We should always be on the lookout for the reflections of God’s glory in all things, acknowledging and crediting him for all his kindness to us in granting us life in his image.
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Israel’s Greatest Hits Vol. II-Part 2
Reflections on Majesty
Pastor Mike Fabarez
Grab your Bibles and let’s turn to the 8th Psalm, Psalm 8, as we take one more step into this 15-part series that we are in the middle of to try and get ourselves reacquainted with 15 select Psalms, which I hope will be as refreshing for you as I anticipate it will be for me. As you’re turning to Psalm 8, I want to remind you just how godly our leaders of our Navigating Motherhood outreach ministry are, these godly ladies. They are so godly and I say that because on Thursday they brought a bag of treats to all the pastors in the office. And you know it was a great bag of treats, they had some baked goods in it, had some store-bought stuff, you know, had some classic candy bars. Then there was what I would like to call a classic, old time, old fashioned throwback candy bar. And I say that because I can’t remember eating it recently but I remember eating it as a kid and it’s a bizarre kind of candy bar, bizarre and yet — wonderful, this candy bar. It’s got that yellow and black taxicab wrapper mysteriously called an Abba Zaba. Unbelievable that was. That’s the first thing I took out. I tore into this and sat in my office in the privacy of my study and I peeled back the wrapper, that yellow wrapper, like a monkey with a banana. Just kind of pulled it back, dug my teeth into that, and then you shake your head like a pit-bull just to get that first piece off. Right? Hoping that your dental work doesn’t end up in the taffy. It’s got that perfect amount of peanut butter that just kind of bursts out at you at the right time. And I worked through that thing, I mean like a dog with a bone. I was working, getting down to the bottom and the way I eat it, at least, I peel it down and you get down, you never know how much is in that last bite because your fingers are kind of in the way and the wrapper goes over your fingers. Is this just me? No. Anyway you just didn’t take that last bite and you just pull it out and it’s always bigger than you think it’s going to be. And about that time I put that giant like two-inch piece into my mouth, my assistant, Ruth, walks in and it’s like this for five minutes, chew, chew, chew. You know just you can’t talk. It was a bizarre yet amazing experience. It was reawakened to the joy of Abba Zaba. By the way, did you know the namesake for our local airport, John Wayne, his favorite candy bar was the Abba Zaba? That’s right. He loved those. Well, he was on to something there. Thanks, Mr. Wayne. I enjoyed the Abba Zaba this week. That was on Thursday and I must admit yesterday I went out and I ate another one. I found an Abba Zaba and I love that.
Now you’re saying what in the world does Abba Zaba have to do with Romans… or Psalm 8? I can’t even remember where I’m preaching. Yeah, Abba Zaba has infiltrated my thinking. What does Abba Zaba have to do with Psalm 8? Well, not a lot, actually, except for the fact that I understand that this passage does for me a little bit of something that I had that experience this week of having a kind of a reawakening to the greatness of something I had not kind of thought about, hadn’t experienced in that way. I think of the way that Peter talks about kind of diving back into understanding God and he speaks of it in terms of the Word of God when he says to his readers, you know, that is if you indeed have tasted to see that the Lord is good. He’s quoting there Psalm 34. If you have, and I hope most of us here have, we know something about the greatness of God. Psalm made us the perfect passage to be utilized in our Christian life to kind of rediscover how great it is and then to really imbibe in that and dig deeper than we ever have in the coming weeks. I hope this is a motivation for you the way this great Psalm is for me.
I want to read it for you from the English Standard Version, these nine verses. We’ll start with the superscription here of Psalm 8. Follow along as I read it for you. It says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” I said I was going to start with the superscription, here it comes, as the Abba Zaba is working on my brain right now. I said superscription then I read verse 1. Here’s the superscription: “To the choirmaster,” because this is what the choirmaster needs to know right here, “according to the Gittith.” Well, I’m glad the choirmaster needs to know that because you say what is the Gittith? And my answer is I don’t know. It’s not because I didn’t do my homework. I did my homework but we just don’t know. So if you know let us know because the biblical world needs to know. We don’t know.
It shows up here in Psalm 8, Psalm 81, Psalm 84, and it’s one of those words that’s much like Maskil or Selah that we talked about last week. These are notations in the musical score, in this case in the superscription that we just have lost track of in this 3,000-year-old Psalm. We don’t know. It’s kind of like musical composition today. We use a lot of old words, and Latin words, and different words, French words, because it’s just the way it’s done and so we don’t know what this means. Some people think it’s an instrument, perhaps it is, to be played on a Gittith, whatever that is. Or maybe it’s a tune that was used that they sometimes gave appellations or titles to. Perhaps it was even, some speculate, an event or a ceremony or something that they would do at a certain time and that it was called the Gittith, we’re not sure.
But we know this: it’s a Psalm of David and what does he say, here it comes, verse 1, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name,” not in heaven but, “here on the earth.” Of course it is in heaven, but here he’s saying we see it on the earth, and he starts speaking about that. He says look, from Earth we can see things like your glory. “You’ve set your glory,” your greatness, “above the heavens.”
Remember this, by the way, there are three different definitions in ancient Hebrew, as well as in New Testament Greek, for the word “heavens.” Heavens can be the sky where the birds fly, I often say, and then there are the heavens where the moon and stars hang out at night. And then there’s the place where God dwells, this other dimensional thing called heaven, the throne of God. That’s why when Paul says to the Corinthians, “I got caught up to the third heaven,” we’re talking about, you know, not the bird area, the aviary, not the planets, not space, not up there, but to another point.
So anyway, you’ve set your glory above the heavens, this place where the birds fly, we see beyond that, we see your glory there, up in space. And now he talks about that in a second, he’s going to say. But even down to the place of babies and infants, “Out of the mouths of babies and infants, you’ve established strength because of your foes.” That’s a strange sentence. We’ll get to in a minute. To do what? “To still the enemy and the avenger.” So God’s got foes, God’s got enemies, God’s got avengers. But there’s something about what God has done in babies and infants that’s still the mockery and the oppositional statements of enemies and avengers who don’t like God.
