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Discover God's glory
For the lesson titled "Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?" from December 12-18, 2011
This Lesson begins with a Golden Text that points upward: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Or as the 14th-century Wycliffe Bible puts it, “The heavens tell out the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1) This telling soon encompasses the planet; every aspect of God’s creation is impelled to “sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation” (I Chron. 16:23, Responsive Reading), as if in answer to the question that is the subject of the Lesson: “Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”
In five sections, man and the universe reveal God’s glory. The book of Job describes a universe that is beautiful and dependent on divine power: God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7, citation 2). The Bible citations in Sections II and III center on the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke and relate the dawning of the Messianic era. Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth in connection with that of John the Baptist. The angel Gabriel is God’s messenger to Zacharias, John’s father, and to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and tells her, “Thy cousin Elisabeth [John’s mother], she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren” (Luke 1:36, cit. 8). It appears that Mary is unaware of her cousin’s pregnancy because Elisabeth “hid herself five months” (verse 24). The angel’s announcement to Mary “in the sixth month” of Elisabeth’s pregnancy serves as a preparatory sign that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (verse 37). No explanation is given for Elisabeth’s seclusion, except what can be inferred from her own words: “Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men” (verse 25).
About the author
Michael Hamilton teaches religion at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.
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