Praise the Lord!

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 148 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. (Psalm 148:13, NIV) It is fitting to close a series titled All Nature Sings Thy Glory with a psalm that does just that. Psalm 148 calls on all of God’s creation to praise him. First it addresses everything in heaven—the sun, moon, and stars as well as the angels and heavenly hosts. Then …

A River of Life

Mike Vaal

READ : Revelation 22:1-5 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (Revelation 22:3, NIV) Here we see another picture of the new creation, centering on the city of God and the river that runs through it—a river clearer and cleaner than the most pristine trout stream. Next to the river is a tree that gives fruit each month of the year …

A New Earth

Mike Vaal

READ : Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. (Revelation 21:1, NIV) As much as the beauty and majesty of the created world delight us, the best is yet to come. A new creation awaits us. There are striking things about John’s description. For one thing, the focus is on a city. As much as I have enjoyed certain cities, I don’t usually think …

The Wolf and the Lamb

Mike Vaal

READ : Isaiah 11:6-9 For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (v. 9) An estimated 600 wolves now live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Late last winter I watched two of them cross a frozen bay, as they stopped occasionally to rest or look for water around exposed rocks. It was an amazing sight. It would have been more amazing to see a lamb (or a young deer) …

It Isn't Heaven Yet

Mike Vaal

READ : Romans 8:19-25 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22, NIV) I live along the northern shore of Lake Huron, in a place that many people describe as heaven on earth. It is spectacularly beautiful, as are many other places in this world, but Romans 8 reminds us that the creation isn’t heaven. The black flies and mosquitoes of summer and the sub-zero …

Consider the Lilies

Mike Vaal

READ : Matthew 6:25-34 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.(Matthew 6:26, NIV) I enjoy the profusion of wildflowers that covers the forest floor here in northern Michigan in the springtime. I also enjoy bird-watching (although flowers are easier to identify, since they stay in one place!) Through both of those hobbies I have learned much about God’s world and its beauty …