Hebrews 2:5-12, Psalm 8, Mark 1:21-28
“Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.”
As a child I remember being taken outside on a cloudless night. Familiar daytime things had become strange shapes against the dark, but beyond were hundreds of tiny pinpricks of light. I was told that each one was another world millions of miles away! In recent years the word “awesome” has been devalued by inappropriate use – but that truly was an awesome sight and left me feeling very small.
The shepherd-boy, David obviously had similar feelings as he spent his nights protecting the sheep under his care. Early on in life he developed a reverence for the works of God’s hands – animals, birds and fish, as well as the wonders of the universe. Even children could see and praise God’s majesty.
Later in life, when David was surrounded by enemies, praising God whose sovereignty was so obvious, put his earthly troubles into perspective.
Christmas may be over, but 6th January (which was last week) is the date when we traditionally remember the visit of the wise men to the infant Jesus. Perhaps the wisest thing about them was that they looked upwards and paid attention to what God was doing as they set out on their long journey!
If it is true, as many believe, that the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, as seen from the earth on 21st December, was a repeat of what those wise men saw so long ago, that surely should get our pulses racing! God, who set the planets on their courses before the dawn of time, arranged this event so rarely seen from earth, for the troubled year of 2020!
Make of it what you will.
What is man that you are mindful of Him…?(Verse 4)
The God of the Universe knows all about us and about this world we live in because He was here in the flesh, and is here now in His Spirit. We cannot answer the question as to why God is mindful of us and has found such wonderful ways of communicating with us. We can only wonder that He gives us such dignity and wants a relationship with us.
Our God is so big – and yet He pays attention to us. Of course, it depends on your point of view whether you think that God constantly watching over us is a good thing! For those who spend their lives trying to hide from Him and live independently, this knowledge is terrifying!
But for those of us who have allowed His love to penetrate our lives and know Jesus as Saviour, it is the source of our greatest comfort. God’s Sovereignty, together with His ongoing care, puts our daily troubles into perspective.
We may despair sometimes about life, and the present situation is very frightening for many people. We are weak and small in the face of the things that surround us. Sometimes our faith feels weak and small too, but it isn’t the size of our faith that counts – but the size of the God in whom we put our faith. God is not contained by the limitations of what we see and know. He is far bigger.
I am reminded of the Old Testament character, Job who was brought down by many personal problems. After chapters and chapters of struggling with the situation, and not helped by his so-called “comforters”, finally God got a word in and pointed out the wonders of His creation. Job was left speechless with wonder!
We are so small and God is so big. I am not suggesting that we all build observatories in our back gardens, but it might do us good to look at the night-sky more often, and indeed at the wonders all around us!
“God who made the earth,
The air, the sky, the sea,
Who gave the light its birth,
Careth for me.
God, who made the grass,
The flower, the fruit, the tree,
The day and night to pass,
Careth for me.
God, who made the sun,
The moon, the stars, is He
Who, when life’s clouds come on,
Careth for me.
God who sent His Son
To die on Calvary,
He, if I lean on Him,
Will care for me.”
(Sarah Betts Rhodes, c. 1830-1890)