Key Verse: “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”
IN A PREVIOUS LESSON, we examined how God used various agencies to create and prepare earth—man’s eternal home. Today we turn our attention to the extraordinary wisdom behind that creation and how it relates to man. It is easy to view with wonder the great variety within the animal and plant world which we see all about us. These are indeed part of God’s “manifold” works, formed and created by his unerring wisdom.
The Genesis account of Creation tells us that after man was created, God instructed him, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat.”—Gen. 1:28-30
In these verses, we see the relation between the lower forms of creation and man. By giving him dominion over all other living things on earth, God placed man in a superior position to plant and animal creation. Though we are mere specks in the universe, God declares his special love for the human race through the inspiring words of the psalmist: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea.”—Ps. 8:3-8, English Standard Version
The psalmist here shows that the works of God are manifold, and it is in man where his wisdom and love are the most evident. Adam was created perfect, and his life could have continued forever. However, the Bible explains that by his disobedience “sin entered into the world, and death by sin,” a penalty which has passed down to all generations since.—Rom. 5:12
God, however, did not leave us hopelessly in our sins. The Apostle John expresses the Heavenly Father’s love for his human creation and gives us hope, saying, “God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [atonement] for our sins.”—I John 4:8-10
God has given us the good news of his work of redemption, provided through the precious blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. This promise is not ours alone, but is for all mankind. (I John 2:1,2) Indeed, the shedding of the “precious blood of Christ … was foreordained before the foundation of the world,” that our “faith and hope might be in God.” (I Pet. 1:19-21) For all his mighty works, praise be to God!