Now we’re back to the stuff above the sky, above the heavens, in the space. “I look to your heavens, the work of your fingers.” Now we know the jurisdiction here, the area, “the moon and the stars which you’ve set in place.” And when I think about that and I’m wowed by that and I see the majesty reflected in that I think, “What is man that you’re mindful of him, and the son of man,” children of men, “that you care for him?” It’s an amazing thing. We seem so small when we look up at space as David surely did as a shepherd boy sitting out in the fields in Bethlehem late at night as a kid looking up and seeing the vastness of space. And then in all that he goes, “Wow, I feel so small, which I assume you do too if you ever get in a kind of a non-lit, non-urban, maybe out in the desert, you get where it’s completely dark and you see the vastness of space. A kind of array of stars you never see here in the city, you start to say, “Wow, we seem so small,” so infinitesimally small and yet God cares for us.
And, of course, he does in a great way, verses 5 through 8, “yet you’ve made him,” man, mankind, people, “a little lower than the heavenly beings and you’ve crowned him,” you’ve given us great dignity. Crowned him with what? “With glory and honor. You’ve given him,” here’s the Bible word from Genesis 1, “you’ve given him dominion,” leadership, “over the works of your hands.” You put all things, under his jurisdiction, under his authority, “under his feet.” What kinds of things? Everything on earth that God has made even the things like “sheep and oxen, the beasts of the fields, the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”.
You can see verse 1, verse 9, we have this echoing of the greatness of God, not out there somewhere in another dimension where we can’t see, but the stuff we can see. The stuff we can see in the sky at night, the stuff we can see on earth in human beings, even down to little babies cooing in their mother’s laps, we see the reflections of the majesty of God. This whole passage is just getting us to look for it. You look for it and then do some things with that, once you find it, you do the biblical things, you start ascribing to the Lord the credit that he deserves, you start to recognize the greatness of God in ways that you didn’t last week because you didn’t look for it the way that we ought to. And it starts with that.
We need to start looking for the greatness of God and that’s what verse 1, the second half of verse 1, all the way through verse 4 is about, from the stuff up in the sky as he sets his greatness, his glory, his majesty above the heavens, out there with the moon and stars are, all the way down to little babies with their tiny little eyelashes and their little fingernails and their tiny little chubby fingers, all of that, and their babbling. All the things that God shows about his greatness, his intelligent design, his majesty, it’s all on display. We just got to start looking.
Number one on your outline, let’s just start with that. Verse 1b through verse 4, we need to “Look for God’s Greatness Everywhere.” Start looking for God’s greatness everywhere. That’s my first assignment to you this morning is the start concerning yourself with the greatness of God in all that you can see. Turn off your music, turn off the noise of the screens, get to where you can say God is great. God is great. Look at what he’s done. Look at the reflections of his glory in nature.
Someone asked me yesterday, “Can you prove to me, scientifically prove to me, the existence of God.” And I couldn’t help but think of Hebrews Chapter 3 when this question was asked of me because I thought in that passage it’s very clear that when you come upon a house you assume a builder. It says, “Every house is built by someone and God is the builder of all things.” You walk through a meadow, you come upon a house, you think well surely someone built that. And the point is, I try to make a very simple, two-minute response to this by saying, “Well, the reality is the biggest proof for God is that there is something rather than nothing.”.
I know we have theories trying to explain something rather than nothing. They call it the “big bang,” things came out of this infinitesimally small, singularity, they call it, and from that everything came, but there is, at least in Scripture, a very logical explanation for something being there rather than nothing, and that is because there’s something that’s eternal that’s always been there and it’s not nature, it’s not physics, it’s God himself. And the verse right before that says, in verse 3 of Hebrews 3, you know that always, “the builder has more glory than the building that he makes.”
And the reality is if you see anything great about a building you got to look back say, wow, the builders and the architects and the planners, they must’ve been really sharp, really bright. The point is when you see majesty and greatness in creation you ought to recognize how great the author, the designer, the builder, the architect of these things is. Now I know a lot of times as Christians we like to point out to the non-Christian world you don’t realize there are a lot of problems here and you need to trace those back to the moral failures in Genesis 3. We’re always trying to get people to see that there’s sin in this world and we try to make the connection between the problem of rebellion against God and the sin in this world. But in a passage like this it’s trying to reverse that for just a second to say, OK, Christians, in our case, before you just sit there and point out the bad, can you stop and recognize that even post-Genesis 3 after the fall, there’s a lot of good, there’s a lot of glory that fills this earth that reflects the majesty and greatness of God. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name,” right now, presently, in all the earth, not just Genesis 1 and 2, but Genesis 3 through Revelation Chapter 19. There’s still a lot of glory that’s present here. You need to look for it. The house is still here. Is it marred by sin? Yes. Is there spray paint on the walls? Sure there is. But you’re walking into a magnificent reflection of the glory of God that we live in.
Johannes Kepler, the father of physical astronomy back in the 17th century, he said it’s really… he’s the one, by the way, who popularized that the point, really, of physics and chemistry and science in general is learning to think God’s thoughts after him. Right? That’s all we’re doing. We’re discovering all that God has done and all that God has made. And he said when it speaks of nature he wrote this: he said when we study God’s book of nature, because he’s revealed himself in this book, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our own minds, that isn’t it great that we’ve figured this all out, Kepler was careful to say, but rather above all else we should be thoughtful of the glory of God. Look at the greatness of God.
We shouldn’t be patting ourselves on our backs just because we’re figuring out God’s creation. We ought to really be reaching out and saying as the psalmist does here, as David does here, how great and majestic and powerful and wonderful and thoughtful and majestic is the God who we serve. It’s an amazing God who we serve. It’s a God who we ought to give credit to. And we ought to stop long enough this week, maybe more than we did last week, just to look around and see the greatness of God, the glory of God, the excellence of God everywhere. Psalm 19 says, “The heavens are speaking,” they’re declaring,” the glory of God.” If you just look at it it’s speaking. “The sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day they pour forth speech, and night after night they reveal knowledge. Their voice goes out through the whole earth.” I mean they’re screaming to us to say stop and look at the greatness of God.
We live on a six septillion ton rock that spins in the cold vacuum of interplanetary space, six septillions. That’s a 6 with 24 zeros after it (6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). That’s super-duper heavy. Right? I mean that’s a heavy rock that spins here at a thousand miles per hour on the equator as it spins around and makes that revolution 24 hours every single day. It is going in a perfect ellipse that gives us our great seasons on its axis that takes 365 and a quarter days to go around. It’s spinning at 1,000 miles an hour as it moves at about 1,100 miles per minute in moving its way around that, as we almost come upon the equinox that we’re almost up to this week. That is an amazing thing, how fast this is. I don’t know how fast your car goes, but it doesn’t go 1,100 miles per minute. That’s huge. I mean that’s the kind of plane I want to fly in because I can get to New York in two minutes that way, that’s awesome. Right? That’s the airline I’d like to buy a ticket for.
