Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

The Hillsides Blossom with Joy

READ Psalm 65:1-13

 The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
and the hillsides blossom with joy.

Psalm 65:12

As I reflect on Psalm 65:12, my mind envisions the lush wilderness “pastures” of Montana. On a recent vacation to the “Big Sky” state, my family and I hiked along the South Fork of Spanish Creek on the way to Pioneer Falls. We passed through dozens of meadows lit with rainbows of wildflowers. There, the hillsides did indeed “blossom with joy” (65:12). (Photo: My son enjoying a Montana meadow)

Even though we live in a world that is marred by sin, even though creation now “groans” with longing for the new creation still to come (Rom. 8:22), still the goodness and beauty of God’s perfect creation shines through. In the lavish wildflowers of a mountain meadow or in the cool breeze of an early autumn evening or in the pounding waves of an isolated beach, we glimpse God’s grandeur, his artistic vision.
Those who worship nature rightly delight in the glory of the world, but wrongly worship the creation rather than the creator. The natural world is indeed glorious and worthy of praise. Yet it is meant to point us to the one whose glory immeasurably exceeds that of this world, the creator who is worthy of endless praise.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What aspects of the natural world lift your heart to praise God? Why?
PRAYER: Mighty God, you are the creator of all things. This world in all of its majesty and beauty is your work of art. And though our sin has disfigured your masterpiece, even so the grandeur of your creation shines through. It reminds us of who you are and calls us to worship you.
Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of creation. Thank you for making us so that, like yourself, we might perceive and delight in beauty. Thank you for the lush pastures of the wilderness and the hillsides that blossom with joy.
All praise be to you, God our creator, for the world you have made. How I look forward to seeing this world when it is fully renewed in the age to come! But, in the meanwhile, may I enjoy the goodness of creation, and may it turn my heart to you. Amen.

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