Tag Archives: creation

An Unlikely Testimony

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“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” (Numbers 22:28)

This tale of a donkey talking has been the object of great ridicule by skeptics. That it is not an allegory or fable, however, but a real historical event was confirmed in the New Testament by the apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:15-16).

There is no naturalistic explanation for it, of course, but to insist that the event was impossible is simply to deny the power of God. Such miracles of creation are very rare, however, and there must always be a good reason when God intervenes in the laws which normally govern His creation.

One reason in this case, obviously, was to rebuke the prophet Balaam, who was resisting God’s will simply for monetary gain. Balaam’s voice itself would soon also have to be constrained and controlled by God to force him to do God’s will (Numbers 22:38; 23:16, 26; 24:13), blessing Israel instead of pronouncing the curse for which he was to have been paid by the Moabites, who were desperately trying to keep God’s people out of the Promised Land. The Moabites also needed an unforgettable rebuke. They were apostate descendants of Lot, who had known the true God (Numbers 25:1-3), but they were determined to thwart God’s purposes.

There may be another, more universal reason: God is concerned about His animal creation, caring even for every sparrow (Matthew 10:29). The animals have been placed under man’s dominion, but they are for his service, his instruction, and his enjoyment—not for his abuse.

Thus, Balaam’s ass was providentially allowed by God to rebuke not only Balaam but also anyone who would unnecessarily abuse one of His specially and beautifully designed animal subjects. Most Christians need to be much more sensitive to this concern of God. HMM

Saving Faith and True Creation

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“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)

This is the very first object and example of faith in the Bible’s great “faith chapter,” Hebrews 11. This fact strongly argues that any truly meaningful and effective faith must be founded, first of all, on the revealed fact of special creation—creation ex nihilo—not creation through some protracted, naturalistic, imaginary process of evolution. All of the “worlds” (Greek aion—that is, the “space/ times”—the continuum of space and time which constitutes the physical cosmos) were simply called into existence by God’s omnipotent word. “He spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9). In no way did He have to start with some chaotic form of matter already in existence. Jesus Christ—the Word of God (John 1:14)—created space and time as well as matter/energy. “By him were all things created” (Colossians 1:16). “Without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).

Right at the end of the previous chapter, the apostle asserts that “the just shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38) and concludes by speaking of those “that believe [literally ‘have faith’] to the saving of the soul” (v. 39). Following immediately then is his definition of faith, and after that the great progression of objects and examples of faith in Hebrews 11. Heading the list of these, of course, is faith in the special creation of all things by the Word of God. The necessary conclusion is that a “living” faith and “saving” faith must be founded, first of all, on the fact of supernatural creation of all things by God in the beginning.

Evolution is also based on faith, but it is contrary to Scripture and to true science. “Theistic evolution” is a false faith, and those Christians who believe such things should carefully examine their hearts in the light of God’s Word. HMM

The Grace of God in Creation

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“He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17)

There is abundant evidence of the mighty power and wisdom of God in the vast cosmos and the tremendously complex world. “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 1:20).

But in addition to such evidence of His wisdom and power, there is also wonderful evidence of the grace of God in nature. Although “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22), laboring under the awful curse on the ground imposed by God when Adam sinned (Genesis 3:17), it has been so subjected “in hope,” with God’s promise of ultimate deliverance from the “bondage of corruption,” and “we are saved by hope” (Romans 8:20-21, 24).

This goodness of God is evidenced in the daily victory of light over darkness, the annual return of spring after winter, and the oft-repeated triumph of life over death. Although individuals die, new souls are born; and always, there is hope. Man must eat his bread in the sweat of his face as he labors to wrest a living from the cursed ground, but God does send the rain and the fruitful seasons, and the food is grown.

Though he must eat of it in sorrow all the days of his life, somehow God nevertheless fills his heart with food and gladness. And all of the labor and sweat and sorrow is “for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17), urging man to return to God for both his daily bread and his eternal salvation.

How foolish is the man who receives all these gifts of God’s grace without acknowledging their source. “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness . . . not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). HMM

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