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February 22, 2021
Creation in Praise of God
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

Every now and again, the biblical writers were so lifted up in spirit as they contemplated the glory of God and His great works of creation and redemption that they could sense the very creation itself singing out in happy praises. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1) is one of the most familiar of these divinely inspired figures of speech, but there are many others. “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:...Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof....Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth” (Psalm 98:4, 7-9).

Often these praises are in contemplation of God’s final return to complete and fulfill all His primeval purposes in creation, as in the above passage. This better time is also in view in our text, which looks forward to a time when “instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:13). God has triumphed over evil!

And this all points ahead to the eventual removal of the great curse that now dominates creation because of man’s sin (Genesis 3:14-19). For the present, “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). One day, however, the groaning creation “shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). Therefore, “let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;... Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice” (Psalm 96:11-12). HMM

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  February 23, 2021
Creation and the Constellations
“Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” (Job 9:8-9)

The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It is not surprising, therefore, that it contains a number of references to creation and the Flood, for these great events were still relatively fresh in the thinking of Job and his contemporaries. The first of these creation references in Job is our text above, and it is remarkable that it centers especially on the stars and their constellations. Still another constellation is mentioned in Job 26:13: “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.” Finally: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” (Job 38:31-33). The term “Mazzaroth” actually means the 12 constellations of the Zodiac.

Thus, God not only created the stars but arranged them in star groupings that could be used for “signs, and for seasons” (Genesis 1:14). Since God does nothing without a holy purpose, we can be sure that these sidereal signs were not to be used as astrological signs. God’s Word, in fact, forbids the practice of astrology (e.g., Isaiah 47:12-14). The constellations must all in some way have testified of the coming Savior. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Before the Scriptures were given, the testimony of God’s primeval promises had somehow been written indelibly in the heavens for those in Earth’s earliest ages who had eyes and hearts to see. HMM
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February 24, 2021
God's Shadow
“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalm 17:8)

There are 12 references in the Bible to God’s “shadow,” understood as a type of His invisible but very real guiding presence. The reference in our text above is the first, and there are three other references to this beautiful metaphor—the “shadow” of the wings of God. Psalm 36:7 assures us that men can “put their trust under the shadow of thy wings,” and Psalm 57:1 that we can take refuge there “until these calamities be overpast,” and then we can “rejoice” there (Psalm 63:7).

The Lord’s presence is like “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” according to Isaiah 32:2. The same prophet quoted God as saying that “I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand” even as He formed the heavens and the earth, while hiding us “in the shadow of his hand” (Isaiah 51:16; 49:2).

Then there is the wonderful promise of Psalm 91:1: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” He can also be “a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,” bringing down “the heat with the shadow of a cloud” (Isaiah 25:4-5). Similarly, He is “a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain” (Isaiah 4:6).

The last reference speaks of “the anointed of the LORD” (that is, of the Messiah, Jesus Christ), assuring God’s people that “under his shadow we shall live among the heathen” (Lamentations 4:20). These are all “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Hidden under the shadow of God is indeed a good and safe place to be in times like these. HMM

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