And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”
- Revelation 10.4
Let the summits of heaven, too praise you with roaming lightning,
O most loving Jesus, O righteous King of Kings.
- Columba, Noli Pater, Irish, 6th century
Celtic Christians, like the Apostle John, heard the voice of God in created things. Storms, winds, seas, rivers, lakes, woods, animals, and plants all spoke to Celtic Christians about the infinite goodness, wisdom, beauty, majesty, power, and mystery of God.
They lived close to the creation, not just because they chose a simple way of life, but because they found true fellowship with God in created things.
John “heard” the thunders say something, although he was not permitted to write it down. But he was able to interpret the crash and clap of lightning bursting through the heavens as something like a word from God.
The psalmist said that the works of God are studied by all those who delight in them (Ps. 111.2). We will delight in God’s works if we will take the time to examine them, waiting on Him to make Himself known to us in the things He has made.
Every passing bird, every cloud, tree, flower, blade of grass, or random stone, has something to say to us about our God. We, too, can learn to hear the voice of God in creation, but not without a little practice. As you read through the Scriptures, consider the various images from creation that are used to tell us something about the Lord: storms stilled – His great power; animals feeding – His faithful provision; people working – His distribution of gifts and abilities; mountains looming or storms coming in – His majesty and might. Let these images be the starting-place for you to begin developing the discipline of hearing the voice of God in creation.
His glory is in there; ours is the privilege of seeing that glory and making it known (Prov. 25.2; Hab. 2.14).
Psalm 111.7, 8 (Manoah: “When All Your Mercies, O My God”)
The works of Your all-sovereign hands are faithful, Lord, and just.
Your precepts ever more are true and worthy of our trust.
Lord, show me through created things all Your vast goodness and power and benevolence! Adapted from Augustine Hibernicus, On the Miracles of Holy Scripture
T. M. Moore, Principal