Our family enjoys gardening together. Even our toddler likes to explore the climbing pea vines and touch the ripening tomatoes within her reach. In the South, we’re able to plant early. We can put out plants vulnerable to cold by the beginning of April so that we can start enjoying their fruit in May.
However, this spring, we experienced three late frosts. My eight-year-old enjoyed wrapping the plants with rags and towels to keep them safe from the light frost. Despite our efforts, we lost a zucchini plant and a bell pepper.
While we scurried around to keep our plants safe, it was comforting to reflect with my daughter that the Lord was holding all things in His hands.
The World—By His Word
Paul tells us that Christ holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). It isn’t that God created the world and left it to operate on its own without His intervention. He actively maintains it.
And Peter identifies God’s means of maintaining the world: His Word (2 Peter 3: 5–7). God keeps the world by the same word by which He created the world.
Snow—By His Word
In Psalm 147:15–18, the poet meditates on the role of God’s word in the coming and going of snow.
He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
These images depict God’s word running across the face of the earth, scattering snow like wool. Then, He sends another word and it melts the snow. God is able to speak to every single particle in the universe. And since He is infinite, He still has unlimited capacity to listen to His people and answer.
The psalmist concludes that “he sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel” (Psalm 147:19). The word of God to creation and His written Word are laid side by side. So let’s compare these two sets of words.
The words have the same author. And so those words have the same authority. His commands are perfect. And the Lord is unchanging. He’s consistent. He never fails to hold the sun together. And His precepts will never change.
God’s written Word is clear. While interpreters have disagreements about the meaning of some difficult passages, the vast majority of Scripture is plain, while His words to creation are unintelligible to us.
Another dissimilarity is how the words are obeyed. God’s words to creation are never disobeyed. Yet we routinely ignore the written words of God.
God’s Word and Natural Laws
Scientists have identified some theories that hold up under testing so often that they call them laws. I believe that the laws of science persist because the Lord is constantly speaking to creation. Bodies of mass always attract (something we call gravity) because of God’s speech. If the speech of the Lord is observed in creation, we ought to observe the effects of God’s speech in nature. These observation will help us know how to live well in God’s world by living according to His creation.
God’s Word and Creational Norms
When we adjust our lives according to the way God made the world, we are finding creational norms. These norms enable farmers to plow, plant, and harvest in a timely manner to bring in the most produce. In some cases, God gives us explicit instruction in His Word. But we often have little direct instruction from the Lord. So we study creation through the lens of God’s Word. We observe, experiment, and adjust. When we do so, we are “listening in on” God’s speech to creation.
The education of our children enables them to identify creational norms. Their study of math, science, language arts, and history is a collection of discovered norms that they should incorporate into their lives to live well in God’s world. That’s why education is so important to our children. It’s also reason for the need to learn in the context of a biblical worldview.