Tuesday, 09 December 2008 20:09
The cold of winter has disappeared. The sun is shining more warmly. Reflect on the delicate balances in nature. How intricately everything fits together! Does what you see not fill you with awe? God makes it clear in his Word that he is responsible for all this. These are his blessings. Never take them for granted. He can also withhold them. When God withholds his blessings, no amount of human planning
Moon and stars
In Psalm 8, which you can find in the Old Testament part of the Bible, David speaks of being awake at night and looking up at the moon and stars. He is filled with awe at seeing the work of God's "fingers." That is a very poetic way of talking about God's work of creation. Among mankind there are craftsmen with superb skills. But none can equal the handiwork of God. David reflects on what he sees: the moon and the stars. We can do that too, using the words of this Psalm to help us. God has prescribed the place of each heavenly body. There is movement, but there is also order. They give light in the darkness. They do this steadily from day to day, from year to year. Look at them and realize how small we are by comparison! The moon and stars are impressive. Nevertheless, they are not the climax of God's work of creation. Man is the special object of God's attention. David simply cannot get over this.
Man is frail
David exclaims: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" The first Hebrew word that he uses for "man" evokes the idea of man's frailty. We are mortal human beings. How strong the contrast is between man and God, the Creator of the moon and stars. How marvellous it is that God pays any attention to us. "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" When he says "son of man," David uses a different Hebrew word for "man." To bring out the difference you could render it more literally by saying: "the son of Adam." Adam was the first man. We are his descendants. Being offspring of Adam, who fell into sin, we are mortal, sinful human beings. Nevertheless, the LORD God is "mindful" of man, says David. The word "mindful" in verse 4 not only means that God remembers who we are. He also shows that he cares.
What David says further concerning man in Psalm 8 is reminds us of man's original glory in Paradise. God created man in his own image. He made man the ruler of creation, giving him the authority over all living things (Genesis 1:28). That is not authority to abuse creation, but a calling to be a steward of what God has made. Man has fallen short of this glorious calling. We have all dishonoured the LORD, our God and Creator! But this Psalm gives us hope. God promises to show special care to those who take refuge in Him. He is a holy God. But sinners may draw near to Him through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Depend on God
Whatever happens, remember the majesty and love of God. Do your daily work prayerfully, trusting in him. Ask for guidance and strength and for his blessings on your efforts. Be patient when things don't always work out the way you would like them too. Be thankful when things go well. Living in fellowship with God gives us strength to face life, with all its challenges. It also gives strength to face death. The bond we have with God through faith in Jesus Christ will last forever.