God’s Wisdom in Creation
Brian D. Dykstra (Teacher at Hope PR Christian School, Walker, MI)
*This article was originally written as a devotional for his fellow teachers at Hope CS. It is posted here because of its broader value for our website readers.
Proverbs 3:19–20: “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.”
In this section of Proverbs, Solomon has been instructing us about the value of wisdom. Wisdom gives men happiness. With wisdom there are length of days, riches and honour. Because of the benefits of wisdom to man, she is to be regarded as being more valuable than silver and gold, and more precious than rubies.
By telling us that the Lord founded the earth by wisdom, Solomon lets us know that wisdom existed before the beginning of time. Wisdom is not the product of man’s accumulation of knowledge over the years. We can claim no part in wisdom’s existence or development. Wisdom predates us. Nor is it the case that God has grown wiser over the years. He is perfectly wise and founded the earth in His wisdom to suit His own purpose and will.
To do something with wisdom means that it was done with skill. Usually we are able to determine whether or not something was made by someone who knew what he was doing. For example, I am not an artist and have never tried to paint a picture. I do not know how to use oil paints, paint brushes, an easel or canvas. If I were to take the tools of the artist’s trade to Rocky Mountain National Park, set up the equipment by some beautiful lake with a striking view of the spectacular mountains and begin to paint what I saw, I doubt that anyone would be willing to pay to have my painting adorning their family room wall. I don’t know how to blend colours to achieve just the tints and hues I would need to capture the subtleties of the lighting. The perspective and proportion of my painting would likely be flawed as well.
However, if you had need of a drawing of your house and property for a mortgage survey, that would be a different matter, and people have paid for those drawings. I have been trained for and have experience in that. You would be able to determine which of the pieces of work had been done with skill, or wisdom, and which had not.
What can be said of God’s founding of the earth? Is any skill evident there? We can consider His works at any scale. What of the beauty of the earth as seen in the photographs taken by astronauts? I have in mind especially the picture taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts of the blue and brown Earth with its swirling clouds as it rose over the battered and desolate moon. Is there evidence of the Creator’s skill there? Upon his return to earth, one of the Apollo 8 astronauts remarked about that famous “Earthrise” picture, “Here we went all that way on this fantastic voyage to the moon, and what we really discovered was the Earth.”
At the other end of the scale, we can mention the intricate details and beauty of the single-celled creatures He has formed. Even the crystalline shapes of the exoskeletons of the diatoms impress us with their exquisite design. Though creation is also affected by Adam’s fall, it still speaks of the power, glory and judgment of its Creator. How much clearer was creation’s testimony to Adam in his original state? There is evidence of God’s wisdom in the founding of the earth.
Not only must we pay attention to what the Bible says, we must also think about what it does not say. This is important as the creation verses evolution debate continues. There are Christian scientists who do not hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. The view that God used the tool of evolution to bring about all we see is increasingly popular. There are many who find this synthesis of the two positions attractive. Yet, Proverbs 3:19 speaks of God’s wisdom founding the earth, not His patience over billions of years as He directed slow change in the works of His hands.
God’s understanding has also prepared the heavens. What we see in the sky above us is not the random result of a Big Bang. God formed the sun, moon, planets and stars, and directs them for His own purpose. These lights are given to us to tell time and distinguish the seasons. They are signs to us of an orderly God. However, can we discern why the stars had to be placed in their positions? Would other patterns of stars be suitable? There are some who claim the story of salvation can be read in the constellations. How much credibility should be given to that thought? Clearly, the heavens speak of a great, powerful Creator who is to be feared. This Creator is certainly able to do whatever He pleases to do.
Proverbs 3:20 speaks of God’s knowledge breaking up the deep and causing clouds to drop down the dew. Is there evidence in this verse of an ancient grasp of the water cycle? We have an understanding today of how God uses ocean currents, the movements and breaking up of the deep, to drive weather patterns. As a result of this knowledge of God, the face of the earth is watered and we are provided with our daily bread.
Our science and art classes give our covenant students an opportunity to see the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of God. Our sins are not few, nor are they minor offences to a perfectly holy God. Only a mighty and wise God can give salvation to His Church through the cross of Jesus Christ. The earth and the heavens give evidence that we serve such a God.