1a- It is impossible to look at God with our human eyes: a spirit cannot be seen by bodily eyes. Even Jesus said “no man has seen God at any time.” John 1:18.
1b- In Ezekiel we read that he saw the LIKENESS of the glory of the Lord. Ex. 1:28. not the Lord nor even his Glory: just the likeness. This was enough to cause him to fall on his face in fear.Anyone who should attempt to see God directly would certainly die, according to “no man shall see My face and live.” Exodus 33:20: According to Ezekiel, this is why God spread out the heaven as a veil of his Divine Godhead, that we would not perish. “If you shall rend the heavens, trembling will take hold of the mountains at the sight of you and they will flow down.”
1c- Likewise Daniel, who saw Gods' servant the Archangel Gabriel, shuddered and fell on his face: too afraid to answer him until the Angel transformed himself into the likeness of the son of man. Now if the appearance of one of God's angels struck such terror in a Prophet, what effect would God's appearance have on humans?
2. Since we cannot view God directly, we can get an idea of His power from observing His Creation. Solomon said: Wisdom 13: 5 “For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding (proportionate) perception of their Creator.” (NRSVC) In other words, the more broadly one becomes aware of God's creation, the more they begin to understand about God.
3a- So we must realize that to completely comprehend the nature of God is impossible. Remember the “Song of the Three Children” in the fiery furnace ? “Daniel 3:54 (NRSVC) Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne on the cherubim, and to be praised and highly exalted forever” "The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!” Psalm 99:1
3b- Ezekiel the Prophet described the cherubim as follows: each one has four faces: a man, a lion, and eagle and a calf and each has six wings, and eyes on all sides: and under each one was a wheel of four sides. We can't possible grasp what he is describing, so how can we comprehend Him who sits upon them: God the Invisible and Ineffable (incapable of being expressed or described in words) ?We can't examine the nature of God, but we do have the power to send up praises of His Glory for His works that can be seen.
The Fathers of the Nicene council agreed upon this:We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of All Things Visible and Invisible; in order that we may remember that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the same as He that made the heaven and the earth
5- What could possibly be wrong with the vast creation of God? We should be amazed at the sight of the vault of heaven. God raised the sky as a dome, who out of the liquid nature of waters formed the stable substance of the skies. For God said: “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water” Genesis 1:6. If the Heavens be of liquid, how do the sun and stars made of fire pass through? Remember that God placed the waters in the heavens so when the earth needs watering by showers, the heavens are ready.
6a- Is the sun not wonderful? It appears a s a small body, but contains a mighty power: appearing from the East and sending its light to the west. The Psalmist describes the heavens: The heavens are telling the glory of God;and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.Praise the Lord from the Heavens, No. 2 Cappella Romana, Alexander Lingas & Vladimir Morosan Album: Lay Aside All Earthly Cares - Orthodox Liturgical Singing In America, Vol. I
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat. Psalm 18 1-6
6b- Observe that God has arranged that in summer, the sun rises higher. Making the days longer, giving men tome for their work, but in the winter, the suns course is lower, the weather is colder and the nights longer to add to our rest. This contributes to the fruitfulness of the earth. The Psalmist says: Psalm 19:2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
7- We oppose those who say there is one creator of the day and another of the darkness. The prophet Isaiah says: Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, … I, the Lord, do all these things.’Why does this bother you? Night is a time for rest. Some masters would not allow their servants to rest unless there was night time. It is during the night hours, that we discover wisdom. Here we set our minds before God and read and study the Bible. At night, we are more inclined to chanting psalms and prayers. Is it not in the night hours that we recall our sins and are brought to repentance? Let us be thankful that God created both the daylight and the darkness.
8- Isn't it amazing that not only are the sun and moon arranged so carefully, but also the well ordered “choir” of the stars? They rise at exact intervals, and some are signs of summer,some of winter, and some mark the season for planting fields and gardens, and others guide navigation? As pilot can steer his ship looking at the stars. Genesis 1:14, states: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night;And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for years.” But not for the fables of astrology and birth signs. The sun gradually rises, giving our eyes time to adjust. And the Pitch black of night is relieved by the light of the moon.
