The Work of Your Fingers

Psalm 8:3-9 (NLT)

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God

and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Psalm 8:1-9 (TPT)

Lord, your name is so great and powerful!
People everywhere see your splendor.
Your glorious majesty streams from the heavens,
filling the earth with the fame of your name!
You have built a stronghold by the songs of babies.
Strength rises up with the chorus of singing children.
This kind of praise has the power to shut Satan’s mouth.
Childlike worship will silence
the madness of those who oppose you.
Look at the splendor of your skies,
your creative genius glowing in the heavens.
When I gaze at your moon and your stars,
mounted like jewels in their settings,
I know you are the fascinating artist who fashioned it all!
But when I look up and see
such wonder and workmanship above,
I have to ask you this question:
Compared to all this cosmic glory,
why would you bother with puny, mortal man
or be infatuated with Adam’s sons?
Yet what honor you have given to men,
created only a little lower than Elohim,
crowned like kings and queens with glory and magnificence.
You have delegated to them
mastery over all you have made,
making everything subservient to their authority,
placing earth itself under the feet of your image-bearers.
7–8 All the created order and every living thing
of the earth, sky, and sea—
the wildest beasts and all the sea creatures—
everything is in submission to Adam’s sons.
Lord, your name is so great and powerful.
People everywhere see your majesty!
What glory streams from the heavens,
filling the earth with the fame of your name!

Reflection

The story of night began with the story of Jesus – at the beginning of the world. Over the coming days we will anticipate the arrival of that most Divine Night, the night when Christ was born, and immerse our thoughts in the wonder and glory of God’s story told through the work of art of his nocturnal skies.

Over the course of millennia the story of Jesus unfolds through a sequence of intimate and wondrous encounters that occur under a spread of stars. It’s at night God delivers his promise to Abraham and at night Jacob is visited by God in his dream. At night the Angel of Death passes over the Israelites in Egypt, and at night he appears as a fire to guide them through the wilderness. Under the cover of night Rahab helps the spies escape and becomes entwined in the narrative of the Messiah. The Psalms describe night as the work of God’s fingers, a time of intimacy and meditation, a time of comfort and security, a time of His glory. In Isaiah the stars represent His authority and splendor, in Jeremiah they represent His faithfulness and His promise. It’s at night that Paul and Silas are rescued from prison. And the image of night depicts the mystery of the arrival of the Bridegroom returning to claim His bride.

When we take time to contemplate the sheer magnificence of the universe it is astonishing to think that the same hand that created galaxies also formed us. As the psalmist says, compared to all this cosmic glory, who are we that God would love us so much? And yet this is the truth we see play out before us in the story of a King come to earth and the astonishing collision of divine power and endless love. This is the story of Jesus.

Prayer:

Thank God for the wonder of his creation and marvel at the love that would set such a magnificent Creator to write the story of his love across all generations.

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