The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. // Psalm 24:1
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. // Romans 1:20
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” // Matthew 6:28-30
What do we learn about God from the things that he created? The Bible says we learn about God’s invisible qualities: his divine nature and his eternal, unending, inexhaustible power.
So we were pondering that as my family hiked the Cheyenne Mountain trail just outside of Colorado Springs, Utah (gorgeous scenery if you ever want to explore) during our recent vacation.
The picture is something our second daughter saw that caught her eye. So I looked into it for the purpose of discovering insight into God’s “eternal power and divine nature.”
This is the young seed cone from a Ponderosa Pine. It’s called an “ovulate.” It operates in conjunction with a group or cluster of pollen cones that also appear on the Ponderosa pine, but they appear at a much lower branch than the seed cone.
Because the pollen cones are at a lower level and because the pollen is mainly spread by wind, the pollen from one particular pine tree will more than likely NOT ascend to the level of the seed cone on its “home” tree. This helps it to create stronger trees by reducing “inbreeding.” The arrangement of seed and pollen cones encourages cross-pollination.
God arranged this so that there would be cross-pollination rather than self-pollination. This shows his wisdom; he is a good scientist and designer. He does not want the tree to create “inbred” offspring that could be potentially weaker in the long run. He encourages cross-pollination by putting the seed cones higher up on the tree.
Well, what is the value of cross-pollination? Avoidance of inbreeding is, in most tree species, one way of upgrading the seed and plant quality. Crossbred trees will be 18 to 21% higher in quality than inbred trees. Crossbreeding also increases the life expectancy of the tree from that seed.
Sin already creates deficiencies in plant life and life in general; sin causes the breakdown in all of us. But even in a fallen world, God still seeks to create a more positive environment. He has an order; he has a set of scientific rules that will produce a better result even though there is sin. This reflects his mercy: if he didn’t care about his creation, he would let it all just reproduce in poorer and poorer forms of life—rapid degradation. Instead, he sets up mechanisms and systems (like the pollen cones being lower on the tree than the ovulates or seed-bearing cones) so that they would not degrade as quickly.
Fear not, I have overcome the world. // John 16:33
Jesus will reverse the effects of sin on all creation when he comes back for good. But until then, let’s praise our Creator and look deeply into his creation to learn about his divine qualities (scientific and wise mind, mercy for a fallen world, beauty seen in the purple cone, etc.)
All creation groans . . . in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. // Romans 8:19 & 22
Blessings as you consider God’s creation and his divine nature.
Here is the article that covered some of these points.