9a- Who is the father of the rain? And who has begotten the drops of dew Job 38:28 ?who condensed the moisture in the air into clouds,and ordered them to carry the waters of rainfrom over the ocean to the dry land?
now bringing golden-tinted clouds from the north , now changing these into one uniform appearance, and again transforming them into manifold circles and other shapes? Who can number the clouds in wisdom Job 38:37? Whereof in Job it says, And He knows the separations of the clouds , and has bent down the heaven to the earth : and, He who numbers the clouds in wisdom: and, the cloud is not rent under Him. For so many measures of waters lie upon the clouds, yet they are not rent: but come down with all good order upon the earth.Who brings the winds out of their treasuries ?
9c- Job 38:28-30 Has the rain a father?Or who has begotten the drops of dew?From whose womb comes the ice?And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, And the surface of the deep is frozen.At times the water becomes snow like white wool, at other times, it is a mist like blowing ashes,or it comes down as hail, hard as stones. Water, when it enters vines becomes wine that makes glad the heart of man. In an olive tree, it nourishes olives to make a man's face shine, It is made into bread to strengthen us and into all kinds of fruit vegetables an herbs for our health.
9d- Water, when it enters vines becomes wine that makes glad the heart of man.In an olive tree, it nourishes olives to make oil to light the icon lampsand make a man's face shine, It is made into bread to strengthen usand into all kinds of fruit vegetables and herbs for our health.
10a- So what should we do? Should we criticize our creator or worship him? What about the more obvious examples of His Creativity? Consider the beauty of the many kinds of flowerssimilar in function but diverse in appearance:
10b- The deep crimson of the rose,the pure white of the lily:they spring from the same rain and the same earth:who makes them differ? Who fashioned them?
10 b- Observe that from the same tree comeswood to build furniture and houses, and also edible fruit: designed by one Creator.
10d- We enjoy such abundance, and so conveniently! From our earth comes creeping things, and wild beasts, and cattle, and trees, and food,and gold and silver and brass and iron and stone. From the waters comes the substance of fish,and from the air birds.
11a- Consider the denizens of the Great Sea.How can we describe the beauty of the fishes therein?
11b- Who can describe the greatness of whales,and the nature of amphibious animals,how they can live on both dry land in the water? How can we really determine the depth of the seaand measure the force of its waves?
11c- Yet it stays within its bounds, because of Job 38:11 When I [God] said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’There is usually a very clear shore line on the edge of the sea, showing that it obeys its appointed bounds.
12a- Who really understand the birds in the air? How some can sing a beautiful melody,
and others like the peacock are variegated with a riot of color on their wings?
Some can fly up and float motionless on the air. Can you follow the eagle who soars above the earth?If you cannot discern the soaring of the most senseless of the birds,how would you understand the Maker of all?
13a- who of you knows the name of all the wild beasts?This was the only task that God set before man in the Garden of Eden. But if we don't even know their names, how shall we comprehend their maker? <click>In Genesis 1:24, God commanded “ Let the earth bring forth wild beasts, and cattle, and creeping things, after their kinds”
13b-But from this command have sprung such a variety of animals: the gentle sheep, the carnivorous Lion, and all kinds of irrational animals that humorously represent the character of men:The fox who represents craftiness.
13c- The snake, the venomous treachery of friends
13d- The Neighing horse, the wantonness of Young men. you think I made this up?
Look at Jeremiah 5:8! They were like well-fed lusty stallions; Every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
13e- And the laborious ant, to put to shame the lazy and unmotivated.For when a man passes his youth in idleness,he can be instructed by the dumb animals as is says in Proverbs 6:6-8 <click>Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler,8 Provides her supplies in the summer,And gathers her food in the harvest.
13e- Consider the bee, industriously hovering over many flowers to collect the nectar for her honey that benefits you! In a like manner, if you hover over the scriptures,you may discover salvation and say with the Psalmist: “Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
13f- Who says the creator doesn’t have a sense of humor? The Platypus has a beak like a duckA tail like a beaverFeet like an otterAnd it is the only mammal that lays eggs like a chicken! <click>In the Orthodox Church, we are proud of the model of governance of our church.The church is ruled by Bishops,Not conferences and committees with all their political manoeuvrings.There is an old legend that after God created the world, he had some parts left over.So he asked Adam to form a committee and come up with one last animal.The Platypus is what they came up with!
14a- Have I not convinced you yet that the Creator should be glorified?If you don't know the nature of all created things does that make them useless?Do you understand all the benefits of herbs?Do you know the benefit of every animal?
