Testimony of the Manifold Witness

Photo: Sanibel Island, Florida

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

You may recognize these words from the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” one of my favorites. Every line of the song is rich with meaning, extolling the perfect faithfulness of an unchanging, all-powerful, generous, forgiving God. Most of the hymn is sung from the perspective of the son or daughter of God who has been and can personally attest to His greatness.

The second verse strikes me, however, because it shifts to an even more universal vantage point. It is the picture of a choir stretching out over all the earth, and throughout the cosmos, resounding with a most majestic harmony in praise to a perfect, holy Creator. The four seasons proclaim that the earth was carefully crafted and finely tuned to sustain life and explode with beauty. Stars and solar systems throughout the unthinkable vastness of space all bow to the commands of their Maker and follow the paths He has assigned. Trees burst forth at His direction. Flowers bloom at His will. Birds fly, cheetahs run, and dolphins leap at His instruction. Every bit of creation, from the smallest particle to the largest galaxy, comes together as a “manifold witness” to declare that Almighty God is faithful and merciful and loving.

The Bible itself reveals that “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1), and it calls “everything that has breath” to “praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

In this space, I want to share some of the ways that nature offers testimony of a sovereign Hand, a masterful Artist, and a gracious Lord. That testimony is everywhere, if we will but look for it. There is beauty, there is detail, and there is precision all around us. All of it provides evidence that something (and Someone) greater than itself exists, and all of it demands a response of worship and awe. Not worship of the creation, of course—it would be greatly missing the mark to bow down to a planet, an animal, or a human. But the Maker of the planets and animals and humans is more than worthy of our greatest adoration. My simple hope is that this website will provoke such an awed and worshipful response through reflections and images of God’s intricate creation.

In the related social media channels, I will pass along articles and discoveries from various sources, whether scientific or spiritual. I pray that the Creator will use all of it to stir our hearts to praise Him and pursue Him. The God who made all things and “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3) invites us to know Him and to believe that the power that formed the stars is also the power that defeated death. The faithfulness that keeps the world encircling the sun is also the faithfulness that paid the penalty for our sin. For anyone who believes in Jesus, that is certainly “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

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One Response

  1. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose, that he accomplished in Christ Jesus, our Lord. In him, and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:10-12

    This word manifold is beautiful, although I’m not sure I try grasp its meaning. But it encourages and inspires me to understand our God in all his manifold wisdom.

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