Matter of fact, the diameter of the earth, when you think about the earth, it displaces itself and moves to an entirely different footprint around the orbit of the Earth every seven minutes. Think about that. I mean the Earth, we’re in a whole different spot from the time this service started. And we’ve gone from boom, boom, boom, boom. We’re moving at this rapid rate as we spin around and you’re not even carsick right now. Right? I mean this is like we’re doing all of this with this perfect equilibrium that we experience here in our lives.
Gently warmed as you go out of this service in just a minute by this ball of fusion. If you think about it, an 865,000 miles across ball of fusion that is now releasing energy every single day to perfectly warm this earth some 93 million miles from here. That’s an amazing thing that is happening and our ability now to even record the solar flares on the surface of that sun to recognize what an amazing thing it is, as Psalm 19 goes on to say, as every day from our vantage point it’s like a bridegroom coming out of its chamber and chasing across the sky leaving its heat, warming the earth, making life perfectly inhabitable here.
And at night, not to mention a perfectly designed nightlight reflective, by the way, a reflectivity between 7 and 12%, the moon is. But you think, “OK, well what big deal is that?” God put in the sky a perfect orbital satellite around our planet that does all kinds of things to make our life inhabitable here on Earth. The tides and everything else that, not to mention the debris that, because of its gravitational field, it sucks away from the earth, the redirection of. And that reflectivity, you can go to certain planets in our solar system that have a reflectivity in the 90% or the 99%. Try that. I mean, that’s like trying to sleep with a nightlight on at night. That’s not very helpful. But our moon, perfectly lit, as though dad comes in and puts a nightlight next to the crib and says here this will be a perfect nightlight for you with the reflectivity that is just right to govern the night, as the Bible says.
And in that it’s a 2,000 mile across orbital satellite around our world at a distance, which if you asked astronomers how in the world did this orbital satellite get here. I mean the proportional mathematics of how that works are absolutely incredible. I mean, we’ve got theories on it at least. I should say they have theories on it, but really it’s an unthinkable series of things that leave no evidence here in terms of some kind of cosmic collision that took a chunk of the earth off and sent it out into this perfect orbit that’s at a place that shouldn’t even mathematically make sense.
It’s an amazing thing that God places there. And if I talk about a 93 million mile away ball of fusion, I look at the moon up there, it’s only 238,000 miles away. If you’re good with math and you do the proportional equations on that you understand that we have an orbital satellite called the moon that is 400 times smaller than the sun and it’s 400 times closer than the sun. Did you follow that? Let me say it again. We’ve got a sun that is 400 times larger than the moon and we have a moon that’s 400 times closer than the sun. And depending on the season of the year if you were to put those up in the sky in the same place you would recognize, “Wow, it’s amazing that the thing that lights our day, the shop light that we live by that warms our Earth in the sky has the same disk profile as the nighttime nightlight. Same exact profile.
As a matter of fact, they could come together and if they were to come together in something we call an eclipse, a solar eclipse, you’ll find they perfectly match up. I just want to ask you the odds of something like that, not to mention the absolutely incredible odds against ever creating a satellite that’s going to go around our planet called the moon in the way that it’s designed. You tell me what the odds are of having two randomly exploded pieces of debris that perfectly put themselves in that exact place that they ought to be to make life exactly what it ought to be here on this planet. And you’re going to have them at varied sizes, at varied distance, in various physical laws being positioned right exactly where they are and they’re perfectly aligned just so that when we look up in the daytime or we watch the sunset, we watch the moon rise, we look and we see them both and maybe we’re going to have that experience this week to have that sense of what it’s like to see those discs perfectly designed to give us the kind of life that we experience. If you don’t see the glory of God or the majesty of God in something like that, you’re not looking, you’re really not looking.
There’s so much in the night sky. There’s so much in the daytime that we get to experience whether you take a hike this week, sit on a cliff watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, or whether you’re just walking through a park and imagining the greatness of God in the smallest things. The Bible says God’s oversight even down to the birds that exist in the trees or the flowers that are growing next to the parking lot that display the beauty and magnificence of God, the Bible is calling us to stop and look and think and see the majesty and greatness and glory of God everywhere.
The Bible says that’s the case of the glory of God set above the heavens “when you look at the moon and the stars, the things he set in place.” And then it says well, “what is man that you’re mindful of him?” Well, we start in verse 2 by saying, well it’s not just full-grown people, intelligent, educated people, but even the bumbling and the cooing of little babies and infants. God has established such strength in that. He’s ordained such a mighty testimony to his glory that it should shut the foes of God a bit, stills their mouth, the enemies and the avengers have nothing to say. Well, of course, they have a lot to say now. But I assure you when the excuses are all put aside, which the Bible says everyone is without excuse right now, and God says, “Look at what I gave you. I was shouting the clarity of my attributes, of my glory and my creative power.” If you don’t see it even in a baby, and I’m telling you the most ardent atheist comes home with that baby from the hospital and cradles that child, it’s amazing how soft they become to the miracle of life to at least sit back and say, “This is crazy, the kind of thing that is happening here.” They want to attribute it to a lot of things, a lot of things that they have to somehow come up with complex explanations for.
We’re not crediting God because we can’t figure things out. As a matter of fact, the reality is God is not the God of the gaps as I often say. It’s not just they don’t understand things, they don’t understand lightning, I blame it on God. If I don’t understand volcanoes, I blame it on God, if I don’t understand where we came from, I blame it on God. That’s not the case at all. I am a theist because of the totality of the picture of everything, it necessitates, it rationally drives me to believe in a God who is a creator, a designer, a God who’s put all this in place.
And you say, “Well, we’ve got really smart guys like Hitchens and Dawkins and all the rest. These guys, they know what they’re talking about. Let me quote Dawkins for you when it comes to how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. The number one most outspoken anti-theist in our day, evolutionary biologist at Oxford, when considering the irreducible complexity of microbiology, we’re considering even, if I were to throw in here, the idea of the magnificence of the order in which I’ve just tried to explain ever so briefly this morning, he says, “Well, it could be, at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology. And they designed a form of life and then they seeded it onto this planet.” I’m quoting evolutionists here, the number one evolutionist in our day. Did you catch that, by the way? Martians came by, they did a little experiment for their 7th-grade class, but they’re really technologically advanced.
