The sheep were finally tucked away for the night, resting safely in the security of the sheep pen. On a warm night like this, preparing a fire wasn’t essential but necessary to lift spirits and cook dinner. As he prepared a meal, the shepherd, David, the newly anointed King of Israel, continued to guard and watch over his sheep with careful attention. Wolves would be on the prowl on a night like this. With a shepherd staff in one hand, David cooked his food with the other. Soon, the black of night swept over the rugged hills of Palestine, blanketing everything with darkness and silence. For miles the only thing that could be heard was the crackling of the fire and the bleating of sheep. It was a peaceful night. After supper, as David began to rest from a long day’s work, he lays down, folds his hands behind his head and takes in the moon and stars in their stunning display of light. David’s heart is suddenly overwhelmed as he soaks in the awesomeness and greatness of his Creator. Quickly grabbing his small harp and some parchment to write on, David sings a beautiful song to the Lord and writes down every word for our enjoyment too. As he gazed at the starry night, here’s what he wrote:
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
In order to get an appreciation for God’s majesty and greatness, all David had to do is look up at the night sky and take in the moon and stars, all of which God created by his fingers. See, usually when the Scriptures talk about God’s power, it refers to His hands. But, here David mentions only God’s fingers. I love that. The image is of a sculptor, carefully creating the universe out of nothing, using only his fingers. Maybe David had Genesis 1, the account of creation on his mind? I’m not sure, but he’s reflecting on the awesomeness of God as Creator. He’s considering the heavens. He’s asking, how big is God? David answers, just look at the moon and stars at night. According to Psalm 8 and Psalm 19, the primary purpose of the universe is to show off the majesty, greatness, glory, magnificence, creativity, and power of God.
We know so much more today about the universe then David did. The universe is so big, astronomers use the phrase, “the known universe,” because we don’t know just how big it is. We live in a subdivision of the Milky Way Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy is only a small part of the entire universe. In order to get around the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers use a measurement called light years. Light travels 186,000 miles/sec. A beam of light can travel around the earth 7 times every second. Professor David Block, who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London at age 19, theorized that if we could count the billions of stars in just our galaxy, one per second, it would take 2500 years to count them all! If our solar system were the size of a quarter, the Milky Way Galaxy would be the size of the North American continent! Stephen Hawking, in his book, A Brief History of Time, said, “We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can been seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing some hundred thousand million stars”
What my point? By faith you can choose to believe God created all this by his Word and his fingers or, by faith as well, you can believe that nothing created everything by accident. But, both take faith. David’s response to the glory and majesty of God in the heavens was worship, “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” JI Packer in his book, I Want to Be A Christian, writes, “You have seen the sea? The sky? Sun, moon, and stars? You have watched the birds and the fish? You have observed the landscape, the vegetation, the animals, the insects, all the big things and little things together? You have marveled at the wonderful complexity of human beings, with all their powers and skills…Fantastic, isn’t it? Well now, meet the one who is behind it all!” As if to say: now that you have enjoyed these works of art, you must shake hands with the artist; since you were thrilled by the music, we’ll introduce you to the composer.” Some of you have yet to meet the composer because your idea of God is too small.
Take some time this week to look up and take in the glory and greatness of God!