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The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead. This is the testimony of Paul to the church at Rome. That there is a God and that He is a God of power is evident to every rational-moral being. Man may not be willing to concede that this God is Jehovah. But he will not get very far in his stand that there is no God. Follow the professed atheist around, and you will soon be able to point out to him that he does put his trust in certain things, worships them and serves them. As long as all goes well with him in the material sense, he may seem to be an atheist. But let him get in trouble, and he will soon show you that he believes in a power above him, and that he seeks help from his god.

The glory of God is to be seen in all the works of His hands. The heavens declare His glory, so does the little disease germ. The mountains reflect His majesty but so does the little blade of grass. The storm speaks of His glory, and so does the zephyr breeze that cools the summer day. But all things do not reflect that glory of God in the same way or reflect the same phase of His glory. God’s glory is the radiation, the shining forth of His virtues. Whenever and wherever you see one or more of God’s virtues displayed, you see God’s glory. These virtues are many and are usually divided into two groups. We speak of those which are to be found exclusively in God such as His infinity, unchangeableness, simplicity, oneness, and independency. And we speak of those of which there is a creaturely reflection in man. These are those of His will, intellect and power such as His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, knowledge righteousness, holiness and truth.

In his formal training the child is to see God in these virtues. If he does not see them as God’s virtues, he does not know God. If he attributes them to the creature, he is idolatrous. We know God in His names, attributes, Persons and works. And in the formal training in the institutions of learning, wherein the child is prepared for his position and calling in his, natural life, he must know God in these attributes or virtues. As we said before, a Christian school is not a school with the Bible but one based upon the Bible. In each and every subject the glory of God must be seen from one point of view or the other. The virtues of God must shine forth from the lesson so that the child does not see God’s creation apart from Him, but sees God in His creation.

In the geography class then the child is not taught the love mercy and grace of God. Occasionally by contrast these may be brought in, but the primary interest of the subject of geography must not be and is not the emphasis upon that love, mercy and grace. In fact there is so much in: the lesson that denies these virtues of God and gives quite a different picture. The child learns of floods and tidal waves that periodically destroy and afflict certain communities. He learns of desert regions where death stalks those who dare to enter. He is told of thin top soil and barren soil that cannot support the millions of people that God has placed there. The hardships and difficulties of peoples living in bitterly cold regions, the misery and disease of insect-infected tropical swamplands, and the all-too-short growing season that greatly decimates the amount of crops grown hardly speak of God’s mercy and grace Likewise the twisting layers of rock, the abundance of volcanic ash and evidences of thundering avalanches and the like hardly impress upon him the idea of a gracious, loving Father who cares for all His creatures. And we will not get very far in trying to assure the child that the glory of God’s love, mercy and grace shine forth from the works of His hands to be seen in that which is treated in the geography class. Nor is the geography class the place to distinguish between the peoples in given areas as Church and world. That may better be done elsewhere.

But that particular virtue of God that comes to the fore in geography is His sovereignty. The glory of His wisdom and power shine forth. And, as we already stated, the child should come away from the geography class and say, “How great Thou art.” The class that did not serve this purpose, has failed to give Christian instruction and has not been conducted in His fear, which is the beginning of wisdom. But the underlying principle in the whole course in geography must be to show the glory of God’s sovereignty. God’s indeed is a super reign. That is the derivation of the word “sovereign” and that is what God’s reign is. He reigns over all things. “The Lord reigneth, let the nations tremble. He sitteth between the cherubim, let the earth be moved.” Psalm 99:1. In His sovereignty or super reign the earth is moved, earthquakes occur in diverse places, the mountains stand as they do and rise to their towering heights, the canyons appear in awesome depth, barren soil and scanty topsoil, cold and heat are all there because He has been pleased to put them exactly where they are. He has moved peoples to the regions where they live. The deep pools of oil and schools of fish in the seas are there by His decree. The wheat will grow where corn will not ripen, trees will appear only to a prescribed elevation on the mountain side, and man must move raw materials over miles and miles of land to combine them with materials grown and found in an entirely different corner of the globe because God is sovereign. It is not due to some foolishness on God’s part. It is not due to poor management and planning. He does not attempt to reign. He reigns. And He has His own good purpose in all the works of His hands. Let the child understand that this is his Father’s world in the sense also that He may and does do with it as He pleases! And all creatures are where they are exactly because He is pleased to have them there for His own glory and not for man’s convenience and flesh. If there is one virtue of God we ought to point out and emphasize in the geography class, it is this virtue of His sovereignty.

