Birds and flowers

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:26, 28-29, NKJV).

One of the pleasures I experience often in other countries is the sight of unfamiliar animals, flowers, and trees. It is not that the kingfisher of South Asia is necessarily prettier or more colorful than, say, the indigo bunting or goldfinch of North America. They are just less familiar and thus perhaps more exciting to see. But I love to see the cardinals and finches at my own feeders at home too, regardless of how often I have watched them.

In Matthew, Jesus used the little creatures of God as evidence of his love and power to care for all of creation, including human beings. The primacy of mankind is taught clearly in Scripture (Psalm 8:3-8; Genesis 9:2-3). Jesus argued, therefore, that if God provides for these little things, how much more should we expect him to provide for those created “in his own image” (Genesis 1:27)?

A popular song, often taught as a children’s song, begins, “The little flower that opens, the little bird that sings, God made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings. All things bright and beautiful, creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”

God’s creative power and wisdom are displayed by the things which he has made (Romans 1:20). Though without tongue or voice or language, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Not only may we recognize God’s power and knowledge through these things; they also declare his basic goodness. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” (Psalm 136:1). Creation’s beauty, beneficence, and abundance testify to God’s willingness to bless. “He did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).

With the abundance of evidence that “God is, and . . . he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6), it is not surprising that Scripture declares, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1). Let us look at the birds and the flowers and all of the other marvels of creation and ask ourselves reasonably, “Is there another explanation for their existence more reasonable than that they are the product of intelligent design and purpose?” If so, what can it be? Did all of this come from billions of years of consecutive and cumulative fortuitous accidents? I think not.

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