Ancient Egyptians worshiped the blazing sun. The pagan Greek saw Apollo riding his chariot through the sky, until philosophers like Anaxagoras studied the meteorite that fell at Aegospotami in 468 B.C. and said, “They’re not heavenly bodies, they’re just hot stone.” The demythologized hot solar rock took on new importance with Copernicus and Bruno who made it the center of the universe. Even modern man may yet get down on his knees to put an adapter on his gas and oil furnace to catch the heat from this source of energy.

But it takes the Bible to tell the truth that the sun is a servant of the Lord. The glorious, formidable sun is not a matter of fact so much as a minister of God, as faithful as the angels, whose testimony is more sure than human tradition. The sun waits, along with the trees too polluted to breathe well and with animals suffering wounds, for the redemption of our bodies so that its service be fulfilled and it may rest from its labors.

Again and again the Bible stresses that the name of Yahweh is praised from where the sun rises to where the sun sets. The name of Yahweh—Covenanting Lord of faithfulness—is held up high for all nations to see, and the people native to the earth are called to chime in with pure offerings of “Hallelu Yahweh!” “Don’t tell me,” says Paul to the Jews at Rome, “that you and your neighbors never heard the Good News. Didn’t you ever see the sun run along its God-appointed race track?” Each day of sun and rain, of dappled things and finch’s wings and pileated woodpeckers, is brimming over with news of God’s great deeds.

Scripture cuts off such sentiments as Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!” The praise of nature is not in the Bible to elicit introverted, ...

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