I just love a good sunset, don’t you? A glorious pink, orange, and yellow Texas sunset takes my breath away every time. And I love an imposing, gigantic snow-capped mountain. A star-packed country sky is an exquisite sight. And, fields full of wildflowers, powerful rivers, and peaceful streams are all joyful reminders of what an incredible world we live in. Even the stark, leafless, ice-covered branches of winter are beautiful in their own way.
God created an amazing world for us to enjoy. But, more importantly, He imagined and spoke into being a world that brings Him glory and praise. Isaiah writes:
High Heavens, sing!
God has done it.
Deep earth, shout!
And you mountains, sing!
A forest choir of oaks and pines and cedars!
God has redeemed Jacob.
God’s glory is on display in Israel.
Later, he says:
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace,
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
In fact, the Bible is filled with instances where writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, personify nature and describe it as a giant, glorious, praise-filled testament to our great God:
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them. (Psalm 69:34)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament shows his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1).
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the LORD, for He comes,
He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth. (Psalm 96:11-13).
And then there is an important little story that shows up in the book of Luke. Jesus’s disciples are shouting his praises in the streets as He walks. Those pesky Pharisees demand that Jesus instruct the disciples to be quiet. He answers: “I tell you, if they keep quiet, even the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40)
Jesus’ statement says a lot about what His creation was designed to do. It exists not just to bring us pleasure, but to declare God’s glory to all the universe. But, don’t miss this crucial point in His statement: He wants our praise more. In all of creation, there is no being, no incredible landscape or amazing creature who is more valued by God than mankind. He finds us more special than His most impressive, awe-inspiring creation. No creature or plant or rock or mountain in nature has a relationship with Christ, nor have they been redeemed by His unfathomable love and sacrifice. So, no facet of His creation should be more willing to loudly declare His glory and honor and praise.
He tells the Pharisees that IF His disciples are silent, the rocks would still declare His glory. In other words, He’s going to get the praise He’s due, one way or the other. But, we should be doing the declaring. We should be the loudest voice of praise in this universe.
So, I’m not going to let the sun outshine me. I’m not going to let the bubbling brook out-sing me. I’m not going to let the roaring lion tell the universe that God is real before I can shout it from the rooftops. My life should be an even more powerful testimony to the greatness of God than the singing cedars or the clapping oaks or the rocks that will cry out that He is Lord. We are His love. We are His treasure. And we are the creation He wants to hear praising Him the loudest. Let’s give those rocks a run for their money. He will be pleased.