For the Benefit and Enjoyment of _______?
June 21, 2022, 5:00 AM

As you enter the north entrance of the Yellowstone National Park there is an archway which was constructed in 1903 to welcome you.  The large inscription at the top of the 50-foot arch reads, "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people".  

While I may disagree with many things that our federal government involves itself with, one thing that I applaud them for and do appreciate is the idea of the National Park system.  It seems to be a genuine attempt on their part to preserve unique sections of God's creation from the industrial hands of man so that people can benefit from and enjoy it simply for what it is without manipulation.

My family was blessed in early June to be able to take the trip a lifetime and visit this place.  It did not disappoint.  The handiwork of God in the massive mountains, deep canyons, roaring rivers, gentle streams, mountain lakes, quiet valleys, lush forests, swampy bottomlands and more was a sight to behold.  The wildlife God placed there is second to none - elk, bison, antelope, deer, black bear, grizzly bear, big-horned sheep, coyote, fox, waterfowl and more, even yellow-bellied marmots, in abundance.  The geothermal features were eye-opening, from the mammoth hot springs to the famous geysers to the prismatic pools to steam vents and mud bubblers.

What is the point of such magnificence?  What is to be our reaction when we observe such things?  God's Word tells us.  David writes in Psalm 8:3-4 - "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?"

That God has created (in the earth, on the earth and above the earth) such grandeur for us to observe is a marvelous thing.  Exploration and science and discovery ought to humble us and lead us to His throne.  And for many of us, by God's grace, it does!

But as I drove the roads of this grand park, I began to think about all of the things God has created that man has never, nor likely will ever see.  The treacherous mountain peaks and vast caverns which are too dangerous for men.  Did you know that as of now, even after much technology has been employed and vast amounts of work have been done, there still remains more than 80% of our oceans that have yet to be explored?  And what about space and the far reaches of the universe?  Though we are desperately trying, we can't even reach our closest neighbor planets and live to tell the tale.

Friends, what does this reveal about our God?  Doubtless, it teaches us that, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).  This, folks, is as the old song says, "My Father's World".  It is not mine, nor is it  yours, nor government's, nor is it the possession of private enterprise.  It is God's.  For His enjoyment!

What we as humans do not know about creation far outweighs what we do know.  And that will never change.  Why?  Because the more we discover, the more we realize how much more there is to discover.

This principle is true in creation and is also certainly true about the revelation of God himself.  Job's friend, Zophar, speaks rightly of God in Job 11:7-8 when he says to Job, “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?"

Though God placed us here to work and keep and rule what He has made (Genesis 2:15), there are simply some things, many things, that mankind will never see.  Why?  Because those things are reserved for God and not exposed to us.  Let's face it, at its most fundamental meaning of the statement, Yellowstone has it wrong.  This place and everything in it (including you), are first for "The benefit and enjoyment of GOD", not people.  All of this was made for Him!

So, do you wish to know more?  Do you wish to expand your understanding?  Do you wish to mine and discover more of the awesome depths and the vast wisdom of God?  It is in Jesus that you will find this.  Read Colossians 1:15-23. 

  • Jesus is "the image of the invisible God"
  • "All things were created through Him and for Him" (meaning Jesus)
  • In Jesus "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell"
  • And it is through Jesus that God will "reconcile to Himself all things"

These things, friend, are the things worth knowing.

 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Pastor Jeremy