What can we change about it? Can we make the rivers run in the opposite direction? Can we lower the mountains and move the topsoil? Can we hold back the floods and control the weather? What is there in God’s own sovereign distribution of this earth’s goods that we can change? Mm learns to control the melting snow and direct it to his fertile soil by irrigation ditches and a series of control dams. He learns to fertilize and replenish his soil, to catch the fish of the sea, to preserve foodstuffs and meats. Yet is it not very plain that he must be so careful also in all these things or else God’s unchangeable laws whereby He sovereignly controls His creation will still destroy him? Let him be lax in adding his ice and refrigeration to his perishable foodstuffs which he rushes across the country. Let him lower the temperature of the food that he seeks to preserve in cans and glass container. He will find that sovereign God there with death and disease! And repeatedly He will find this God sovereignly sending His storm, His flood, His pests and diseases as He pleases. Man is helpless before them. A sovereign God, Who asks no permission of man, forbids any and all criticism of man and goes His own way with His own creation stands there on every page of the geography book. And if you want to see Him in His sovereign grace, love and mercy, you must look for Him in His Word and not in creation.

It is also a sovereign righteousness and holiness, a sovereign justice wherein this God brought the curse upon all that which is treated in geography. This may not be lost sight of in Christian education. These things are not simply there. They are not simply there by God’s sovereignty. They are there because of His sovereign displeasure with the workers of iniquity. Let no man challenge His right to punish the whole world because of man’s sin. Let no man try to explain all the calamities and disasters in the world in any other way. The ground is cursed for man’s sake. And God cursed it. In the geography class the teacher will, of necessity, always be dealing with that which is under the curse and not that which is under grace. He may be dealing with children who are under grace; but he deals with objects that are under the curse. And these he must show to his children as suffering and even groaning, according to the apostle Paul, under a curse which God sovereignly and in righteous wrath brought upon ALL the earthly creatures. The new creation because of God’s love in Christ will display His love and shine with His mercy and grace. But the earth of today reveals all the scars, the agony, death and maladies of the curse. Warn the children against finding fault with God’s ways and point them to the cross as the only way out in a sovereign grace.

Let every covenant child learn to say not by tradition but conviction: “This is my Father’s world.” And then let him learn to say with the apostle Paul, Of my Father, through my Father and unto my Father in heaven are all things. Man may be conceited enough to think that he could do a better job of creating and distributing the goods of this earth. He may be bold to criticize creation as it is today. But let us remember that this is due to the fact that he has another goal in mind than Gods. Although he cannot deny that all things are of God, man insists that all things must be unto him, unto his flesh and carnal ambitions. They may be of God and through His providence, but proud man insists that they be for man’s good. This would be sin even apart from the fact that man wants this whole earth for the practice of sin. This is the very matter that brought all sin into this world. Adam and Eve sang that as their morning song and as their even song: “This is my Father’s world.” And Satan came and said, “Make it your own world!” All that which was of God and continued only through His infinite power, Satan suggested could and should become man’s for his goal. And today in geography that is exactly what we see: Gods world pressed into the service of a sinful man who appropriates that which is God’s, boldly digs into His earth, mines out its resources, plows His fields and milks His cows, gathers His creatures from one corner of the globe to the other all that man’s flesh may be satisfied. Yea, worse than that, That world which is of God and through God man now subdues in order to oppose God, to dethrone Him and to rule Him out of that very creation which He has made. He dares to criticize the works of this sovereign God not only, but he denies God the right to criticize his wicked works. Because he has no power to do otherwise, he is willing to let all things be of God and through Him but it all must be unto man. He says: “This is my world.”

Therefore there is in the Christian school another element that must be brought to the fore as much as possible. Exactly because this whole creation is made and is upheld by a sovereign God, the rational-moral creature which He made in His own image is obliged to be a steward of God’s goods. That also is included and implied in that expression: This is my Father’s world. He may do with it as He pleases, but I must also do in it what pleases Him! And I must remember that all things are unto Him also in the sense that I must work with a view to His revealed ultimate purpose with this creation. It is my Father’s world to destroy also by fire when it pleases Him and to bring forth a new and glorious spiritual realm. Because it is my Father’s world, He may cause HIS kingdom to come. Of these matters we plan to write next time. Meanwhile, in His fear; “let us consider this truth that we live in the world of a sovereign God.

