Hi, Rob here. I was watching the David Attenborough series Africa last week and was blown away by butterflies and kingfish! Now I like butterflies but when it comes to Africa I’m more of a lions, gorillas and cheetahs kind of guy. But here I was, stunned by the fact that so much of Creation’s beauty is unseen by the human eye. For a few weeks every year, in the rainforests of Mozambique, thousands of beautiful multi-coloured butterflies fly to a high peak above the canopy of trees, circling around looking for a mate. It’s a stunning spectacle, only recently discovered by humanity. Another recently discovered spectacle was of hundreds of giant kingfish making their way upriver into freshwater, only to swim around in circles as if they were observing a religious ritual.
These little known and mostly unseen spectacles must occur all the time in God’s creation. I just read of a fungus that lights up an African forest floor in luminescent green that scientists had never seen before. What does this tell us about God? If we take seriously that he is The Creator of Heaven and Earth then we would expect his personality to come through in what he creates, wouldn’t we? These secret happenings of nature arise out of God’s heart and exist for his delight. They are part of his joy and put a smile on his dial!
Take Job 38-41 for example. Here God bursts into Job’s miserable existence and his friend’s lofty philosophy with a grand tour of Creation. Beginning with the basic structure (echoing Genesis 1) of land and sea; light and dark; rain and sun, God then moves onto constellations, then animals. What is obvious as God speaks is his enthusiasm for what he has made and his delight in that so much of it is unseen. Listen to these phrases he says to Job: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?…Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?…Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?…Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?” Then God makes his point: “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me (Job 41:11).”
As God goes through his Creation his delight increases. It reaches a pinnacle when he talks about the Leviathan; “Nothing on earth is its equal – a creature without fear. It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud (41:33-34).” God delights in the wild and the fierce aspects of his Creation because he too is wild and fierce. He delights in the hidden beauty of Creation because he too is full of abundant beauty. he delights in the abundant life of his Creation because he is the God of Life.
This life overflows to us. This is why Jesus says in John 10:10; “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Even though God delights in the flora and fauna of this world it is us who are the ultimate recipients of his delight and are the pinnacle of all that He has made. It is us who are made in his image, filled with his Spirit and given his life to share, all through the life and work of Jesus.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
What has God placed in you that is yet to be discovered? What dream has he placed in you that is yet to be fulfilled? What talent is waiting to be used for the sake of God’s kingdom? The God of Life has placed his life in us. He invites us to give our lives back to him so that His life can shine through us. If we do that He will be utterly delighted.