14b- Even venomous snakes can produce medicine and antidotes to save lives. But you say: the snake is terrible! Breaks up blood clots and cure for breast cancer.Fear you the Lord, and it shall not be able to hurt you.
14c- A scorpion stings? Even the scorpions venom has been harvested for medicine. Sold for anti inflammatory and shrinking cancer tumors in Latin America and China. Fear the Lord and it shall not sting you.
14d- A Lion is bloodthirsty you say?
14e- Fear the Lord and he shall lie down with you as by Daniel.
14f- The action of animals is wonderful: the scorpion have sharpness in a sting:others in the power of their teethothers do battle with their claws
14c- while the basilisk's power is in his gaze. The basilisk in ancient times was a lizard like creature who could hypnotize with its eyes. The earliest appearance of the subject in a major work is a 6th-century mosaic of Christ, dressed as a general or emperor in military uniform, clean-shaven and with a cross-halo, in the Archbishop's Chapel, Ravenna. One arm holds open a book showing the text of John 14.6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life", while the other holds the bottom of a cross resting across Christ's shoulder. Here the subject is thought to refer to the contemporary struggle of the Church against the Arian heresy, Represented by the basilisk on which he stands,Those who denied the divine nature of Christ; the image asserts the orthodox doctrine. Note the lion and the snake.
14d- Further to amaze you about God’s wonderful creation.Here is a short clip of a basilisk native to Costa RicaThis member of the lizard family has been renamedThe Jesus Christ Lizard!What will those godless zoologists think of next?But after you watch this amazing clip, you will see why!(click)We learn from the variety of living things the Creator's powerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45yabrnryXk
15a- Perhaps this is all new to you, and you think you have nothing in common with animals. So look at yourself, and from your own nature consider the creator. What fault is there in your body? If you control your own will, nothing evil will be come by your members. Everything has been made for a particular use. Discipline your thoughts to submit to God's commands, and none of the parts of your body will cause you to sin if they are used for the purpose they were made. If you set your will, the eye will not see evilthe ears hear nothing it shouldn't hear.The hand does not reach out in greedand the foot does not walk toward injustice.You have no strange loves, no fornication and you do not covet your neighbor's wife (or husband).Drive out your wicked thoughts from your heart and you will be as God made you: and instead, give thanks to God
15b- Be master of yourself and nothing evil will proceed from your members.Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden, but it was not because of his naked body that he was cast out of the garden.It was not the parts of the body that sinned, but the mind that uses the members improperly.
15c- Who prepared the recesses of the womb for childbearing?Who gave life to the lifeless egg within it?Job 10:8-12 ‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me,An intricate unity;Yet You would destroy me.Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.And will You turn me into dust again?Clothe me with skin and flesh,And knit me together with bones and sinews?You have granted me life and favor,And Your care has preserved my spirit.
15d- And as soon as the child was born,who brought milk out of the mother's breastto nourish the newborn child?
15 e- How did the baby grow into a boy.And the boy into a youth, and then into a man:and still the same person eventually becomes and old man.Yet no one notices the exact change from one day to the next?Consider food. How is one part absorbed into blood,and another separated out for excretion and another part turned into flesh? Who gives to the human heart its unceasing motion?
Video of animation of “Beating Heart bypass surgery” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zVn_jDzjj0
15g- Who wisely guarded the tender eyeballswith the protective fence of the eyelids?The eye alone is so complex thatmany volumes of medical manuals cannot completely explain how they work.Who distributes the breath to the body? Can you not see how wise is our Creator?
15i- Glorify God in His unsearchable works.Remember that you are incapable of knowing him completely, so don't inquire out of mere curiosity.It is better to be silent and adore him in faith, according to what he has revealed in Holy Scripture than to be daring and search after things you cannot reach nor can the Bible tell you.The purpose of this lesson was to help you see how wrong some people are who deny that there is a creator. For from the greatness and beauty of created thingscomes a corresponding perception of their Creator. Wisdom 13:5 (NRSVCE)
16- This lesson was a broad overview and I have left out thousands of other things, especially things incorporeal and invisible. My purpose was to encourage you to distance yourself from those who do not give the Creator credit for his magnificent work. By the few facts of nature, I hope I have encouraged you to discover more of nature and as you discover the awesomeness and beauty of nature you might proportionately get to know and understand the maker of them. O Lord, how manifold are Your works!In wisdom You have made them all.The earth is full of Your possessions—This great and wide sea,In which are innumerable teeming things,Living things both small and great.Psalm 104:24-25 (NKJV) To You be the glory, and power, and worship, with the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”
Lecture 9 God's Answer to Our Complaint (He is the Creator)
Job 38:2—Job 40:5,
1 And after Elius had ceased from
speaking, the Lord spoke to Job
through the whirlwind and clouds,
2 Who is this that hides counsel from
me, and confines words in his heart,
and thinks to conceal them from
3 Gird your loins like a man; and I will
ask you, and do you answer me.
