Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
We are talking again about Psalm 8—David, probably lying down after getting the sheep settled for the night, looked up and saw the stars.
Some scientists look at the heavens and not only say we seem insignificant—they believe we really are insignificant. But David didn’t think that. He never believed that. Why not? Because David knew that God had created this world for us. He wrote: “You made him (mankind) ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet” (Psalm 8:6). As far as David was concerned, if God made this world for us (including the sun, moon and the stars) you can count on the fact that it’s not some humdrum planet in a backwater galaxy.
Sagan, Clarke and all the other scientists who think that our earth is trivial have their telescopes pointed in the wrong direction. Because it’s in the heavens that God writes his love for us. For example, astronomers have discovered that the universe has a centre. And guess where it’s at? According to the ‘Hubble Law’ there’s a concentric pattern to the universe that implies our galaxy is very near the centre of the cosmos. (http://www.icr.org/universe-center/). The Bible says:
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Then, of course, there’s our humdrum, ‘ordinary’ star we call the sun. It’s actually not all that ordinary. Back in 1974 the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope of the National Solar Observatory, at Kitt Peak in Arizona, began a 32-year study of the stars. By 2006 they had studied a number of stars (including our own) and arrived at the conclusion that, of all the stars they studied, our sun was one of the most stable. Whereas most stars give off wild fluctuations in flares and eruptions that would endanger any life that was anywhere near them, they found that our sun only varied by six one-hundredths of a percent during the entire 32 years of the recorded period they observed it. We have no reason to fear the sun.
Our solar system is special
Then there’s our solar system. There’s Mercury, Venus (about the same size as our planet), Earth with our moon, Mars (about half our planet’s size), an asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Now a question: where are all the ‘big planets’? They’re at the outside of our solar system, further away from the sun than we are. Now, that alone is peculiar, because in other solar systems astronomers have discovered up to this point, the big planets are often much closer to their star than ours is. So why would God plant these huge planets farther away from the sun than we are?
Well, the Bible doesn’t say, but I think we can make a good guess. Scientists spend hours upon hours worrying that some interplanetary comet, asteroid or meteor is going to career into our solar system and crash into our planet destroying all life as we know it. But over the centuries that type of collision has rarely happened.
Why? Well, look at those big planets. Any extra-terrestrial debris that would head toward our planet would have to get past those four huge planets. Whether there are meteors and asteroids or any other large rock flying at us—they would have to get by those planets. That would be a tall order in itself.
But, then notice something else. There is the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Any meteors and asteroids would not only have to get past those four huge planets, they would have to penetrate that belt to get to us—and few do. But if they get past those huge planets—and that vast asteroid belt—we have this little thing here we call the moon.
Have you ever seen the moon through a telescope? What do you see on that moon? Craters. How did those craters get on the moon? Meteors, asteroids. If anything got past those huge planets and the asteroid belt not much would get past our moon.
But if anything did—well, have you ever seen a ‘shooting star’? Do you know what a shooting star is? Those ‘stars’ are really interplanetary rocks that literally burn up entering our atmosphere. As a result, very few large objects from outer space have ever made it to our earth.
Back in 2005, five secular planetary scientists met at the American Museum of Natural History and agreed that our solar system appears special. One, Fritz Benedict of the University of Texas, commented, “The older I get, the less likely it seems to me there’d be a bunch of places like our solar system.” (http://crev.info/2005/04/panel_majority_agrees_our_solar_system_is_special/)
Even when we are small, God really loves us
No wonder the Bible says, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” I could go on and on about how special our galaxy, solar system, sun, and planet is in the universe:
- Our galaxy sits close to the very centre of the universe, and
- Our solar system is uniquely designed to protect our planet from the ravages of space.
But you know—David didn’t know all that. All David knew was that God cared for him. And he could tell it by the beauty of the skies at night, and the warmth of the sun that met him each morning. And because David knew that God loved him, throughout the Psalms, David said things like this:
- “The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love.” (Psalm 145:8)
- “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O LORD, supported me.” (Psalm 94:18)
- “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” (Psalm 13:5)
- “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.” (Psalm 32:10)
And therefore, David wrote, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1). What David was saying in Psalm 8 was this: If you look up into the skies and begin to think you are too small, too insignificant for God to care for you—you’re not. David wrote that he knew that because God created this world not just for him, but for us.
In Psalm 8:5-8 David praise God with these words: ”You made him (mankind) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.”
God—you created all of this just for us. And that proves, says David, just how much God really loves us.