They came and just put it in the ooze and the soup of what was being heated by volcanoes and flashes of lightning, they put it there and that’s how this whole thing started. I’m quoting now exactly: “Now, um, now, ah, that is the possibility, an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for it if you look at the details of biochemistry molecular biology. You’ll find a signature of some sort of designer.” This is not a creationist speaking here. Right? “You’re going to find that if we look close enough you’ll see with the irreducible complexity of all that we have in our world, you are going to find some sort of designer.” This is the number one most outspoken atheist, anti-theist of our day saying, “Yeah, there’s design there and there must be a designer but maybe we can say it’s a Martian who flew by and spits in a primordial ooze and this all came to be.”.
Which by the way, necessitates, I know they’ll blame this too when they try to make me think about where God came from. Well, I’m going to say, “Where did that group come from? How did they get there in that technologically advanced Darwinian-evolved society? If you’re going to explain our Darwinianism by some kind of advanced technology given to us and seeded on our planet by some other creature in some other cosmos, you’ve got to explain where they came from. Well, they’re going to say, “Well, so do you with God.”
Well I would say the whole definition of who God is in Scripture is categorically distinct from the creation that he makes. A God who was and is and is to come, a timeless God who sits outside of eternity. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made us out of the dust of the earth, the Bible says. That little baby that even the naturalist holds in his arms has a body with sixty trillion cells in it. 60,000,000,000,000 cells. And every cell doing its thing like a little factory has in it 90 trillion molecules in it, doing what they do to make those cells function. 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. Five million red blood cells for every cubic centimeter of blood in the human body. 5,000,000 of them doing all that they do to make our lives function. Nerves in our body sending impulses from our brain all throughout our body and all the way back from all its sensory perception at 170 miles an hour a clip, in a short little span of my body with 300 muscles firing with all those nerves telling my muscles what to do just to stand here before you. They say 300 muscles have to do their job just for me to shake my hands like that and stand upright. All of that functioning just exactly as the designer designed it and it wasn’t a Martian who flew by and spit in the ocean to make this happen or sent his project from his 7th-grade class to get this thing going.
The Bible says that that little baby, that eye that is perfectly designed that there’s no half an eye, there’s no half-developed eye, there’s no evolutionary process for the eyeball, that that eye that can see a match lit in perfect darkness from 50 miles away. It was no mistake. It was designed by a designer and that the glory of the builder is bigger and better than the glory of the house. Every house has a builder and the builder of all things, the Scripture says, is God.
Your job and my job this week is to be the detective to look for that and I want to encourage you to do that. Turn some things off, shut some things down, sit and look at the night sky, get up in the morning and see the things that God does as the sun rises. Watch as the sun sets and see and reflect on the attributes of God that are on full display in this world in which we live. Look for God’s greatness everywhere this week and you’ll be better off this week than you were last week, I assure you.
Bible says in light of all that is out there in the cosmos, it’s amazing that God would even think of us, let alone care for us and then we go further. Look at verses 5 through 8 when it comes to Psalm 8 it’s not just that he cares for us, it’s not just that he made us, it’s not just that he designed the eyelashes of an infant. It’s that you’ve made this infant, as well as the human beings, “a little lower than the heavenly beings and you’ve crowned him with glory and honor.”.
Now look closely at your text there and see, depending on your translation, if you have an English Standard Version, I’m sure the text itself will have a footnote to say that this word right here, and I’m just going to explain this just in case you say, well he might have missed this or some translation says something else. So if you want to go to sleep for three minutes now’s the time. Okay? If you don’t care about this.
This Hebrew word here is the word “Elohim.” Elohim. “You’ve made him,” human beings, “a little lower than Elohim.” Elohim is a Hebrew word, of course, in the Old Testament, and I’m saying it, Elohim, and if I were to transliterated into English it would be with an “im” on the end of it and every transliterated Hebrew word, some just come directly into English, if they have an “im” at the end of the word that is like putting an “s” at the end of one of our English nouns. It’s a sign of a plural, more than one. Elohim is a plural noun. Elohim is the word translated, if you’ve been around church for a while, you know the Hebrew word for God is Elohim. In the beginning of our Bibles in Genesis 1:1, it speaks of Elohim creating the world. Elohim. Just like a cherub is a singular, cherubim, “im’, is plural. A seraph is a singular kind of angel. A seraphim is a plural. Elohim is plural. And that idea, when you see that in the context of God, we usually see singular pronouns that refer back to that plural noun and we know, why that’s weird, we have a plural noun for God and singular pronouns. Well that’s exactly what we see and that’ll make your head scratch. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
But sometimes we see it in the rest of the Bible referring to the gods of the pagans and the gods of the people. The gods of the people, they believe in things that don’t exist, at least in sovereign beings that are really not sovereign, that they pray to, they make idols about them, they bow down to them, and the Bible says, they’re really not praying to any gods, not real gods. They are praying to angelic beings, in this case, fallen angelic beings if they’re trying to direct you away from God. Those angelic beings can be referred to properly as empowered beings but they’re plural, the gods, in some translations, old translations and some even modern translations, will say you’ve made him a little lower than the gods, which of course means in that context angels or demons.
Some translations will say God. Matter of fact, the oldest translations in English say you’ve made him a little lower than God. The reason our English Standard Version chooses to decide to make this “heavenly beings” instead of even just rightly saying demons or angels, is because the Septuagint, and again I told you that you can sleep during this part, the Septuagint which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament written in the inter-testamental period, or translated in the inter-testamental period. Alexander the Great, of course, wanted to build the greatest library in the world in Alexandria, Egypt. And he had 70 scholars, thus the word Septuagint, had 70 scholars come and translate the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, which became really the most widely read, in the early Greco-Roman world, version of the Old Testament. Not that we didn’t have the Hebrew text, we did, but we had the Greek text that everyone was quoting from particularly in the New Testament.
Well, in the New Testament when they quote Psalm 8, particularly when the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 8, he takes what was translated from Hebrew which is the word “made him a little lower than Elohim” and gives us what’s in the Septuagint, “made him a little lower than,” and here’s the word in Greek, “angelos,” which of course is the transliterated word we get the word angel from. So they understood it, at least the translators of the Septuagint, that we’re talking about angelic beings here. One of the reasons I think, because that’s given to us in Hebrews, the book of Hebrews, that we understand that perhaps that’s what’s in view here. It’s not that we’re made a little lower than God, we’re made a little lower than angelic beings or heavenly beings.
