Earlier we referred to Calvin’s suggestion that creation was one of “two books” of revelation. The first is creation. Yet creation, even though it tells us that there is a God who has created all things, does not tell us what we must do to be saved. It does not tell the story of redemption. This is likely the reason why the reference to creation comes early in Hebrews 11. Creation is the foundation of redemption; it is the first book of revelation. But Scripture—the story of God’s redemptive work in Christ—is the “second book” of God’s revelation. Through Scripture we come to believe that the One who created the world also entered into His creation to redeem its broken story of sin’s marring effects. The book of Hebrews is concerned to highlight the movement from the first creation to the new creation, from the types and shadows of the old covenant to the greater glory of the new covenant, from the promises made in the first Sabbath to the promises fulfilled in the eternal Sabbath. Notice that Hebrews 11 does not begin with what “they” understand by faith, but what “we” understand by faith. The author is not just telling us stories of faith; he is drawing us into the story of faith that begins with creation and ends at consummation. And it is only with the ears of faith that we can truly hear the song of creation.
The beauty of creation’s song is that it sings of the glory of its composer. Hebrews 11:3 focuses on the fact that it is through what we see that we come to know something of the One whom we don’t see—the God who created the universe. The great challenge of our faith is that we cannot see the One who leads us. But we see His artwork in all of creation and we hear His voice in all of His Word. In this way, He continues to tell us not only His story, but our story as well.
In a famous portrait by Norman Rockwell, an artist sits at a canvas painting a portrait. The portrait is a reflection of Rockwell—the artist. The portrait testifies to the reality and creativity of the painter, just as creation testifies to the reality and creativity of the Creator. If you are able, step outside for a moment. Look through a window. Listen to the song of creation. Listen, by faith, as it sings the song of our glorious Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. The one who inspired such creative song is the One who also inspired His redemptive Word and who has spoken to us climactically in His Son. Today, if you hear His voice, trust Him, obey Him, and joyfully join in the song of creation.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series on faith and was first published on December 13, 2017. Previous post. Next post.