Proverbs 30:18-19 (NLT)
There are three things that amaze me – no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
How often do your experience a sense of wonder? God has surrounded us with innumerable wonderous and amazing things, but how often do we take the time to stop and notice, to ponder not only how they work, but their very existence in the first place? The prophet Agur, who wrote this chapter of Proverbs, verbalized this appreciation of God’s creation by noting four things in the world that, to use our current vernacular…blew him away.
Eagles ride on thermals and updrafts to altitudes of over 10,000 feet…without flapping their wings. During mating rituals, they will lock talons, spinning and plummeting towards the ground…but break apart and recover just in time. Eagles build some of the largest nests on the planet, averaging 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide. They can soar without effort and dive at speeds in excess of 75 mph. They gain altitude by heading towards rough air rather than flying away from it…which is why Isaiah sad that with God’s power, His people can “soar with wings like eagles” when facing tough times (Is. 40:31).
Snakes make most of us nervous, to say the least, but have you ever stopped to consider just how amazing they are? They move silently and smoothly without legs or feet or discernable traction and can move just as easily over smooth rock as they do over rough ground. Modern science has discovered that most snakes move by “rectilinear locomotion” wherethe belly scales are alternately lifted slightly from the ground and pulled forward, and then pulled downward and backward. How it works is known by modern man, but it is still an incredible sight that should be seen and appreciated, despite our fear.
The Gerald R. Ford is the largest aircraft carrier in the world. It displaces over 100,000 tons of water (200M pounds) and measures over 1,100 feet long, 256 feet wide, and 250 feet high which equates to 25 floors or decks. How does a ship this massive simply sit on the top of the sea? Or take a simple sailing craft, such as was fairly common at the time this proverb was penned. It catches an invisible wind, is guided by a rudder that is a small fraction of its size, and via man’s ingenuity it can navigate vast areas of open ocean. Is this not also amazing?
Finally, how about when a man loves a woman? “Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else. He’d trade the world for a good thing he’s found. Spend his very last dime trying to hold on to what he needs. He’d give up all his comforts and sleep out in the rain if she said that’s the way it ought to be” (sung by Percy Sledge in 1966). God has designed mankind to experience the mystery of covenantal love between a man and a woman, which is a reflection of the love between Christ and His Church. The power and enchantment that occurs between a couple in love is palpable and noticeable and beautiful and is spoken of in poetic terms by King Solomon in Song of Solomon – one of the 66 books of the Bible the Lord made sure we had at our disposal.
The wise man or woman takes the time to notice the good things the Lord has made…and/or made possible. In Genesis 1 God not only created…but He took the time to behold what He had created and proclaim that it was good (Gen. 1:4;12;18;21;25), but especially humankind, which He declared was “very good” (Gen 1:31). Sadly, mankind has taken many of God’s good creations and twisted them…abused them…forsaken them…but that should not be so for His Children. We should take the time to stop and behold and appreciate all that He has given us…and all that He has given us the ability to do. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1) and we should, too.