- Does that matter? Well, look at the next phrase and I’ll tell you it really doesn’t matter but it was fun to talk about for three minutes. OK? Because really it doesn’t matter. All I know is this: “you’ve crowned mankind with glory and honor and given him dominion over the works of your hands.” We’re talking about the created order here, which includes everything on earth – sheep, oxen, beasts, birds, fish, all of them. So we know this: God creates a world and he sets at the top of the pinnacle of that peak human beings. And it’s like they have one foot planted in heaven and one foot planted on earth. In other words, they have a kind of leadership, a kind of authority, a kind of glory and honor that nothing else in creation has. It’s not like they dwell and live in heaven. Right? They don’t. Right? We live here on Earth but they have dominion over everything on earth.
And whether we’re talking about little lower than God, we are certainly lower than God, and in that sense we’re a little lower than God in that, here’s the newsflash, we were created in God’s image. God creates us like himself to do things that he does that nothing else on earth does. We have a kind of image of God. We bear the image and reflection of the majesty of God just in ontologically being a person, just because we are, as a person, like God. Now we’re not talking about being divine, but we are talking about sharing characteristics of divinity. And that is an amazing thing when you think we’re made of the dust of the earth. But we’re not just made of the dust of the earth, God personally breathed into our nostrils, the Bible says, in the beginning when he creates Adam and Eve, he breathes in them the breath of life and they became a living soul.
That picture of us being generated, being made in Genesis, that picture of being made is the reflection of God’s character in a multiplicity of ways. I mean, in a multifaceted way we reflect the godness of God and that should make us stand back and say, “That is amazing.” That’s an amazing thing. And it’s something that when we think about the vastness of space and the glory and majesty of moon and stars, we just stand back and say, that’s amazing. We don’t deserve it. We would never achieve it. We didn’t decide to be thinking, rational human beings. We didn’t decide to be at the top of the heap of physical creation, but God placed us there. It’s a gift of God’s grace.
Now often when times we talk to people about their state they often think much of themselves and we’re trying to say biblically, in light of sin, you need to think less of yourself. You are a sinner. All fall short of the glory of God. And I get that. So often we look at the world and say they think they’re all that and we need to make sure they understand they’re sinners, because we understood that we were sinners so that we could be saved. And that’s right. I’m all about that.
But here is a passage that does something unique. It turns that all around. Yes, it’s most important for our salvation that you don’t think you’re all that, but when it comes to the glory and majesty of God, I think we as Christians spend so much time focusing on that we never step back and say, hey, we should think more of ourselves in terms of how we, in God’s creation, are stacked on this pyramid and that will bring us to a humble state, as we saw in verse 4, of saying it’s amazing that God would grant us this amazing position of authority and dominion and power. I put it this way, we ought to be acknowledging God’s grace in you. And I don’t mean redemptive Grace, although that’s something to celebrate and we’ll do that in other psalms. But in this psalm I just want to celebrate common grace, and the common grace is that you weren’t born as a tree or a rock or a pigeon. You were born as a human being.
You were born as a human being that is reflecting the image of God. Now once you write that down I want you to go to Genesis Chapter 1 and revisit where this all starts. Genesis Chapter 1. Drop down in your Bibles, once you get there, to verse 26. Let’s start there. I told you that the noun Elohim, that translates “God” as the most common word for God in the Bible, is a plural. Even in the beginning of Genesis 1, we see the plural noun “god’, which you might think we should translate “gods” but we don’t translate it “gods”, we translate it “god” because the pronouns that surround it are always singular. In other words, we talk about Elohim and then we see “he” and “him” and we see in the first person, “I”. We don’t see “us” and we don’t see “them,” we see “he” and “him” and “I”. So we know we have a singularity and yet the word itself is a plural.
Well here is where the rules change. Actually they change in a way that you’d think is the way it ought to be. If it’s a plural noun we ought to have plural pronouns. Well, we have that here in verse 26. It’s a unique usage, at least in the Bible, because the contradiction between the plural noun and the singular pronouns is the norm. But here it goes the other way. Verse 26, “God said, ‘Let us,'” there’s a plural pronoun, “make man in our,” there’s a plural pronoun, “image, after our,” there’s a plural pronoun, “likeness. And let them…” Wait a minute, you just said man. Now you’re speaking of them in the plural as well. That’s interesting. “Let us make them to have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the livestock, over the earth, every creeping thing.” That’s just like Psalm 8.
Here’s the thing. If you were to ask me, even as I was having this discussion with my daughter this last week, about the image of God and human beings. My quick Sunday School answer while I’m busy doing something else is: “Hey, here’s the answer: we have intellect, emotion and will.” Right? Unlike trees and rocks and even animals we have a kind of rational intellectual capacity that reflects the godness of God and we have an ability to feel and be emotive and to have emotions the way that God does, and so that reflects God’s character. And we have a will and volition and that reflects God’s character. And that’s kind of the Sunday School answer. And you’ve heard it from this platform before.
But there is much more to it than that and we see it immediately when we see God saying for the first time in his Bible “it’s us creating man in our image and I’m going to let them have dominion.” Well, what are we talking about here? Well, drop down if you would to verse 27, where we stopped. “So God created man in his own image, the image of God he created him,” that’s singular. But now we have two nouns, “male and female, he created them.” Now we’re going to get at the details of how that all worked out in time in Chapter 2, as it recapitulates and retells the story and it unpacks it. But the summary statement is this: God, a plural, creates man, in a plural, in that he creates them as genders, male and female.
Now think with me on this. The reflection of the godness of God, the image of God in mankind, isn’t just that we have intellect, emotion and will, but that we have the ability to relate. And he says it’s not good for man to be alone, because here’s the thing about God, the triune God, he’s not alone. He never has been alone. He exists as a divine fellowship. One essence, one God, existing in three persons. The noun itself is in the plural. God himself is in a plural. When he speaks of creating male and female he begins to speak even in terms of his pronouns in a plural. God is an amazing God who has so many attributes and aspects that are only fully expressed in different and distinctive persons within the Godhead.
And now he says here’s something you’re going to do to reflect the greatness of my nature, you’re going to be male and female. You’re going to relate. You going to relate to one another. And more than that, it says next, be fruitful and multiply. You’re going to build families, you’re going to build communities. You’re going to relate. Here’s an aspect of the greatness of the glory of God and it’s not even the one that’s in view or highlighted in our chapter, but the one that is there, verse 6. They’re going to reflect the majesty of God not just in that they have the ability to think like me, feel like me, decide like me, and not just that they’re going to relate in relationships like me because they wouldn’t have that divinity if they didn’t. Right? Dolphins aren’t building hospitals for each other. The kind of care and reflection of the greatness of God is seen in how we treat one another for good.
