"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the sky proclaims its builder's craft.
One day to the next conveys that message;
one night to the next imparts that knowledge.
There is no word or sound; no voice is heard;
Yet their report goes forth through all the earth,
their message, to the ends of the world."
The psalmist here reflects the pristine world which reveals knowledge of God without words. To Adam and Eve everywhere they turned was a message from God. In the heavens they perceived his glory, in a rock His eternity and in the seasons his wisdom. It is God who sends the rain, who moves the clouds in the sky and makes the grass spring from the earth. They conversed on filial terms with God in the Garden. This was the primordial Natural Revelation.
With the Fall, the primordial awareness and understanding of God became obscured. Man can still discover God through his nature. Man knows that he exists and that something or someone beyond secondary causes (human descent) has given him existence, but how is this being to be conceived? Also, in man's primordial awareness that good is to be done and evil avoided, resides a conviction that sooner or later the wicked will be punished and good rewarded. This points to a higher justice and the existence of God.
In the western natural tradition, God is seen as the transcendent being, the absolute One, True, Good and Beautiful. The Eastern mystics such as Lao Tsu and Buddha apprehend this ground of being as the Tao or Void who's absolute name cannot be known. The God perceived through natural revelation is impersonal.
Even in our culture which believes in the personal God, natural revelation of God can become distorted. The Scientific way of thinking reduces nature to forces or natural laws obscuring the immediate and underlying action of God in the world of nature. For example, we think of the power which attracts our bodies to earth as the force of gravity unaware that it is really an expression of God's love who keeps us alive. When forces of nature constitutes the ultimate vision of reality, this is idolatry.
The Word as Historical Revelation