flowers, we may learn that God still loves us, that His mercy is not wholly withdrawn from the earth.
Nature is filled with spiritual lessons for mankind. The flowers die only to spring forth into new life; and in this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will bloom again in the Eden above. But nature can not teach the lesson of the great and marvelous love of God. Therefore, after the fall, nature was not the only teacher of man. In order that the world might not remain in darkness, in eternal spiritual night, the God of nature met us in Jesus Christ. The Son of God came to the world as the revelation of the Father. He was that "true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." We are to behold "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." . . .
The psalmist says: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Some may suppose that these grand things in the natural world are God. They are not God. All these wonders in the heavens are only doing the work appointed them. They are the Lord's agencies. God is the superintendent, as well as the Creator, of all things. The divine Being is engaged in upholding the things that He has created. The same hand that holds the mountains and balances them in position, guides the worlds in their mysterious march around the sun. . . .
Those who think they can obtain a knowledge of God aside from His Representative, whom the Word declares is "the express image of his person," will need to become fools in their own estimation before they can be wise. It is impossible to gain a perfect knowledge of God from nature alone; for nature itself is imperfect. In its imperfection it can not represent God, it can not reveal the character of God in its moral perfection. But Christ came as a personal Saviour to the world. He represented a personal God. As a personal Saviour, He ascended on high; and He will come again as He ascended to heaven—a personal Saviour. He is the express image of the Father's person. "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
Originally published in Review and Herald, Nov. 8, 1898.