But there’s one more thing and that is exercising dominion. Matter of fact, go to that verse I was just quoting in verse 28. “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth,” here’s a word, “and subdue it.” Subdue it and have dominion over everything that’s in it. The subduing and dominion. That is a positive constructive oversight of the aspects of God’s creation for good purposes. It’s the oversight, the management of all the things that God has created, to subdue it and put it in order so that would be better than it is in its raw form. It’s the exercise of leadership that brings out the best in what we lead. That’s the picture. It’s like jurisdiction. It has that management and engagement of a thoughtful supervision. A kind of these are my rules, this is my engagement, this is how we do things. Now we can’t change the moral rules of God, but I bet you’ve got handbooks at work. I bet you’ve created a set of rules for your family and how you’re going to do this or do that. That’s the kind of creative structuring of dominion and subduing things so that in the end it will be a positive and godly and good result. Subdue it.
Depicting an active involvement of cultivating and taming the aspects of our world so that it will better and more useful. It’s a kind of leadership that’s exercised for the good that’s taking raw materials and making them something great, whether it’s the tilling of a garden in the Garden of Eden or whether it’s designing an iPhone to stick in your pocket. The Bible says that’s the exercise of the dominion of God. It’s the subduing of the raw materials of things. It’s like God creating a mess in the initial verse of the Bible and then forming it and fashioning it as the Spirit of God moves upon the surface of the waters and creating something. And guess what, you and I have that opportunity every single day. We exercise dominion over the raw materials of our world. We exercise leadership, we put input, as I put it, we have a kind of insight and overseeing and creative involvement in things that brings out good on the other side.
We’re crowned with that, elevated to honor and dignity because we get to exercise the godness of God in the things that we do. We’re not divine. I’m not saying that. We’re not holy, not like God. I get all that. But you have something going on, even if you start with your children to teach them to exercise dominion and supervise and subdue things, like I wrote in my book about parenting, it’s about making them responsible for things. Whether it’s their toy box or the drawer full of stuff or whether it’s a sketchbook that you give them, they get a chance to do what God has done and they reflect the majesty of God in that, all the way, whether it’s a coloring book or a drafting table of a professional in Irvine, it’s about us doing the kinds of things that God has called us to do and experiencing and reflecting the grace of God in all that and that how unworthy we are to reflect that kind of image in all that we do. What a great thing that is.
I’d be remiss when I talk about how fearfully and wonderfully made we are, not just physically but in this dimension, in the image of God. Not to talk about for at least for a second the blight upon our culture right now as it relates to abortion. I just want you to think about that for a minute without inducing guilt in those of you who’ve had them or have advocated for them. But I am saying we’ve got to stop and recognize, as the Bible says in Psalm 139, if we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” not just that a molecular, atomic level, biological level, but because we are reflecting the dominion of God, there is something about the godness that the reflection of God’s character, God’s ontological definition in even the smallest little child. We ought to stand back and say that life is worth defending to the hilt. And it didn’t start right with the counter abortion movement in our culture. You can go back to the law codes of the Assyrians and Tiglath-Pilesar, putting down firm, firm penalties for abortion and causing the premature birth and death of an unborn child. You can go back to Hammurabi’s Code, 1,700 years before Christ, I mean this is before the Mosaic law, giving strict penalties for those who would cause some kind of abortive future and demise of a child.
We’ve had this through the Greco-Roman world Hippocratic Oath you’ve heard of for doctors about doing no harm. One of the things that they were to give an oath for is a doctor in the ancient Greco-Roman world was not to ever give a woman any abortive remedy for any problem that she might face. Even in our day you can still be prosecuted if I happened to have a pregnant wife and I want that child, if you murder her as a pregnant wife you can still be brought up on charges of double homicide. But of course, the insanity of our culture is if you don’t want that child I can take my wife down to the abortion clinic and have that child aborted.
Abortion today, I can quote all the horrific stats which I’m sure you hear between Sundays. I mean there are places in our United States where more conceived children are aborted than they are born. 45% of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended and about four in 10, almost half of them, are terminated by abortion. If God has fearfully and wonderfully made us as the Scripture says then we need to remember where that starts. The dignity of human beings starts prenatally. I’ll just quote the passage for you, Psalm 139, “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when yet there wasn’t any of them.”.
God is a God who cares about the unborn and I hope that we do. We don’t talk about it much here because our passages, if they don’t bring us to that place we may not pontificate on that on a Sunday morning. But let me say, we ought to be firmly pro-life. And the concepts of saying, “Well, you know what, I think we’re human beings as prenatal beings but we’re human only biologically, we’re really not worthy of life. We are as the modern theorists and philosophers say, you might be completely scientifically human before your birth but you’re not a person. That’s a kind of gamesmanship and wordplay that makes no logical sense. Right? Oh you’re 100% scientifically independently in this encased, independent place for a child to live with his own DNA, his own fingerprints, his own data code for life, and yet you’re 100% scientifically human but you’re not 100% scientifically a person. Well, there is no definition for that. I guess whoever is running the country gets to decide that. Personhood begins at conception just as we have to say and modern technology helps us define that we were 100% human.
And I should hasten to say, if you have had an abortion, I understand the gravity and guilt that goes with that, but I hope you understand that even the Apostle Paul made it very clear as someone who was persecuting and executing Christians, God saves people like that to make clear his perfect patience as an example to those who would believe. God is a God who takes our past as it’s just as soiled and stained as a crimson cloth and he makes it white as snow. Don’t let the guilt change your definitions of what is true and right. Recognize that God makes every human being a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowns every human life with glory and honor and creates that life to exercise dominion and to subdue the raw elements of our planet to bring good to our world.
Don’t play word games. Don’t jump on the bandwagon just because we’re criticized for standing up for life that is worthy of full protection. Look for God’s greatness everywhere, acknowledge God’s grace in you. If you got that in you and I mean all of you let’s fight for that dignity even in the common grace that we should celebrate whether it’s some executive in a high rise in Orange County or whether it’s some kid with his hat on backwards who is carrying a skateboard under his arm, God’s image is reflected in everyone. We ought to step back and celebrate that and see the majesty of God there.