—J.A.H. The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead. This is the testimony of Paul to the church at Rome. That there is a God and that He is a God of power is evident to every rational-moral being. Man may not be willing to concede that this God is Jehovah. But he will not get very far in his stand that there is no God. Follow the professed atheist around, and you will soon be able to point out to him that he does put his trust in certain things, worships them and serves them. As long as all goes well with him in the material sense, he may seem to be an atheist. But let him get in trouble, and he will soon show you that he believes in a power above him, and that he seeks help from his god.

The glory of God is to be seen in all the works of His hands. The heavens declare His glory, so does the little disease germ. The mountains reflect His majesty but so does the little blade of grass. The storm speaks of His glory, and so does the zephyr breeze that cools the summer day. But all things do not reflect that glory of God in the same way or reflect the same phase of His glory. God’s glory is the radiation, the shining forth of His virtues. Whenever and wherever you see one or more of God’s virtues displayed, you see God’s glory. These virtues are many and are usually divided into two groups. We speak of those which are to be found exclusively in God such as His infinity, unchangeableness, simplicity, oneness, and independency. And we speak of those of which there is a creaturely reflection in man. These are those of His will, intellect and power such as His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, knowledge righteousness, holiness and truth.

In his formal training the child is to see God in these virtues. If he does not see them as God’s virtues, he does not know God. If he attributes them to the creature, he is idolatrous. We know God in His names, attributes, Persons and works. And in the formal training in the institutions of learning, wherein the child is prepared for his position and calling in his, natural life, he must know God in these attributes or virtues. As we said before, a Christian school is not a school with the Bible but one based upon the Bible. In each and every subject the glory of God must be seen from one point of view or the other. The virtues of God must shine forth from the lesson so that the child does not see God’s creation apart from Him, but sees God in His creation.

In the geography class then the child is not taught the love mercy and grace of God. Occasionally by contrast these may be brought in, but the primary interest of the subject of geography must not be and is not the emphasis upon that love, mercy and grace. In fact there is so much in: the lesson that denies these virtues of God and gives quite a different picture. The child learns of floods and tidal waves that periodically destroy and afflict certain communities. He learns of desert regions where death stalks those who dare to enter. He is told of thin top soil and barren soil that cannot support the millions of people that God has placed there. The hardships and difficulties of peoples living in bitterly cold regions, the misery and disease of insect-infected tropical swamplands, and the all-too-short growing season that greatly decimates the amount of crops grown hardly speak of God’s mercy and grace Likewise the twisting layers of rock, the abundance of volcanic ash and evidences of thundering avalanches and the like hardly impress upon him the idea of a gracious, loving Father who cares for all His creatures. And we will not get very far in trying to assure the child that the glory of God’s love, mercy and grace shine forth from the works of His hands to be seen in that which is treated in the geography class. Nor is the geography class the place to distinguish between the peoples in given areas as Church and world. That may better be done elsewhere.

But that particular virtue of God that comes to the fore in geography is His sovereignty. The glory of His wisdom and power shine forth. And, as we already stated, the child should come away from the geography class and say, “How great Thou art.” The class that did not serve this purpose, has failed to give Christian instruction and has not been conducted in His fear, which is the beginning of wisdom. But the underlying principle in the whole course in geography must be to show the glory of God’s sovereignty. God’s indeed is a super reign. That is the derivation of the word “sovereign” and that is what God’s reign is. He reigns over all things. “The Lord reigneth, let the nations tremble. He sitteth between the cherubim, let the earth be moved.” Psalm 99:1. In His sovereignty or super reign the earth is moved, earthquakes occur in diverse places, the mountains stand as they do and rise to their towering heights, the canyons appear in awesome depth, barren soil and scanty topsoil, cold and heat are all there because He has been pleased to put them exactly where they are. He has moved peoples to the regions where they live. The deep pools of oil and schools of fish in the seas are there by His decree. The wheat will grow where corn will not ripen, trees will appear only to a prescribed elevation on the mountain side, and man must move raw materials over miles and miles of land to combine them with materials grown and found in an entirely different corner of the globe because God is sovereign. It is not due to some foolishness on God’s part. It is not due to poor management and planning. He does not attempt to reign. He reigns. And He has His own good purpose in all the works of His hands. Let the child understand that this is his Father’s world in the sense also that He may and does do with it as He pleases! And all creatures are where they are exactly because He is pleased to have them there for His own glory and not for man’s convenience and flesh. If there is one virtue of God we ought to point out and emphasize in the geography class, it is this virtue of His sovereignty.

