Introduction: Have you ever heard someone say going out in
nature is as good as going to church? Maybe you have
skipped church one week to “commune” in nature?

I cannot say I completely understand this. Looking at
nature I understand. Being in nature is another thing.

Let’s review your last “commune” in nature. The first thing
you notice is the temperature (normally not optimum). Then
the biting, stinging, poking, sucking things notice you. If
I am in really deep woods, my mind turns to “food-chain”
issues: bigger animals eat smaller animals. So I have a
concern about coming across a bigger animal. The only book
of the Bible that readily pops to mind is Job! So let’s
explore the thesis of our lesson that nature is one of God’s


    1. Since I’ve started you down the path, let’s list
      some things you learn from nature? (Bigger,
      stronger animals eat smaller animals. Pests abound.
      Nature is bigger than man. Nature gets out of
      control sometimes.)

      1. Obviously, I’ve taken the negative view.
        You’ve given me some positive things to put on
        our list to counter balance the negative. Tell
        me, would you recommend nature as a way to
        teach about God?

        1. What do you say about the “negative
          lessons” in nature?

    2. Let’s look at some texts on this. Read Romans
      1:18-21. What is Paul arguing here?

      1. According to Paul, would you need to have a
        Bible to believe in God? (Paul is saying that
        no one has any excuse for not believing in God
        based on what they see around them in nature.)

      2. What, specifically, does Paul say we should be
        able to understand about God from nature?
        (Verse 20: His eternal power and divine

      3. Does Paul suggest that nature reveals all of
        God’s qualities? (Paul just suggests two.)

        1. Do you agree that nature shows God’s
          eternal power? (No question.)

        2. Do you agree that nature shows God’s
          divine nature?

          1. Is it part of God’s divine nature
            that bigger or fitter animals eat
            smaller or less fit animals?

        3. Let’s read on. Romans 1:22-23. Is this a
          comment on the bigger, fitter animals
          issue? (Yes! Sort of. Paul suggests that
          nature shows a hierarchy. Given this
          hierarchy, how does it make any logical
          sense for man to bow down to birds and
          reptiles – much less images of them? Why,
          Paul says, in view of nature, would man
          look down and not up the chain? This idea
          is bolstered by the Greek word Paul uses
          (“theiotes”) which is translated “divine
          nature” and refers to the abstract and
          relative power of God. Nature shows us
          there is a power above us.)

      4. Let’s look at another text on this. Read
        Psalms 19:1-4. What does this suggest that
        nature tells us about God?

        1. Is there any language barrier here?

        2. Why does nature (v.2) speak in the day and
          display knowledge at night? (One
          explanation could be that during the day
          we can observe this great creation. Night
          shows us this is a “smart creation” in at
          least two ways. You need sleep to live.
          Presto, what do you find? A period of
          time in which your body can sleep and be
          regenerated. At night you can see all the
          stars. Their order and movement show a
          smart creation.)

    3. As you look back at that list that you made of what
      you learn from nature, how many of the positive
      things that you listed reflect God’s abstract

    4. Is nature all we need to know God? Read Colossians

      1. To what do you think the phrase in verse 8,
        “basic principles of this world,” refers?
        Could it refer to nature? (Yes. The Greek
        seems to say “the orderly arrangement of the
        cosmos.” This would clearly point to nature!)

      2. What do we need to have a clear picture of
        God? (Paul tells us that we can learn certain
        things about God’s power and authority through
        nature, but we have an incomplete picture
        without the life of Christ.)

        1. Where would we learn about the life of
          Christ? (The Bible)

    5. We have seen how someone who communes in nature can
      come away with an incomplete picture of God. Is
      the reverse true, does someone who faithfully reads
      his Bible, but stays away from the mosquitoes, have
      an incomplete picture of God? (I am not sure the
      picture is incomplete, but it is missing an
      important part of the foundation. What makes us
      think that the Bible is not just a bunch of fairy
      tales? An old book whose main purpose is to make
      preachers rich off the gullible? Paul says in
      Romans you cannot look at nature without concluding
      that something a lot bigger and smarter than man is
      running the show.)


    1. Read Revelation 21:1-4. What has happened to
      nature? What has happened to the (v.4) “old order
      of things?”

      1. Think back to your list of what you learn from
        nature. How many of the negative things in
        your list are in the nature of “old order”
        things that will pass away?

      2. What does this suggest is wrong with the
        nature picture? (It suggests that sin has
        marred the picture, caused it to be out of
        focus. Nature is good to teach us the power
        and authority of God, but it is not a picture
        in which God has put all the brush strokes.
        The devil has been adding his scribbling to
        this picture and his additions are going to
        “pass away.”)


    1. Look next at Psalms 111:10. What do you think the
      Psalmist means when he says, “The fear of the Lord
      is the beginning of wisdom?”

      1. Does nature teach us to “fear” God? (Some of
        the grandest views of God’s power come from

      2. Will “fear of God” lead to a focused or
        unfocused picture of Him? (The Hebrew word
        translated “fear” (yirah) can mean a series of
        things starting with respect, through awe, to
        terror. If you start out with the mind set
        that God is awesome and you are not, you are
        on the right road to understanding God. So
        much of the errors that are drawn from nature
        come from man’s arrogant attitudes.)

    2. Are we (are you) a part of nature that can lead us
      to fear God?

      1. The Psalmist tells us in Psalms 139:14 that we
        are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” What do
        you think that means?

      2. Let’s consider our eyes for a moment. Can man
        reproduce the eye/optic nerve/brain
        connection? (No. Man cannot create a
        substitute eye. Man cannot even create a very
        good substitute hand. Doesn’t that tell you
        something? If man, with all his knowledge and
        ability, cannot make a “simple” thing like a
        hand, what kind of genius thinks we should be
        looking “down the chain of creation” or at
        chance to explain what we are today!)

    3. If nature caused you to acknowledge there is a
      power above you, what would be your next natural or
      logical step? (To see if this God who created
      nature and us decided to communicate with His

      1. Would it be logical to be led to the Bible?
        (The Bible claims to be a message from God.
        An explanation of God, our origins and God’s
        desires for our life – to name a few.)

      1. Does the Bible also tell us that a
        “scribbler,” a graffiti artist has been at
        work after the creation?

        1. Where? (Genesis 3)

        2. Is the placement important? (Right after
          God tells us how He created the world,
          nature and man, He plunges immediately
          into the entry of sin. It seems God is
          anxious to share with us the story of how
          man and creation are marred by sin.)

    1. Friends, nature should convince us of a power above
      ourselves. The primary lesson of the book of nature
      is to convince us that God exists. God’s second
      book, the Bible, then puts the picture of God into