Daily D – Psalm 8:3-4
When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? PSALM 8:3-4 (NLT)
“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?
Jupiter and Saturn crossed paths in the night sky couple of weeks ago. We could observe this wonder with the unaided eye even here in the Metroplex with its light pollution. The next act in this starry production begins tomorrow evening (Saturday) just after sunset and will continue for two more evenings. Mercury will join the show.
This is a good time to have a friend with a telescope and a parcel of land well away from city lights.
Several years ago, a dozen or more of us were participating in a training event at our retreat center. Well away from city lights and the sounds of endless traffic, we stretched out on the ground and gazed at the stars above. At first, it felt a little silly, grown adults lying down, looking up, waiting for something to happen.
Inevitably, someone in such situations pulls out an iPhone and opens the Night Sky app. I myself use the free version of this app now and again to help me orient myself in what Donald Miller described in his eponymous memoir, Blue Like Jazz.
I hereby authorize you to knock an iPhone from your companion’s hands if he or she spends more than thirty seconds gazing at the wonders of the app rather than losing himself or herself in the expanse above.
Two sentences in these paragraphs have now ended with that preposition, above. This makes three. Above is also properly used as an adverb, an adjective, and a noun. This is the orientation of Psalm 8. Above the earth, above all human activity, above all of nature’s wonders, above all of my concerns, there is endless silence, beauty, wonder.
How long has it been since you laid back in wonder?
There is a chance I may have disturbed my neighbors’ dogs a couple of weeks ago. Watching that majestic conjunction above, I asked Siri to play, The Majesty and Glory of Your Name by Tom Fettke. I hereby give you permission just after sundown the next three nights to sing that song or to have Siri help you find it. Here is a YouTube link if you need it: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrTV0KD\_qQI]
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge,” (Psalm 19:1, 2).
There is a declaration of wonder above. More than a preposition making us uncomfortable when we end a sentence that way, more than an enhancer of action or an object, Above provides reorientation to how big is God that he could create all of that and yet love us as if we were the only person who ever lived.
Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
I will worship our God above.
Our Father, Creator of night skies and light-bearers, we worship you. Savior who woos us to yourself through wonder, we adore you. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.