Wednesday, February 28, 2007
THE MAJESTY OF GOD
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
The word ‘heavens’ in the first verse of Psalm 19 stands in the emphatic position, drawing our attention immediately upward to the creation of God. David, the shepherd and author of this testimony of praise was overcome with the majesty of the God of Abraham as his eyes focused on the works of His hand. The grandeur of God as revealed in the natural world is evident even to the heathen, “… because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20).
Many of us have had an experience similar to David’s, when on occasion we saw the beauty of the mountains, studied the remarkable world of animals and insects, or considered the vastness of space. As a little boy, I often peered into outer space with admiration and perplexity. Exactly what existed beyond the range of my vision? And when did it get there? I never doubted that God was the One who created it. Only “the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). With the advance of technology in our day, it is now possible to see what I could not see as a child, let alone what the men of the Bible could see, who had only the naked eye.
I have to wonder what David would exclaim if he could see some of the hundreds of thousands of remarkable space photos taken by the Hubble telescope since its launch in 1990. What would Sir Isaac Newton think were he alive today? According to many, Newton (1643-1727) had no equals in the history of science. A sketch of his life was presented in a Christian History Institute publication. The author described Newton in this way: “Among the greatest scientific geniuses of all times, Isaac Newton made major contributions to mathematics, optics, physics, and astronomy. He discovered the law of gravitation, formulated the basic laws of motion, developed calculus, and analyzed the nature of white light. Behind all his science was the conviction that God made the universe with a mathematical structure and He gifted human beings' minds to understand that structure. The very orderliness and design of the universe spoke of God's awesome majesty and wisdom.” 1 A fool denies the existence of God; Newton denied that anything could come into existence apart from God. He also understood that the greatness and power of God is beyond our comprehension. He said, "I must confess to a feeling of profound humility in the presence of a universe which transcends us at almost every point. I feel like a child who while playing by the seashore has found a few brightly colored shells and a few pebbles while the whole vast ocean of truth stretches out almost untouched and unruffled before my eager fingers." Amen to that! “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5). "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding" (Jeremiah 51:15). Certainly the God who can do such things and so much more must be the only object of our worship and praise.
I find it no surprise that Psalm 19 was addressed “to the Chief Musician”. Another hymn writer, Isaac Watts, composed, “The Heavens Declare Thy Glory.” The first stanza begins with the words, “The heavens declare thy glory, Lord; in every star thy wisdom shines.” Truly the wisdom of God does shine forth in all His glorious creation. As he contemplated the heavens above, Watts was led to bow to the ground and worship the Creator, just as David boasted of God in Psalm 19. Should we not be moved to praise God when we see the glory of His creation? Dr. Arthur Harding, in his textbook on astronomy, asked: “Who can study the science of astronomy and contemplate the star-lit heavens with a knowledge of the dimensions of the celestial bodies, their movements and their enormous distances, without bowing his head in reverence to the power that brought this universe into being and safely guides its individual members?” 2
The apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Since I became a new man in Christ Jesus by trusting His sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 15:3), I too have matured in my understanding of God’s majesty. I now know more fully, although still in part, that He is the Sovereign Lord of the heavens and the earth who alone is worthy of my deepest devotion, my unceasing thanks, and the consecration of my life for His glory and that of Christ, who brought all things into existence and redeemed my soul (1 Peter 1:18). Colossians 1:12-17 states: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Brethren, never give in to fear, worry, or doubt. God has all things under control. He will safely guide us to our eternal home. The next time you look skyward, remember the all-wise and loving God who brought forth the heavenly bodies and sustains them from day to day. Catch a greater glimpse of His glory, and earthly concerns will not seem so daunting!
Worship His Majesty,
1 Christian History Institute, Glimpses #69
2 Harding, Arthur M., Astronomy [New York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1940], p.386
Posted by Tom Chesko at 11:44 AM