Dense fog or heavy haze is common for winter nights in the San Joaquin Valley, California, because of the effects of surrounding mountains and heavy agriculture. The mountains trap air in the lowlands. The amount of agriculture activity raises humidities close to the ground and puts lots of soil matter in the air. Temperature inversions are also common. I can see the glimmer of Venus above the horizon at sunset this January if it is clear and the fog has not started forming, but those conditions don’t occur every day.
Two nights last week it were clearer than normal. Venus stood out just above the layered low altitude haze. I captured the scene with a poor photograph and made some mental notes but did not start the sketch for a week.
The scene with Venus in the low western sky is so common that most people, if they observe the night skies, don’t even notice it. So it is with creation. We forget it easily or simply do not believe it, especially when the dominant belief is that the universe occurred naturally, has been there forever, does not change much, and has nothing to do God. Who is God? Who is this One who claims to have made everything?
The Biblical view is quite different than popular notions. In short, the biblical view is rather simple: the in-your-face universe is both created (rather recently) and moving to a climax. If you extend that in a broad sense, how people see the universe governs most people’s outlooks about the timeline we are on and where it is headed.
Here is the sketch of Venus from a week ago before a little discussion:
It is commonly taught or assumed that the universe is without bound and self-created with wholly natural processes at work. The Bible view, which is radically different, says the universe was created, has bounds, began at God’s command, and will close on His command. Things within the universe, including earth, are winding down…not up. Further, near the end, attributing the universe to be a product of the Creator’s hand will be doubly ignored by most people. How do I know? Read on.
There will be final calls before the end of time, according to the Bible, for people to choose to attribute things that are happening to God. One of those calls is referenced in the Bible verses surrounding quotation in the sketch. The call precedes God’s judgement “hour.” God describes what will happen: there is a widespread call is to worship Him as Creator of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water. The response, as recorded several times in verses following the reference verse, is not very pretty (not many believe). The bottom line, however, is clear: how people consider the Creator, if they consider Him at all, will be a good indicator about how they view the universe or anything else, including whether God has anything to do with their lives in practical terms. Further, God acts on that belief to take action.
So the common scene of Venus, our planetary neighbor, and the setting sun reminded me of my special position on a special planet, the position of our planetary neighbors, and the precision in the solar system. Some might call it foolish, but I attribute the earth, solar system, and the rest of the universe as created by the God of the Bible. He is the same One who is speaking in Genesis and brought everything into being.
Consider this in contrast: for the first time in history, nearly all earthly institutions, especially those involved in education or associated with government, have codified the universe as being self-made or naturally “made.” God is deleted from consideration. In some of the most “advanced” nations, mentioning God as being associated with origins (it is often inadmissable to use the word “creation”) is often snubbed in professional settings. The mention of God as a Creator can lead to real trouble in a public school job or can lead to professional difficulty in fields of study where natural things are researched, studied, or taught with respect to origins. Believers in the Creator, if they are specialists or scientists, can be subjected to occupational disregard if God is mentioned as having anything to do with the universe. It was not always this way, but it is now common. How deep does the trend go? Look at almost any world history or science book from the last several decades where origins or prehistory is discussed. See for yourself. How did we get here, according to those texts? With the naturalistic (God deleted) approach dominant, the effects are quite far reaching. But what if this view is utterly incorrect?
So here we are, if you put yourself in chapter 14 of Revelation, near the supposed end of the universe as we know it. The uncomfortable verse is quite glaring as the call to worship God is pronounced in a really specific way: as Creator of all things. So we have a significant disconnect compared to today’s thinking. One might ask, “Doesn’t science prove that the universe came about in a purely natural way.” No, it does not. No one was there, if it was that long ago. The very core of the scientific method, which is experimentation on an observable thing that can be repeated in order to prove or disprove a hypothesis, must be disregarded to consider origins of the universe as testable to yield a proof. Rather, naturalistic origins is a belief system that is used to interpret evidence a certain way, but there is more than one way to interpret that evidence. A biblical view of origins is interpretted much differently.
So, it is best to consider how you would respond if someone told you this is your chance: acknowledge the Creator of the universe who made all things. What would your response be? Would you even give a response? Is it even important? Think on it.
The atmosphere and culture of the time suggests that the overall response today is similar to the response projected in Revelation: denial of God as Creator. It is well worth investigating why the biblical view is so different and why there are believing scientists and specialists that hold to the biblical view of origins. There is little common ground between the world views.
For more information online, visit www.creation.com or other well known sites that hold to a biblical view of creation. Or, you can also download a free course from the site you are reading from. The Creation Study is a 1 MB download from <downloadable courses>.
Technical note: The sketch was developed on a dark blue 12 in x 12 piece of Canson Mi-Teintes sketch paper using pastels. A poor quality digital photograph and notes were the source material. The sketch was photographed and posted (above) without adjustment, except for sizing and resampling.