From the Rising of the Sun to Its Setting

Psalm 50:1 – The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2014-01-29 - From the Rising of the Sun to Its Setting (IMG_0064)The sun sets over Caesar Creek Lake on a cold January evening.  Furnas Shores, Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio.

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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

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Who Has Weighed the Mountains?

Isaiah 40:10-15 – Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? 14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

2014-01-23 - Who Has Weighed the Mountains (IMG_1522)The setting sun highlights the granite peaks as evening settles over the Yosemite ValleyYosemite National Park, California.

When Isaiah asks, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” he obviously anticipates only a single answer, it is of course the “Lord GOD [who] comes with might.”  This is really a series of rhetorical questions that are being posed here, and the implied answers clearly are intended to demonstrate the power, wisdom, and might of our God and Creator.  His conclusion that “the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales” is the exclamation point on this illustration of the insignificance of man in comparison to the magnificence of God.

And yet, if we back up to verse 11, we see that the same mighty God who created and rules over the heavens and the earth, is also a tender and loving God, for “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”  And in John 10:14-15 we read Jesus’ own words describing himself, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

What an amazing God we have!  He has weighed majestic, granite mountains towering over 3000 feet above the valley below, and stretched out infinite stars in the heavens above, and measured the roaring seas across all the earth, and yet the God of all creation has, in great compassion, sent his Son, “the good shepherd,” to suffer and lay down his life for the sins of the world, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to him.  Praise God our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Lord!  Amen!

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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

They Are Without Excuse

Romans 1:18-23 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 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. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

2014-01-19 - They Are Without Excuse (IMG_0061)“Fire and Ice” – The sun sets over the icy shores of Caesar Creek Lake on a cold January evening.  Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio.

I cannot look at a sunset like the one I was blessed to watch earlier this evening without giving thanks and praise to God for his magnificent creation.  And yet, there are many who would say God does not exist, that this incredible, complex, and beautiful world we live in is merely the result of time and chance.  We as Christians are seen as fools for denying the likes of Darwin, and actually believing that there is a God and Creator who spoke all of this into existence, a God who is sovereign over the universe and all that is in it.

“Great thinkers” of yesterday and today are lauded, nee idolized, for their theories that explain everything from the origins of the cosmos to the origins of the amazing diversity of life found here on earth, especially if their theories do not require the Creator’s hand.  It is considered the height of scientific achievement to devise a newer and better explanation for how we came to exist on this random ball of water and rock orbiting a minor star on the outskirts of the Milky Way galaxy, but only if that explanation does not involve the God of the Bible.

They scoff at the notion of idols because they no longer bow down before carved images of stone, and yet their theories and reliance on their own supposed knowledge are no less idols than those of ancient man we now unearth on some archaeological dig.  You see, anything that replaces the one true God as the sole object of our worship is an idol, whether a piece of wood or a prized scientific theory they are really no different.

Christian, take heart!  They are the ones who “suppress the truth.”  They are the ones who deny the overwhelming evidence that surrounds us, the evidence that cries out for no possible explanation other than our sovereign God and Creator.  They are the ones who will be seen in the end as the fools and objects of God’s wrath, because the evidence is so obvious that there can be only one explanation, “So they are without excuse.”

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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

Break Forth Into Singing, O Mountains

Isaiah 44:22-24 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. 24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”

2014-01-18 - Break Forth Into Singing, O Mountains (IMG_1464) Liberty Cap and Nevada FallYosemite National Park, California.

God is our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Lord.  Take some time today to gaze at the magnificent beauty of the world around you and remember that the God who formed you in your mother’s womb is also the God who created the universe and all that is in it.  But best of all, he is also the one who died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven!

“Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!”

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.