4 Where were you when I founded
the earth? tell me now, if you have
5 Who set the measures of it, if you
know? or who stretched a line upon
6 On what are its rings fastened? and
who is he that laid the corner-stone
7 When the stars were made, all my
angels praised me with a loud voice.
8 And I shut up the sea with gates,
when it rushed out, coming forth out
its mother’s womb. 9 And I made a
cloud its clothing, and swathed it in
10 And I set bounds to it,
surrounding it with bars and gates.
11 And I said to it, Hitherto shall you
come, but you shall not go beyond,
but your waves shall be confined
12 Or did I order the morning light
in your time; and did the morning
star then first see his appointed
place; 13 to lay hold of the
extremities of the earth, to cast
out the ungodly out of it?
14 Or did you take clay of the
ground, and form a living creature,
and set it with the power of
speech upon the earth?
15 And have you removed light
from the ungodly, and crushed the
arm of the proud?
16 Or have you gone to the source
of the sea, and walked in the
tracks of the deep?
17 And do the gates of death open
to your for fear; and did the
porters of hell quake when they
18 And have you been instructed in
the breadth of the whole earth
under heaven? tell me now, what is
the extent of it?
19 And in what kind of a land does
the light dwell? and of what kind is
the place of darkness?
20 If you could bring me to their
utmost boundaries, and if also you
know their paths; 21 I know then
that you wert born at that time, and
the number of your years is great.
22 But have you gone to the
treasures of snow? and have you
seen the treasures of hail?
23 And is there a store of them, for
your against the time of thine
enemies, for the day of wars and
24 And whence proceeds the frost?
or whence is the south wind
dispersed over the whole world
25 And who prepared a course for
the violent rain, and a way for the
thunders; 26 to rain upon the land
where there is no man, the
wilderness, where there is not a
man in it; so as to feed the
untrodden and uninhabited land,
27 and cause it to send forth a
crop of green herbs?
28 Who is the rain’s father? and
who has generated the drops of
29 And out of whose womb comes
the ice? and who has produced
the frost in the sky, 30 which
descends like flowing water? who
has terrified the face of the
31 And do you understand the
band of Pleias, and have you
opened the barrier of Orion?
32 Or wilt you reveal Mazuroth in
his season, and the evening star
with his rays? Wilt you guide
33 And know you the changes of
heaven, or the events which take
place together under heaven
34 And wilt you call a cloud with
your voice, and will it obey your
with a violent shower of much
35 And wilt you send lightnings,
and they shall go? and shall they
say to your, What is your pleasure?
36 And who has given to women
skill in weaving, or knowledge of
37 And who is he that numbers
the clouds in wisdom, and has
bowed the heaven down to the
38 For it is spread out as dusty
earth, and I have cemented it as
one hewn stone to another.
39 And wilt you hunt a prey for
the lions? and satisfy the desires
of the serpents?
40 For they fear in their lairs, and
lying in wait couch in the woods.
41 And who has prepared food for
the raven? for its young ones
wander and cry to the Lord, in
search of food.
1 Say if you know the time of the
bringing forth of the wild goats of
the rock, and if you have marked
the calving of the hinds: 2 and if
you have numbered the full
months of their being with young,
and if you have relieved their
pangs: 3 and have reared their
young without fear; and wilt you
loosen their pangs?
4 Their young will break forth;
they will be multiplied with
offspring: their young will go forth,
and will not return to them.
5 And who is he that sent forth the
wild ass free? and who loosed his
bands? 6 whereas I made his
habitation the wilderness, and the
salt land his coverts.
7 He laughs to scorn the multitude
of the city, and hears not the
chiding of the tax-gatherer.
8 He will survey the mountains as
his pasture, and he seeks after
every green thing.
9 And will the unicorn be willing to
serve your, or to lie down at your
10 And wilt you bind his yoke with
thongs, or will he plough furrows
for your in the plain?