What can we change about it? Can we make the rivers run in the opposite direction? Can we lower the mountains and move the topsoil? Can we hold back the floods and control the weather? What is there in God’s own sovereign distribution of this earth’s goods that we can change? Mm learns to control the melting snow and direct it to his fertile soil by irrigation ditches and a series of control dams. He learns to fertilize and replenish his soil, to catch the fish of the sea, to preserve foodstuffs and meats. Yet is it not very plain that he must be so careful also in all these things or else God’s unchangeable laws whereby He sovereignly controls His creation will still destroy him? Let him be lax in adding his ice and refrigeration to his perishable foodstuffs which he rushes across the country. Let him lower the temperature of the food that he seeks to preserve in cans and glass container. He will find that sovereign God there with death and disease! And repeatedly He will find this God sovereignly sending His storm, His flood, His pests and diseases as He pleases. Man is helpless before them. A sovereign God, Who asks no permission of man, forbids any and all criticism of man and goes His own way with His own creation stands there on every page of the geography book. And if you want to see Him in His sovereign grace, love and mercy, you must look for Him in His Word and not in creation.

It is also a sovereign righteousness and holiness, a sovereign justice wherein this God brought the curse upon all that which is treated in geography. This may not be lost sight of in Christian education. These things are not simply there. They are not simply there by God’s sovereignty. They are there because of His sovereign displeasure with the workers of iniquity. Let no man challenge His right to punish the whole world because of man’s sin. Let no man try to explain all the calamities and disasters in the world in any other way. The ground is cursed for man’s sake. And God cursed it. In the geography class the teacher will, of necessity, always be dealing with that which is under the curse and not that which is under grace. He may be dealing with children who are under grace; but he deals with objects that are under the curse. And these he must show to his children as suffering and even groaning, according to the apostle Paul, under a curse which God sovereignly and in righteous wrath brought upon ALL the earthly creatures. The new creation because of God’s love in Christ will display His love and shine with His mercy and grace. But the earth of today reveals all the scars, the agony, death and maladies of the curse. Warn the children against finding fault with God’s ways and point them to the cross as the only way out in a sovereign grace.

Let every covenant child learn to say not by tradition but conviction: “This is my Father’s world.” And then let him learn to say with the apostle Paul, Of my Father, through my Father and unto my Father in heaven are all things. Man may be conceited enough to think that he could do a better job of creating and distributing the goods of this earth. He may be bold to criticize creation as it is today. But let us remember that this is due to the fact that he has another goal in mind than Gods. Although he cannot deny that all things are of God, man insists that all things must be unto him, unto his flesh and carnal ambitions. They may be of God and through His providence, but proud man insists that they be for man’s good. This would be sin even apart from the fact that man wants this whole earth for the practice of sin. This is the very matter that brought all sin into this world. Adam and Eve sang that as their morning song and as their even song: “This is my Father’s world.” And Satan came and said, “Make it your own world!” All that which was of God and continued only through His infinite power, Satan suggested could and should become man’s for his goal. And today in geography that is exactly what we see: Gods world pressed into the service of a sinful man who appropriates that which is God’s, boldly digs into His earth, mines out its resources, plows His fields and milks His cows, gathers His creatures from one corner of the globe to the other all that man’s flesh may be satisfied. Yea, worse than that, That world which is of God and through God man now subdues in order to oppose God, to dethrone Him and to rule Him out of that very creation which He has made. He dares to criticize the works of this sovereign God not only, but he denies God the right to criticize his wicked works. Because he has no power to do otherwise, he is willing to let all things be of God and through Him but it all must be unto man. He says: “This is my world.”

Therefore there is in the Christian school another element that must be brought to the fore as much as possible. Exactly because this whole creation is made and is upheld by a sovereign God, the rational-moral creature which He made in His own image is obliged to be a steward of God’s goods. That also is included and implied in that expression: This is my Father’s world. He may do with it as He pleases, but I must also do in it what pleases Him! And I must remember that all things are unto Him also in the sense that I must work with a view to His revealed ultimate purpose with this creation. It is my Father’s world to destroy also by fire when it pleases Him and to bring forth a new and glorious spiritual realm. Because it is my Father’s world, He may cause HIS kingdom to come. Of these matters we plan to write next time. Meanwhile, in His fear; “let us consider this truth that we live in the world of a sovereign God.

—J.A.H.