Maker of Heaven and Earth
In my previous note on the Creed, I considered the significance of our confession that God is “the Father, the Almighty.” As Father, he knows our frame and our needs and is moved with compassion to care for us. As the Almighty, he is able to care for us. The Creed goes on to confess that the Father, the Almighty is “Maker of heaven and earth.”
The first line of the Creed confesses the fundamental distinction between the Creator and the creation. Idolatry confuses this Creator-creation distinction and worships the creation rather than the Creator. The fruit of such confusion is moral depravity and dehumanization:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:24-25)
A clear vision and convinced confession that God is the Maker of heaven and earth gives us a clear moral vision and conviction. As the prophet Isaiah proclaims:
Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you” (Isaiah 42:5-6a)
The Maker of heaven and earth has called us in righteousness. His world, his rules. His world, his rule. He rules and those who submit to his rule know his providence. He has called us in righteousness and he will take us by the hand and keep us.
The Maker makes the rules and when we reject his rules and make our own rules, we’re not only led in the way of moral depravity and dehumanization, we let go of his hand and lose the security of his keeping. That way is marked by anxiety and depression: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Our Maker makes the rules. Yes, he has called us to walk according to his rules, but he also promises to take our hand and keep us in the way. We know his providence. The Maker of heaven and earth takes us and keeps us. Listen to how the Heidelberg Catechism explains God’s providence:
Question 28: What do you understand by the providence of God?Answer: The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty – all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
Question 29: How does the knowledge of God’s creation and providence help us?Answer: We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. For all creatures are so completely in God’s hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.
The Maker of heaven and earth is the Father, the Almighty – and he is our Father.
This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!