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Psalm 8

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Man is an insignificant nothing, but he is the focal point and pinnacle of God's creation.

Today’s Thought for the Day comes from Psalm 8. The first thing that catches my attention in this messianic Psalm are its bookends. It starts and ends with “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth” (vv. 1 & 9). A careful reader should immediately ask themselves the question, “Why is that the case?” We will get to that shortly. One of my favorite scientific subjects is astronomy. Everyone has heard of the Hubble Space Telescope. One of the Hubble’s greatest achievements is the “Hubble Deep Field.” For “kicks and giggles” the Hubble team decided to aim the telescope at an unusual patch of sky and take some pictures. This patch of sky was the size of a tennis ball at a distance of 100 meters. Ridiculously small. They did so because this unusual little patch of sky was essentially devoid of stars to earthbound telescopes. Upon examination of the results, and to their great surprise, they found thousands upon thousands of points of light. Upon further examination they found these points of light were not individual stars but massive galaxies, each one containing billions and billions of stars! As men we are so small. In comparison to the physical Universe we are as insignificant as grains of sand on a vast beach.  Spiritually we are in even sadder shape!  We are totally and completely spiritually bankrupt. The Roman letter says we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23) and deserve eternal death, eternal separation from God (6:23).  But notice what the Psalmist says:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit [care for, cvt] him?” (vv. 3, 4)

At one end of the spectrum, both physically and spiritually, man is an insignificant nothing. But on the other end of the spectrum, man is the focal point and pinnacle of God’s creation. God provides for all our physical needs (Matt. 6:25-33; Acts 14:15-17). And, even more importantly, He provides for all our spiritual needs (Eph. 1:3).  Again, in the Roman letter Paul writes:

“What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (vv. 31, 32)

Now do you appreciate why this Psalm’s bookends are “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth” (vv. 1 & 9)? We need to ponder that and respond accordingly.

Craig V. Thomas

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