1 Kings 4:33 Solomon described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.
One of the best programs that we have in our church takes place on Wednesday nights. It’s called the Pioneer Club and our Family Ministry Director, Joy, puts together special presentations about animals and wildlife. Most of the kids who attend the program are not church kids; they are siblings of other children who are involved in our popular Creative Ministry program called the Sonshine Company.
I attended Joy’s programs and was often amazed about the animals she spoke about. She used pictures and books, videos and sounds to captivate the kids’ attention. She gave them animal stickers and treats which delighted the young children. Joy also prepared special crafts which the kids made and proudly took home with them. It was a great program and a wonderful way to reach out to unchurched families. Joy was not just teaching the children about different wildlife, she was doing missionary work by giving these kids a positive experience at the church we both serve. Hopefully, in future years, the children will remember Joy’s programs and perhaps they will be drawn nearer to God as the Creator of all Living Things.
I like today’s verse from 1 Kings. Solomon was a wise person, but he also was a great naturalist, maybe even the David Attenborough of his day. He used the talents of wisdom that God gave him not just for the running of his kingdom, but also to increase his knowledge about the wonders of life and all living things. I find that both incredible and also very understandable. Most people who enjoy God’s Creation seek to learn more about it, whether it be life on earth, birds in the sky, fish in the sea, or even planets and stars in the vast universe.
As I reflect on this, the first question and answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism of the reformed tradition comes to mind:
Q: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
I think that for me, and for Joy, and for the kids at Pioneer Club, for Solomon too, and may other good folks, enjoying God also means to delight in His works of wondrous creation. After all, life on earth would not be possible without God’s creative handiwork and sustaining grace.
Questions for personal reflection
What is it about life on Earth that fascinates me? Where do I see God’s handiwork on this planet?
Prayer: Lord God and Creator of all Life, thank You for allowing us to enjoy Your wonderful works. We praise You for sustaining Life on this planet and for the great enjoyment that we, as human beings, experience in the world today. Bless all life and enable us to appreciate it as a precious gift. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or send comments about today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s many wildlife drawings. It features a Baby Raccoon. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: Baby Raccoon.