But this sermon is really all about one thing at the end of it. I mean all of that is a means to an end. And it started here and it ends here. Verse 1 and verse 9. And that is, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Note that, that’s evocative in grammar, that means it’s a direct address, we’re addressing God. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic,” not is his name, “how majestic is YOUR name in all the earth.” This is a prayer and it’s a prayer that asks for nothing. This is not a prayer that says “give us this day our daily bread” or “get me out of trouble” like the last psalm we studied in Psalm 3. This is a psalm that simply says God is great and I’m going to recognize it everywhere. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic,” how great, how excellent “is your name in all the earth.”.
Now we only get familiar with that phrase because we’ve grown up in church or some of you have or you’re familiar with this psalm or even the English lyrical music that is created from this psalm, and we’re use to saying, “O Lord, our Lord.” But if you really want to think about that as though you’ve never heard that you’re thinking what in the world does that mean? What do you mean by that? That sounds like some kind of strange expression. Oh, I don’t understand why you’re repeating that. Well, you’re not really repeating that if you were to take your Hebrew text out and look at it. Matter of fact, the English translators are trying to give you a clue by the way that they print it in your Bibles. Look carefully at that would you? It’s also that way printed on your worksheet.
You’ve got L-O-R-D two times, word number two and word number four in this first verse. But word number two and word number four, they’re designated differently, they’re characterized differently because they have a capital “O,” a capital “R,” and a capital “D,” albeit a little bit smaller on the first Lord, and they have a small case “o” and a small case “r” and a small case “d” in the second Lord and that’s a clue. You would only know this if you read the introduction or the preface to your English translation of the Bible, or you’ve heard me say this before, or you’ve heard someone tell you this before.
And that is that what we’re doing there is we’re hiding something. We’re hiding it because of the Jewish tradition of trying to reverence very carefully and be very fastidious about not breaking the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 21 of the Ten Commandments is not to misuse the name of God. And here’s the problem and I don’t agree with it, but a problem is when God tells you don’t abuse something then we don’t even want to use something, and that’s what’s happened in Orthodox Judaism throughout history. That is if I’m not going to abuse it, well, I know how not to abuse it, I’m never going to use it. And so the word that really is represented over 7,000 times as the most frequent way to address and describe God with his proper name, they said we’re not going to use it, so we’re going to use another word instead. And if you know anything about Judaism you know, and this has gone a few levels deep, but the initial decision was every time we see the word Yahweh, which is God’s proper name, we’re going to vocalize the word Adonai. And Adonai is the word for Lord. Matter of fact, it’s the fourth word in our English text here that translates Lord with a small “o,” small “r,” small “d.” In other words, we’ll say something about who God is instead of using his name because we don’t want to misuse his name.
Well we’ve carried that through into the Septuagint, which is at least one of the most influential translations of the Bible in the second century B.C. And now are English translations follow that convention, which is we won’t show you what the Hebrew word is, we’ll just give you a clue to it, and we won’t give you God’s proper name which is Yahweh, the tetragrammaton, those four Hebrew consonants, but we’re going to translate it the way we would translate the word Adonai. Well, that runs into a problem when we have a passage like this that says in Hebrew, “O Yahweh, our Adonai, how excellent majestic is your name in all the earth!”.
It would be like you being so enamored with your coach, your kid’s soccer coach, whose name is Bob, that you thought he’s so amazing. As a matter of fact, he said don’t ever misuse my name, so I’m never going to say his name. And every time I want to say Bob I’m going to say Coach, but he’s also the coach and sometimes I want to use the word coach. And if I ever have a sentence that says Coach Bob, I’m going to have some problems and so I’m going to have to call him Coach Coach, but maybe I’ll put capital O-A-C-H to show that I’m really saying, you know, Coach Bob but I’ll say Coach Coach. That’s exactly what’s going on in your Bible. Did you follow any of that? No? You fell asleep at that time I said to fall asleep for three minutes and now I’m telling you to wake up. Do you catch that? This is what’s going on in your Bibles, were tucking away God’s proper name.
I say all that just to show you that at least in the original language we have a very personal description of God using his proper name which is rooted in the Hebrew verb “to be” which means “he is.” When Moses said who should I say to Pharaoh who sent me? God says, “I am.” And from that root we have this word Yahweh, which becomes the proper name of God, the designation throughout the Bible that God is the God “who is.” God is the God who has “always been” as it’s put in the book of Revelation in Greek. He was and is and is to come, he’s the Eternal One, he’s the one who is always there, he doesn’t subject himself to the laws of physics. That picture of the God “who is” is the one who the David is saying, “Listen, you God, our King, our Adonai, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” A very personal, that’s important, a very personal, direct, crediting of God with the greatness David sees in the created order of things and the privileges we have as people made in the image of God.
I just want to end with this. Put it this way. Number three, we need a purpose to do exactly what David is doing. “Purpose to Directly Credit God.” I’m going to credit God when I see his greatness in creation and I’m going to credit God when I see the value, the humbling, amazing privilege and value of being made in the image of God, whether you’re organizing a junk drawer or whether you’re going to work and creating something or whether you’re planning out the meal schedule for your kids this week, I’m doing something that reflects the majesty of God. I’m made in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made biologically, amazingly reflecting the majesty of God. I just need to stop and credit God with that.
One last passage I’d love to turn you to, Romans Chapter 1, to just point out that if this became a part of your regular thinking and became a part of your regular expression you would be distinguishing yourself from how God describes the non-Christian world. The non-Christian world is described as people who don’t do what I just said we need to do. And I’d say if God comes on the scene and says, here’s how non-Christians are, I want to say, I want to be the opposite of that. And though this passage is not about what I just preached on, it’s showing us just the opposite. Non-Christians are characterized by ignoring the majesty of God and the reflections of that majesty everywhere in creation and in their own heart. We’re supposed to do the opposite.
So let’s read this very negative text in light of the positive motivation of making sure we do the opposite of what we read here. It starts in verse 18 with a pretty negative and sad reality. It’s much like the weather forecast from Noah before the flood. Right? There’s a flood coming. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and the unrighteousness of men.” So we know this: God is bringing judgment on a world of hard-hearted, sinful people who will not rush into the Ark and get salvation under Christ. Now what about these people? Well, “by their unrighteousness they suppress the truth.” What are you talking about? What truth? Verse 19. The truth of “what can be known about God,” or “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.” Just like Psalm 19 says, he’s declaring it every single day. “His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that they are without excuse.”.
