The Meaning of the Covenant – Illustrations 1

“. . . All living things in this world are subject to the laws of nature. The Creator has so arranged life on this planet that the sun pours its energies upon all created things, the earth supplies the food, and the elements make their contribution. And so, God gives life. This is the part He plays.
     “. . . The fish lives in the water, while a bird soars in the air. Both live in accordance with the laws which nature dictates to them. For on this physical level, the reaction of all created things to God’s outpourings of energy is involuntary. Each creature is bound by the laws of nature and cannot deviate a hair’s breadth from them. But the essential point is that the creature’s response is in harmony with the vivifying forces of life which are released by nature.
     “It is the same spiritually. The response of man to God’s Revelation ought to be that of harmony with His Teachings. But man, although physically an animal, is not spiritually subject to the laws of nature. Instead he is bound by the laws of the Covenant of God with Him. . . . In the same way that God provides the life-giving energies for the physical world, and the creatures respond to these, the same Creator releases spiritual forces for the development and progress of the soul of man, and the individual must play his part. But unlike the physical world, the response of man to God’s bounties is voluntary. Man has free will, whereas other created things are devoid of this faculty.
     “The mere act of creation brings into being the Covenant. . . . God on His part creates man in His own image which is the act of bestowing upon him His attributes. He provides him with his physical needs in this life and sends His Messengers to throw light upon his path so that he may draw near to Him.
     “. . . The most natural course, which can alone bring about harmony between the two sides of the Covenant, is for man to obey the precepts laid down by God. To rebel against them is to live in conflict with the laws of creation and to cut oneself away from the good. To believe in God but to think that this Covenant does not exist and that the Creator has not laid down any laws in the spiritual domains of His creation is tantamount to attributing incompetence to Him.” —Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Vol. III, 288-89

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