The Psalmist writes: “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Ps 104:24).
As Easter people, we are reminded how God redeemed us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our identity is rooted in God’s design and restored by grace. God’s creative design is good according to Genesis 1, and we experience this goodness as we embrace who we are in Christ: loving servants. God made us well!
Not all things designed are as successful. About 20 years ago, I remember being introduced to Microsoft’s newest creation: Office Assistant. It featured an animated character named Clippy who would tap at the screen and try to guess what you were working on. Clippy always smiled and cheerfully offered to help, even if you were working on a funeral service.
Although Clippy was a refreshing interruption for me while I worked, Clippy drew intensely negative responses from many users. Even its creator called it “one of the most annoying characters in history.” Poor Clippy. A major design flop.
So what needs to go into a divine design? Psalm 104 outlines the creative work of Almighty God, which ranges from heaven to Earth and includes clouds, winds, fire, water, cattle, plants, wine, oil, bread, trees, birds, goats, lions, people, sun and moon. “O LORD, how [many] are your works!” says the psalm. “In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (v. 24).
First: God’s design begins with wisdom. The word for wisdom, “hokma” in the original Hebrew, means more than just knowledge, it also means “technical skill in construction.” So God is a divine engineer as well as an architect.
Second: What God creates in wisdom, God also nourishes. God does not treat his creatures like computer users treated Clippy, the Microsoft product that was abandoned. “These all look to you to give them their food in due season,” says the psalm.
It all comes down to what we believe about God’s divine design. God offers everyone food in due season, and fills us all with good things — including the breath of life. That’s the divine design, and it’s one for which we should be thankful. Psalm 104 promises that God sends forth his Spirit to “renew the face of the ground” (v. 30). And at Pentecost, God sent forth his Spirit to move upon the face of the church.
Now, filled with the Spirit of God, we live as Easter people, participating in God’s renewal by sharing generously with others, as part of the divine design.