And you say, “Well they’re rational, they’re thinking clearly.” You do understand, the theories of trying to come up with how we got here, whether it’s consciousness, which Dennett tried to work hard on getting theories for, or whether it’s the biological molecular structure of our existence here in the earth, whether it’s Dawkins who is trying to explain it to us, they all come back to a place where there is a complete leap of faith into things that in no way can be observed or recreated or in any way chronicled. Matter of fact, go back and listen to how they explain all the magnificence of what we have here. If we’re not going to talk about Martians, we’ll just talk about the theories of physical laws that started at the great singularity before the burst of the big bang. And they’ll say very clearly, without any kind of blushing, all of the physical laws that made this happen no longer exist. We don’t have them anymore. So, there’s a whole different set of laws that govern the material coming together of things as we know it.
I’m just telling you the invisible God that they want to mock us for is replaced by a bunch of people who say there’s an invisible set of laws that no one’s ever seen. I don’t know. But they got to believe. We believe it. And after that we believe in some kind of Martians coming with a school project to make this all happen. Of course, I’m mocking this and being condescending but really it doesn’t get much better than that. As someone just told me between services, talking to Ivy League physics professors when asked about this they say, “No, we don’t believe any of that.” Believe any of what? The Bible? No. They don’t believe any of that about modern theories of evolution. When asked do you believe the Bible they say the same thing. “Well, I don’t believe that either.” Well, what do you believe? “I don’t know. But we’re here.” I know.
The problem is there’s something rather than nothing. But when you claim that I have no brain in my head to believe in an invisible God all you have to do is drill down a couple of layers deep to show you that the entire monolith, this superstructure of the thinking about a world without a designer is built on something far more far-fetched and ridiculously absurd than any theologian could ever dream up in his most creative night.
Invisible God, his attributes are on display. You can see them. It matches reality better than any theory you could come up with. They’ve been clearly perceived in the creation of the world since things have been made. They’re without excuse. And these people that have this screaming in their face, verse 21, “although they knew God…” Now you want to understand the difference between me and a non-Christian, at least what should be the difference, is that I know God and they know God, at least intellectually, but they’re denying it, they’re suppressing it and they, with all that knowledge, “did not honor him as God and they didn’t give thanks to him.” That should be the difference between my life and their life.
Your non-Christian neighbor, your non-Christian co-worker, your non-Christian counterpart in the world, has the same availability of information in the natural world. They see the dignity of man over the apes, over the cockroaches, over the rocks and the trees. They see the glory and majesty that they enjoy every day in the created world but they suppress it, they don’t honor him and they don’t give thanks to him. The exact opposite should be my constitution, my calling. And that is that I see it and I honor it, I honor him for it and I give thanks so that I won’t “become futile in my thinking, and their foolish hearts become darken,” because that’s what happens to them and “claiming to be wise they become fools.” We could talk endlessly about that, “exchanging the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man,” and the stuff that men can create or the stuff that men can tame, “birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.” Well, if you’re thinking why didn’t God keep shouting? God has shouted but he will give you over, the Bible says, to chasing your tail in logical circles coming up with theories and looking down your condescending nose at other people for their religious beliefs.
You can have all that and live the way you want. You’ll “dishonor your bodies among yourselves because they exchange,” verse 25, “the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and serve the creature rather than a Creator.” Much like verse 21, just invert that for our assignment this week. Let’s not exchange the truth for a lie. Let’s expose and deny the lie and embrace the truth and let’s worship and serve the Creator instead of the creature. No more Mother Nature for our vocabularies as Christians. We’re not going to sit out there and marvel as the environmentalists do at the creation and disconnect it and disjoint that from the Creator.
We read in our Daily Bible Reading not long about the call of those who would inhabit the land and be blessed there. And I find so many parallels to the comfortable lives we so often lead here in Orange County. He says you guys be careful when you’ve eaten and you’re full. You get your three squares a day and all your snacks. You build your good houses and you live in them. When your herds and your flocks multiply and your silver and your gold piles up, when all that is multiplied that you have, be careful that you don’t lift up your hearts and forget the Lord your God. This whole sermon is about remembering. It’s about seeing it. It’s about looking for it. It’s about acknowledging. Then it’s about crediting God with it. He says remember where you came from. Remember what I’ve done. Remember how I brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. This is Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 16, I fed you in the wilderness.
Remember all of that, “lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and my might and my hand have gotten this wealth from me.’ You shall remember the Lord your God,” Don’t forget me. I think in our comfortable existence it’s easy to forget the Lord. Don’t forget and be very, very focused on saying thank you.
I was embarrassed and mildly rebuked last night. That was not the intention of the gal who said this to me at the door. I was talking about being very direct in our thanksgiving. I even talked about how I hate the newscasters and all the people who say they’re thankful and they never talked about who they are thankful to and they never give thanks. A gal came to me at the door said, “Well, I’m a Navigating Motherhood leader and I’m the one who gave you the Abba Zaba. I felt very convicted because I never wrote a thank you note, I just sat there in my office addicted to my Abba Zaba, enjoying it without giving direct thanks to anyone for it. So I was very profusely thankful last night trying to make up for lost time.
And I hope that if you recognize that you’ve observed a lot of the glory of God and a lot of things and even enjoyed a lot of the privileges of being made in the image of God that you’d make up for lost time, that you would get very active, whether it’s over your prayer at lunch today, whether it’s before you sleep tonight, whether it’s just driving down the highway and looking at the trees or the birds or the butterflies that are making their path through Orange County, that you be thankful for the God who displays his glory and his majesty in the created world. Give thanks to the Lord. He’s good. How majestic is his name in all the earth.
Let’s pray. God, help us in a day full of distractions, screens to watch, podcasts to listen to, people to talk to, places to go and yet we need to slow down a little bit. Look up to the stars, marvel at the moon, think of the created order and the vastness of space. Think about our smallness and then think, no we’re not small. God has endowed us, crowned us with glory and honor. What an amazing thing it is that I get to go in this world and be in a sense the reflection of your greatness and majesty by being a leader, by taking charge of some small corner of your creation, marshalling that, subjecting that, subduing it, making a creative effort of some kind to do good in this world with what you’ve made. God help me and help us all to see your majesty more often this week and to credit you directly with it. Let us be thankful. Let us make up for lost time. Be attentive, good detectives and great worshippers this week.
In Jesus name, Amen.