The Genesis Connection: Autumn’s Signpost

The NE United States, like many mid-latitude places in the world, has a wide variety of deciduous trees that explode into color in Autumn. Pictures like these can be found in dozens of posts and articles. But let’s go further because the depth and scope of the change are worth reviewing.

The magnificent array of colors is the more obvious thing that happens, but the change itself is dependent on a combination of weather conditions as well as the time of year. It begins with a few ruddy red leaves on dogwood trees and glowing colors on sumac bushes. A variety of color changes in other trees develops quickly, but the leaves of most oak and nut trees turn later. At the end of the change, the reds are subdued, and the golds and yellows dominate for a little while. Finally, the browns and dark golds are all that are left. Poplars stand out with a lingering gold. The conifers (like pines) begin to show more brown needles as they begin their change for winter, but it is not as noticeable until deciduous trees are well along.

But there is more – late or early light makes a forest canopy appear golden and orange. Dawn and early evening show faint but unique dark colors. Morning frost in open areas accents the colors at tree lines. Acorns and seeds are often scattered in wide areas of the forest floor. The smell of the whole forest changes through the transition.

An observer will notice buds for the following year have already formed. Dogwood trees have a characteristic flower bud that will adorn early spring forests. Other trees show tight buds for the coming Spring. One can tell the forest is already poised for Spring when Winter has not yet arrived.

Why do we notice all this? Our created eyes see one tiny bit of the spectrum where color is discernible. Not every living thing has the same spectrum or the same ability to see as we do. And, only humankind can speak, communicate, and appreciate the change then communicate Autumn’s effects in music,   poetry, photography, with words, and other mediums. For the believer, it draws us to worship the Creator. All of this is what God intended. He wants the ‘crown of His creation’ to consider His works.

It is easy to forget that it was all conceived by God before it existed. His filling the earth on the third day of creation with foliage was remarkable. Genesis 1:11-13 and 2:9 tell us that it was complete, made to produce, good, a source of food, and pleasing to the eye. All kinds of foliage were designed to reproduce after their own “kinds”. While variations are possible within the kinds, the kinds do not change into something else. By the end of that third day of creation, we have the planet’s food supply – brought about by His command. Of course, trees are more than food. They are also magnificent building material. Wood is used to make beautiful and decorative products and art. The micro- and macroscopic features of trees are so varied that one who fashions wood can choose a desired strength, grain, color, ease of shaping, and more.

Still go further – the quiet of a forest glen or the idea of a path among trees was known before it was. The sound of a passing breeze through a tree line was known by the Creator. The tiniest plant to the largest tree were conceived in total by the Master of Variety before they were. The weather patterns and earth position around the sun, which stimulate the Autumn changes, were understood in total before the foundations of the earth and heaven were laid out.

By the sixth day of the creation week, the habitat of earth was ready for the creation of living things. Man, created last, was created differently — in His image. That imprint of His image on us included our senses, mind, and soul to interpret what is around us. The suggestion, no matter how often repeated, that we arrived by accident or without His hand, given our complexity, including our ability to observe and understand some of the world around us, is simply not possible.

How magnificent are His ways. They are unfathomable, but He still invites us to watch, touch, learn, and appreciate parts of creation, like the Autumn changes among trees and forests. Like other parts of creation, the Autumn changes point to Him. John 1:3 and 10 say Jesus Christ was the Creator. Proverbs 8:22-31 leaves us with the same sentiment in poetic form.

Even if an observer only considers Autumn’s changes, why is it so important? It is simple and expressed in so many parts of the Bible: He wants us to have fellowship with Him. The entrance of sin shortly after the creation week was rapid and affects all of us. God wants us to be free from it and Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of it so we can find Him once again. That story is what the Bible is all about. Autumn changes, like other parts of creation, still have His signature, and still beckon us to return to him.

The Apostle Paul is right in Acts 17:24-27 when he speaks to an unbelieving gathering of men who liked to talk of the latest things (Acts 17:21). He urges them to consider the God who made all things and knows the times and places where all people have lived or will live. He says, among a company of believers referenced in other books and verses, turn from your ways and reach out to Him.

The message has not changed. Autumn is not just a change in leaf color. The season of change is a signpost pointing to the Creator.

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Would you like to study biblical creation and see how experimental science and detailed observation of the complexity that is in it point to the Creator, who wants to know us? Do you want to know why you are important, have an identity known my God, and are not a result of a random evolution of cells? Do you have questions about why things are broken and why evil exists?

Download the free App for Android phones or read about the resources that are available under <courses> and <downloadable courses> at this site: cwm4him.org. It’s on the Play Store — look for the hand symbol. Watch the videos on the CreationStudyHelps video channel. Meet the authors and why they developed the resources.

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