TALKING ANIMALS

Job 12:7,8 – But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;

And the fish of the sea will explain to you.

To those who have been given eyes to see, the glory of God is all around you. You catch glimpses of Him in the clouds passing overhead and hear His voice in the morning songbirds outside your window. Everywhere, from the crashing waves at the seashore to the barren wasteland of the Australian Outback, the glory of the Lord literally fills the earth. How does that relate to me in my hum drum, everyday life caught up in the noises of the city? Its really quite simple, He is there too. From the dust motes reflecting the glory of the sun in the light streaming in from your office window, to the butterfly swimming in the summer breeze, there is nowhere you can go that He is not present. Jonathan Edwards was known for his attraction to creation; here is a quote from Belsen Lane on Edwards and the voices of creation.

“As our senses open us to harmonies of sound and delicacies of scent, as they teach us to delight in the play of light in a bubbling fountain of water, they offer a spiritual training in the knowledge of God. Edwards never tired of pointing out that to “know” God is also to enjoy God. The properly trained mind not only “speculates and beholds, but relishes and feels.” When it comes to matters of the divine, enjoyment is a precondition for any authentic knowing.

In speaking of nature as a school of desire, Edwards drew on a long tradition of the “colloquy with the creatures.” This literary trope goes back to Job’s injunction to “Ask the beasts, and they will teach you,” and to Jesus’s call to consider the lilies. The form became stylized in Augustine’s Confessions when he “puts his questions to the earth,” asking the creatures, the winds, and the sky to “tell him of God”. Their answer is that their beauty leads him to a Beauty beyond themselves in God.”

So put your ears on today. His voice may come in a very unusual and unexpected way. Like

C. S. Lewis and his wardrobe, even the animals are declaring the glory of the Lord. You never no, maybe your beagle will have something to say this morning.

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