The Book of Nature and the Bible
“The universe confounds me! I cannot imagine that such a ‘clock’ can exist without there being a Clockmaker.”—Voltaire, 18th-century French philosopher.
A PRECISION watch inspires admiration for the skill and talent of its maker. But what about the universe that surrounds us? Can that reveal, at least to a degree, the personality of its Creator?
Almost 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul, one of the writers of the Bible, gave an answer to this question: “For [God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” (Romans 1:20) So, what can we learn from observing this book of nature?
What the Clock Teaches Us About the Clockmaker
A majestic waterfall, the sea during a storm, a clear night sky filled with thousands of stars—these are some things that make us think of a powerful Creator. The precision of the orbits of the planets can also remind us, as it reminded Voltaire, that the Creator must be a Grand Organizer, a Master Clockmaker.—Psalm 104:1.
The variety of the earth’s produce—the fruits and vegetables that we receive in abundance—also bear witness to God’s generosity. Paul attested to this when he declared that God “did not leave himself without witness in that he did good, giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts to the full with food and good cheer.”—Acts 14:17.
What the Clock Does Not Tell Us
Further examination of the book of nature would teach us about still other qualities of God. But if we rely solely on what we learn from creation, our knowledge of God will always be limited. The French writer Robert Lenoble explains this in his book Esquisse d’une histoire de l’idée de Nature, (An Outline History of the Idea of Nature): “Man will always turn his attention to Nature in order to penetrate its mystery and discover its secret, a secret that will never come out of a laboratory.” More than half of the Frenchmen polled by the Catholic daily La Croix—whether they were believers or atheists—agree with this and admit that “science will never be able to give a sufficient explanation of the universe, since a lot of things belong to the philosophical or the religious field.”
About 3,500 years ago, the faithful Job came to the same conclusion. He raised the question: “But wisdom—where can it be found, and where, now, is the place of understanding?” Is this wisdom to be found in the book of creation? “The watery deep itself has said, ‘It is not in me!’ The sea too has said, ‘It is not with me!’ It has been hidden even from the eyes of everyone alive, and from the flying creatures of the heavens it has been concealed.”—Job 28:12, 14, 21.
Where, then, should we go to find this wisdom? That same book answers: “God is the One who has understood its way, and he himself has known its place.” (Job 28:23) And God has shared his wisdom with mankind in a wonderful way by means of his Word, the Bible.
Unique Knowledge From the Bible
The Bible gives us unique insight into the origin of mankind. It tells us that God prepared the earth and then placed there the first human couple. Our first parents could have lived eternally in perfect surroundings. But they rebelled, and by their sin they opened the way for all the evils—including sin and death—that have afflicted mankind.—Genesis, chapters 1 to 3; Romans 5:12-21.
The Bible also tells us in detail the steps taken by God to remedy the situation. Thousands of years after Adam and Eve, God’s own Son, Jesus, came to earth to give mankind the opportunity to be reconciled to God. Christ thus held out to humans who would exercise faith in him and who would recognize the value of his sacrifice the prospect of eternal life on an earth that would be turned into a paradise.—Luke 23:43; John 3:16.
This hope is offered to each one of us. To realize it we must acquire accurate ‘knowledge of the only true God and of the one he sent forth, Jesus Christ.’ We must also live in harmony with that hope. This accurate knowledge is found in the Bible.—John 17:3; James 2:24-26.
Would you like to have a detailed answer to questions such as, Where did man come from? What happens after death? What are the causes of mankind’s problems? Is there any hope that they will be solved some day? When and how will God bring about perfect conditions for humanity? If so, we encourage you to look into the Bible, the only book that will give you answers from the God of the universe and the only book containing “the basis of a hope of the everlasting life.” The purpose of the Watchtower Society’s publications is to help you find these answers in your Bible.—Titus 1:1, 2.
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The universe reveals aspects of God’s personality
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Only the Bible can tell us about God’s purposes toward man and the earth