Getting To Know God
Yahweh - The LORD
The Creator - The Light Of The World - The Glory Of God - The Aseity Of God
Let There Be Light
When we decided to start this devotional with Genesis 1:3, we knew we needed to show a dramatic sunrise. We took this photo at the beginning of winter. It wasn’t quite cold enough for snow, but it was cold enough to give us something to work with. We set out at 5am and prayed for favor since the temperature was below 40-degrees, and the fog was pretty thick at first, actually blocking our view of the sun. Our aim was to expose the foreground in darkness, with the shape of the horizon leading up to the light coming out in the background, emphasizing that even darkness submits to the light, and that it is the light that brings beauty and glory out of darkness. Yet, when we set up to take the photo, the weather wasn’t agreeing with us. We knew that a compelling sunrise would communicate the concept of “let there be light,” and the framing of our landscape seemed right. So, we prayed. As the sun started to rise, the fog actually helped isolate the sunlight, so as to keep the rest of the image in shadow, just like we were hoping. The fog actually helped in creating these awesome purple and pink shades scattered across the sky. When we started, it was dark, freezing cold, and discouraging. We were unsure if we’d be able to do what we set out to do. The LORD changed all of that in a moment’s time, flexing His power, not only as Creator, but also as our Encourager!
God Is DEEP!
One of the common ways to use the word “deep” is to describe something that is very intense or extreme. We can’t see the intensity of God or the extreme nature of His glory. However, we can get a glimpse into the depths of God’s eternally self-existing and self-sustaining nature by looking at His creation.
Consider the depths of the oceans. The deepest part of the ocean is The Challenger Deep, which is measured at about 36,200 feet deep It is estimated that the ocean holds over 350 quintillion gallons of water. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans measure over 100 million square miles. These numbers are absurd! So, consider the intensity and extreme scope of the One who made all this pay the power of His Word in a single day.
We sought out to photograph the ocean with these things in mind. We wanted to show the vastness of God’s supreme greatness. In our minds, nothing communicates vastness like the horizon of the ocean. Since the LORD is also the Light of the world, we were hoping to capture the expanse of the ocean on a day where the sun produced a diverse array of colors. The LORD was amazing to provide this awesome image, which we feel encompasses all these things!
The Source Of All Good Things
The spring season is filled with rejuvenation and growth of all sorts. However, the idea behind God’s identity as YAHWEH is that He is the cause, not the effect. The description of God as “a sun” in Psalm 84:11 really drove the direction of this photo. God compared Himself to the giant ball of gas in space that provides so many benefits on our little planet. That led to thinking about how the sun feeds plants, which then produce fruit, which ultimate feeds us. It’s a pretty amazing system that God made!
This is an image of some loquats in our backyard. The color of the loquats against the green of the leaves was a nice contrast, that we thought communicated the brightness, glory, and freshness of the LORD. Here, we see the fruit growth as the effect, but also see the causes of this growth too in the frame. On this particular day, we were fortunate to capture the sun on a rainy day, showing that the fruit grows, because of the light and the water. This is a true testament of God’s goodness to provide for us through nature – the sun, the rain, the soil, the tree, the fruit, the life. The cause of the light and the water that allows the loquats to grow is none other than, The One True Living God we call YAHWEH!
The Armies Of God
The Bible explains the depths of God’s authority and aseity by teaching that God is the Commander of His army, in which even the sun, moon, and stars submit to His command like good soldiers. We took a trip to Cambria, California because it was one of the closest places to us, that was also one of the darkest, so that we could capture as many stars as possible without light pollution. So, we hit the road 250 miles north, knowing that we only had a few hours to get this shot. We would have to drive up, and back home the same day.
Taking a picture of space is not simple. Our aim was to capture the stars over the beach, which was something that we had not done before, and only had this one chance. We were hoping to capture a photo that showed the stars as the light of the night, over the waves of the sea to give a literal illustration of Jeremiah 31:35. When we prepared to take the photo, the scene was overwhelming! Having only seen stars like this in the forest or desert, the trees and mountains usually provide a distance reference to gage how far the stars are. Without the trees and mountains for reference, and with the sound of the ocean just a few feet away, it felt like outer space was right on top of us, with the edge of the earth on the horizon. It was intense to say the least, but was almost ruined by incoming fog.
The fog covered a whole portion of the city, but it pales in comparison to the expanse of the sky. Our shadows in the foreground point to the stars, which also pale in comparison to the sky. Seeing the blackness of the ocean horizon, made it look like the end of the earth. Though the camera picked up light from a neighboring city about 30 miles away, it felt like we were all alone at the edge of the world, with God’s creation pressing on us, with the ominous and powerful sound of crashing waves. It was quite an experience that was overwhelming, and kind of scary. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has charge over these things like the POTUS over a private. Wow!
Life In Jesus
John 5:26 provided a fun opportunity to take a unique family photo. The verse talks about how the eternally glorious nature of the Father’s life, is made available through the manifestation of Himself as the Son. Here, we tried to show that relationship: A father and son unified in their objective to lead others out of the wilderness, into the light. So, there we are – father and son, hand-in-hand, walking down a path, out of the weeds and darkness, into the beauty of the sunset.
When trying to recognize the glory of God, we often have to look past certain things to remove distractions. What makes this image so great is that, it was taken in the middle of the corporate section of Irvine, California. In the midst of concrete and glass structures, was this desolate section of trees and weeds, where natural growth was totally untouched. The day we planned to take this photo was very hot and humid. There were bugs everywhere. It was really uncomfortable actually. However, that weather allowed for this awesome color in the sky. The LORD painted this awesome scene for us, right in the middle of a metropolis, showing that His glory and beauty is way better than the stuff made with human hands; especially when we recognize how He did it all as Father and Son, working together as the Light of the world.
The Source Of Life
The identity of God as YAHWEH explains that He is the eternally self-existing cause of all things, being the Creator and Controller of heaven and Earth. He is the source of life as the Light of the world, and proved it through the scientific principles He made in nature. We enjoy the functionality and beauty of vegetation. We use vegetation for food. It produces oxygen. It helps with shelter, medicine, and other important factors for our life. However, the vegetation we depend on, is dependent on other factors.
Our vegetation needs water for nourishment. Our vegetation requires light to photosynthesize. Without these substances, vegetation can’t exist – or can it? According to scripture, God created vegetation a day before He created the sun, moon, and stars The Earth already had water, but He served as the Light that provided life to the vegetation we depend on. All things are dependent on God as Light.
Revelation 22:1 talks about the fulfillment of all God’s promises, documenting the promise of a New Heaven, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem. We can’t take that photo. We decided to focus on the quality of God, described through the mention of a river that comes out of His throne. Water is a common illustration of God’s aseity and identity and Creator. So, we set out to look for a setting where a river was providing an abundance of vibrant life. That’s hard to find in Southern California, especially in the midst of a drought! Who would have thought we’d get the base setting for this composite photo from Knott’s Berry Farm?