By design, the worshiper of God is to be double-sighted. Everything in creation is but a taste and tiny reflection of invisible realities. Sight is a wonderful gift. But it should never be assumed that the human eye is capable of comprehensive sight. It was never intended to be.
Our eyes are suited to perceive reality only within certain dimensions, distances, resolutions, and light frequencies (colors and shades). What we see, then, is only representative of reality; reality is much larger and significantly more profound. Specialized instrumentation has substantially enhanced our abilities to observe the material universe, but optical limitations still constrain our perception. More importantly, no material lens will ever enable sight into immaterial realities.
Just as we do not see gravity but the effects of gravity, so in a much more significant manner we do not see: love, but the effects of love; hate, but the effects of hate; wisdom, but the effects of wisdom; holiness, but the effects of holiness.
The worshiper of God must be ever mindful of the limitations of his sight. Just as physical sight is a gift, so is faith. Just as instruments may aid our physical sight to see more, so God has ordained means through His church to aid our faith to see more.
By design, the worshiper of God is to be double-sighted. We are to see the beauty of creation all around us with our eyes and the beauty of the Creator with our faith. These are not disconnected realities. Features in creation then serve as a symbols, tastes, and tiny reflections of much greater beauties in God.
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb 11:3). This means that the visible realities of the time-space universe were brought forth by the invisible God who is timeless and dimensionless. The Christian is to live every day in light of this thought, that “the visible came forth from the invisible” (Heb 11:3 NEB), “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7)–we are double-sighted.
When the text says, “what is seen,” it is pointing to the entire created order (it is in the singular). The progression of thought in Hebrews 11 is obvious: it is not the visible world of daily experience that constitutes ultimate reality, but the invisible God and His word. When the natural eye is accompanied by faith, visible beauties stimulate worship. A life lived by faith is a life that sees both visible and invisible realities as owing to God. It is a life that is lived in accord with that which stands as the cause of the universe, namely “the word of God” (Heb 11:3).
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