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Don’t close your eyes – or your ears

Don’t close your eyes – or your ears


Don’t close your eyes – or your ears

If you have never read the Bible you may be surprised at how it begins. Or rather, at how it doesn’t begin. Wouldn’t you expect a book that claims to be a revelation from God to begin with the evidence for his existence? What it actually does is plunge us straight into an account of God’s work of creation. His existence is simply pre-supposed.

Nor is the matter mended as we go on. The existence of God has certainly been a matter of keen philosophical discussion and various philosophical arguments have been developed to prove that God exists. The Bible itself, however, makes no such attempt. It continues and ends as it begins, with the existence of God taken for granted.

Along the way, however, it does give us pointers to his existence. We may think of them as a series of witnesses.  Now witnesses often contradict each other. But not these ones. They are united in the testimony that they bear. Listen to what they say, look at what they show us, and we are face to face each time with the God who is.

There is the testimony of God’s creation. The opening words of the Bible tell us that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1.1). In doing so he revealed certain things about himself. Here, for example, is what the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Christians in Rome: “…since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1.20).

Think about someone speaking to you in your own language. You can understand what he’s saying. So with creation. The things that God has made speak to us. They tell us of his power, his wisdom, his glory, and therefore of his existence. And they do so in such plain words that we are without excuse if we choose to turn a deaf ear to them.

Then there is the testimony of God’s goodness. Back to the Apostle Paul, this time to one of his sermons. He is speaking to some people who all their lives had worshiped other gods. Paul acknowledges that God had permitted that. But he also asserts that God had been no passive bystander. Here are his words: “…he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14.17).

Many people don’t believe in God because of the problem of evil. We mustn’t shut our eyes to that. But nor must we shut them to the fact of the good. This world is full of good things – things that supply our needs, that enrich our lives, that make existence on this planet not only possible but pleasant. How do we account for them? They are a testimony to the kindness of the God from whom they come. And as such, to his existence.

Finally, there is the testimony of God’s law. Why is it that every human being has an inner sense of right and wrong? Once more the Apostle Paul. Writing in Romans 2 (vs.14-15) he explains it in terms of a moral law whose requirements are written on our hearts. How is such a thing possible? Only through the work of a Divine Law-giver who made us to be moral beings.

The title of this article is an appeal: don’t close your eyes – or your ears. You now understand its thrust, don’t you? And your duty.

David Campbell Elder Grace Baptist ChurchDavid Campbell
Grace Baptist Church
777 W North Street
Carlisle, PA 17013