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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Character of God As Seen in Creation

“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” A.W. Tozer

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:18-20

Knowing Jesus intimately is singularly one of the greatest privileges we have as a believer. It is also one of the most crucial aspects of our eternal life. Jesus said in Matthew 7:18-23, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."

With that in mind, I want to propose an examination of the two most prevalent creation models being presented as truth considering the character of God. Only one can be true. Either the world is 4.5 billion years old or roughly 10,000 years old give or take. Either God created the world in six literal twenty-four hour days or six eras. Both uses of the word "yom" from Hebrew would be correct. But only one of these declares who God really is.

It has been my observation that the created world has caused many people to give up their faith based on a faulty understanding of the character of God. Richard Dawkins did just that. He noted the created world through the lens of science and he also read the Word of God and He saw a God he didn't know. Where was the God he knew who was easy on sin, all gentle at all times and never ever angry? Why did the created world portray something entirely different?

Instead of realizing that God was revealing something to him about Himself, Dawkins dropped the ball and attacked the Bible. Because so many people misunderstand the attributes of God and cannot reconcile these things with the created world as seen from its beginning, they conclude that the whole thing is a sham.

Further, there are folks such as Ellen White and Rob Bell who were led to conclude that hell's fire is metaphorical or a momentary experience at best. They can't reconcile the all benevolent god easy on sin with eternal torment. Yet God says that His eternal attributes are clearly seen right from the beginning. If you look closely at His judgments, you can see that He is not easy on sin. Quite the contrary in fact. So let's compare the attributes of the YEC (young earth creationist) God with the OEC (old eath creationist) God and see which one most clearly portrays the God of the Bible.

In creation one of the main attributes I would hope to see is absolute honesty. If there is one thing I know for a fact about God it is the fact that He doesn't lie ever! Now, YEC states that yes in fact the universe is immense and many objects are millions or billions of light years from earth. To the layman what that means is that we are seeing what happened to those galaxies millions of years ago. Yet, they would suggest that God only gave the universe an appearance of age to the average person. In other words, the universe appears old, but it is really very young.

There is no way to reconcile this with scientific evidence. The natural world does not coincide with this and when pressed, the knowledgeable YEC will admit this. So they fall back on something not clearly seen, which would be supernatural activity like someone waving a magic wand.

My question is does God do that typically? Does He work miraculously to bring about His will for us? Or does He work supernaturally naturally through the things He's created? It has been my experience that it is the latter 99.9% of the time. These things are still miracles, but they are happening so naturally that to the man without faith, they seem to be happening without the hand of God. That is how God operates the majority of the time. That is His character. Our faith works through that to cause these natural things to work for us.

Another point is that Psalm 19:1-3 tells us, "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." What that means is that anyone on the planet regardless of mental status can look up and understand what they see.

With that in mind, a faction of YEC propose an intense mathematical formula that they believe reconciles this problem. Very few people would be able to decipher this formula. Not to mention, it has been refuted and proven false. Yet many unsuspecting Christians loving the God of the YEC model have adopted this as proof even though it is not clearly seen by everyone on the planet regardless of language, mental capacity, or location so they they have no excuse.

Another problem is the sixth day of creation. I never considered this until I started listening to Reasons To Believe. Logistically, it would be impossible for Adam to name all the animals, realize they aren't compatible with him, have major surgery, and then wake up to meet Eve. The YEC knows this. And once again, we have to fall back on smoke screens and mirrors to explain this. What we clearly see, which is a time passing, is not what we actually see because once again, the YEC proposes that God did something supernatural like prolonging the day. Yet reality fits the God of the Bible.

He is honest and truthful. If He says we can clearly see this, you know what? I think we should be able to clearly see this and lo and behold, we do. Science has discovered that man traces back to one woman and one man. Granted, the man comes later. But that is exactly what we would expect if everything bottlenecks after the Flood with Noah.

Hurry up, God!!!
Am I the only Christian on the planet that feels that God has no problem making me wait for something as in years and years and years....? What about how He made David wait until after he was dead for Solomon to build the temple that he planned? God doesn't ever seem to be in a hurry according to my timeline. But not the YEC god. He's in a big hurry to get this universe underway. Zip, zip, zip, zip, zip, zip. It's done. In comparison to infinity, that is like a microsecond for us.

