Another way that God speaks to us is through natural things. Creation shouts out God’s glory continuously, completely, and clearly.
I love it when I am in Kazakhstan, especially in the southern part of the nation. There I live right in a major valley surrounded by magnificent mountains. My view every morning when I get up are these mountain peaks standing majestically waiting to greet the rising sun. In the mountains (I have been to the top several times) I experience God’s majesty in the breathtaking views across a valley to the snow-capped peaks in the distance. God speaks to me through the nature that He has created.
The Bible confirms that God reveals Himself through nature. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands …”
Psalm 29:3-9 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
In nature, we discover a nonstop manifestation of God. Nature sends a clear signal that everyone can receive.
God told Abraham to look at the stars to get a vision of his future family. The vast starry sky symbolized the countless ancestors that God promised He would give Abraham (Genesis 15:5).
From the beginning of creation, God has shown what His eternal power and character are like by all He has made (Romans 1:20). Even those who are not living in the will of God can perceive right from wrong and instinctively know that God exists because nature itself testifies of His existence. That’s why people cannot claim ignorance of God as an excuse for refusing to honour Him. Atheists will some day stand before the Lord and realize that God spoke through His handiwork and they ignored this revelation in nature (Romans 1:21).
It was through the very intricate design of God’s handiwork — a child — that God spoke to the American writer, Whittaker Chambers, when he was still an atheist. He was observing his infant daughter and was struck by the fact that such an exquisite creature was not an accident or a freak of nature. He recalls in his autobiography:
“I was sitting in our apartment … my daughter was in her high chair. I was watching her eat. She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life … My eye came to rest on the delicate convolutions of her ear — those intricate, perfect ears. The thought passed through my mind: “No, those ears were not created by any chance coming together of atoms in nature. They could have been created only by immense design.” The thought was involuntary and unwanted. I crowded it out of my mind … I did not then know that, at that moment, the finger of God was first laid upon my forehead.”
God revealed Himself clearly in the design of a child. Mr. Chambers could not ignore God’s voice speaking to him.
While on this earth, Jesus often used natural things to teach spiritual lessons so we could more clearly understand how God communicated with mankind. Jesus told us to consider the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28) and the ravens of the air (Luke 12:24). Meditating on how God adorns the fields and provides for the birds will remind us that if He cares so completely for nature, He cares even more deeply for mankind whom He made in His own image.
In the parable of the farmer and the seed, Jesus used a natural phenomenon like a seed sprouting and growing to teach us the spiritual truth that when the message of the Gospel is sown in our hearts, it produces growth and fruitfulness spontaneously (Mark 4:26-29).
The Pharisees pretended they wanted to see evidence that Jesus was the Messiah by asking Him to show them a great demonstration in the skies (Matthew 16:2-3). Although Jesus could have caused lightening to strike at their feet or thunder to roll, He chose not to show a natural sign to speak to them because their hearts were wicked and obstinate. They would not have believed anyway.
Another time, Jesus told a parable of a budding fig tree, giving proof that summer is near, to speak symbolically of the proof that one day Israel would return to the Promised Land and form a sovereign state once again (Matthew 24:32-33). Again, God was speaking to mankind through a natural sign to make it easier to understand.
Many times God revealed His presence in the form of a cloud. A cloud led God’s people out of Egypt as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22). A cloud settled down on the tabernacle, filling it with God’s glory (Exodus 40:34-35). The same thing happened when Solomon finished building the temple ( 1 Kings 8:11-13). The cloud symbolized the glory of God’s majesty and presence that filled the temple. God was speaking His blessing as He took up residence in the temple.
Through the observation of life situations and natural phenomena, the Lord often speaks a lesson or insight. Learning to observe and listen for God to speak through nature is a very fruitful way to learn from God.
Along with the many other ways God speaks, look for God to speak through His creation to send a clear signal to you that He cares and that He is in control.