11 And do you trust him, because
his strength is great? and will you
commit your works to him?
12 And wilt you believe that he
will return to your seed, and bring
it in to your threshing-floor?
13 The peacock has a beautiful
wing: if the stork and the ostrich
conceive, it is worthy of notice,
14 for the ostrich will leave her
eggs in the ground, and warm
them on the dust,
15 and has forgotten that the foot
will scatter them, and the wild
beasts of the field trample them.
16 She has hardened herself
against her young ones, as though
she bereaved not herself: she
labors in vain without fear.
17 For God has withholden
wisdom from her, and not given
her a portion in understanding.
18 In her season she will lift
herself on high; she will scorn the
horse and his rider.
19 Have you invested the horse
with strength, and clothed his
neck with terror?
20 And have you clad him in
perfect armor, and made his
breast glorious with courage?
21 He paws exulting in the plain,
and goes forth in strength into the
22 He laughs to scorn a king as he
meets him, and will by no means
turn back from the sword.
23 The bow and sword resound
against him; and his rage will
swallow up the ground: 24 and he
will not believe until the trumpet
25 And when the trumpet sounds,
he says, Aha! and afar off he smells
the war with prancing and neighing.
26 And does the hawk remain
steady by your wisdom, having
spread out her wings unmoved,
looking toward the region of the
And does the eagle rise at your
command, and the vulture remain
sitting over his nest, 28 on a crag
of a rock, and in a secret place?
29 Thence he seeks food, his eyes
observe from far. 30 And his young
ones roll themselves in blood, and
wherever the carcasses may be,
immediately they are found.
31 And the Lord God answered
Job, and said, 32 Will any one
pervert judgment with the Mighty
One? and he that reproves God,
let him return it for answer.
33 And Job answered and said to
the Lord, 34 Why do I yet plead?
being rebuked even while
reproving the Lord: hearing such
things, whereas I am nothing: and
what shall I answer to these
arguments? I will lay my hand
upon my mouth. 35 I have spoken
once; but I will not do so a second
1 And the Lord yet again answered
and spoke to Job out of the cloud,
2 Nay, gird up now your loins like a
man; and I will ask you, and do
you answer me.
3 Do not set aside my judgment:
and do you think that I have dealt
with you in any other way, than
that you might appear to be
4 have you an arm like the Lord’s?
or do you thunder with a voice like
his? 5 Assume now a lofty bearing
and power; and clothe yourself
with glory and honor.
Who is this that hides
counsel from Me, and
keeps words in his
heart, and thinks to
hide them from Me?
“no man has seen God
at any time.”
“no man shall see
My face and live.”
“For from the
Wisdom 13: 5
The Lord is king;
let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned
upon the cherubim;
let the earth quake!”
the Father Almighty,
Maker of Heaven and Earth,
and of All Things
Visible and Invisible;
“Let there be a firmament
in the midst of the water”
Praise the Lord from the Heavens, No. 2 Cappella Romana, Alexander Lingas & Vladimir Morosan
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canop
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from i
Psalm 18 1-6
Day unto day
utters speech, and
night unto night
I form the light and
… I, the Lord,
do all these things.’
“Let there be lights in the firmament of the
heavens to divide the day from the night;
And let them be
for signs, and
for seasons, and
Who is the father of the rain?
And who has begotten the drops of dew?
Job 38:28 ?
Clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out
the bottles of heaven?
“Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?”
Job 38:20, 29
And wine that makes glad
the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens
Consider the lilies,
how they grow:
toil nor spin;
yet I say to you,
in all his glory
was not arrayed
like one of these.
the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.
"When I [God] said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’"
But those who wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
“Let the earth bring forth wild beasts,
and cattle, and creeping things,
after their kinds”
They were like well-fed lusty stallions;
Every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
“How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents
and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and
nothing shall by any means hurt you.
He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth, delivering Daniel
from the power of the lions.
‘Your hands have made
me and fashioned me,
An intricate unity; Yet You
would destroy me?
Clothe me with
skin and flesh,
knit me together with
bones and sinews.
You have granted
me life and favor,
And Your care has
preserved my spirit.
But we were gentle among you,
just as a nursing mother
cherishes her own children.
1 Thessalonians 2:7
For from the
greatness and beauty
of created things
of their Creator.
Wisdom 13:5 (NRSVCE)
O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
Psalm 104:24-25 (NKJV)