The Bibles says in Daniel 7:13, "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him."

Now, that to me sounds like a very long time. Plus, when God is presenting to us a picture of Himself through Abraham and his son Issac, we see that God has Abraham wait until he's 100 to have Issac. So as a human ancient man, Abraham has a son. Now compare that to infinity and you can see that God being a brief six days old is zero in comparison. Plus, this is a perfect picture of the Ancient of Days having a Son - Jesus.

Psalm 86:15 says this about God's character, "But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth."

If you look at the creation events in reality, it is apparent that God suffers in its creation. He creates animals that are dying. We know that He is aware of each of them.

Romans 8:22 tells us, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." Creation has been declaring God's longsuffering from the beginning. And the purpose of this is exposed in the very next verse, "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. ." The longsuffering isn't just sadism but it has a purpose.

The Terror of the Lord
Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5:11

Where is this attribute in the YEC model? God would be completely disingenuous if He didn't include His terror in creation from the beginning. Yet in the YEC model, it doesn't exist because according to their point of view, these things are not apparent until after the fall of mankind. They believe that there is no death in the world at all except for perhaps plant life. This would mean that all animals are herbivores until man sins.

The problem with this is that many of these animals themselves are terrifying. And thank God they don't live today or we'd all live our lives in terror. If your neighbor were a family of tyrannosaurus rex, you would probably die of fear. But God in His wisdom created these things on the fifth day and then took their breath away. Then He created again and replenished the earth with carnivorous animals that would not be as difficult to abide with. Yet, it is apparent that many eras of man have discovered the remains of these animals and depicted them in art work as terrifying creatures.

The Mercy of the Lord
Now both models would support this loving attribute. The most prevalent place for this would be in babies. We see cute cuddly innocent babies and our hearts melt. See, everyone sees the benevolence of God in nature in the things that are made because they are more abundant than the things that are malevolent. Thank God for that or the world would be so destructive that we could not survive. Instead, we see fluffy bunnies and cuddly kittens all showing God's character.

God makes no apology for creating these chaotic things and in fact, says that He does in Isaiah 45:7, " I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ " Since all creating stopped after the creation of man, we know these things were created before the fall.


The real miracle of creation is in the fine tuning and ways in which this universe and in particular, this planet is sustained. Yet, God's means to achieve that is through these events that to us seem imperfect. Is the problem the creation or our perception of who God is? Perhaps we truly need to step back and see who this God is and accept that He is stating clearly in His Word the exact same things.

He rejoices over things like the KT boundary as is seen in Psalm 104:29-32. He sees the good in the works of His hands and how the things He is creating are formed through means of suffering. This planet has been suffering since its inception.

Do you know how Jesus, who is God Almighty was made perfect? For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10 Shouldn't that modus operandi be clearly seen from the creation of the world? Is it?

From the point of view of reality, it is. From the point of view of the YEC, it isn't. From their perspective, everything was pristine until man fell and then a new creation came into play unlike the one before the fall. In this new place we find suffering, but not before.

It is hard to imagine that a bug was in the thoughts of God. I find them to be disgusting. On the other hand, what is interesting to me is the way God has created these creatures that are soulless to portray parts of His character. He tells us one in Proverbs 6:6-8, "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. "

Can you see that God is saying that an ant portrays a character quality of diligence? And shouldn't that quality be clearly seen from the creation of the world?

Of all the animals that men have filmed, I think we are all fascinated by insects the most. Nevertheless, we would hate to have them in our homes. They are not friendly for the most part because they do not bond with man.

These are just a few character attributes that I believe are imperative in terms of God revealing who He is to mankind from the creation of the world. God knew we would be in a faith based universe where we couldn't know Him by our physical senses. So He left us with a creation that would help us understand who He is. We have to see that from the point of view of reality to comprehend His invisible attributes. He is telling us in Romans that it is enough so that we are without excuse.

Interestingly, the atheists see it. They see that side of God. They see that He is angry with the wicked every day. They see those attributes in creation. That's why they are without excuse.

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