David tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV). So, what do the planets, the stars, the moons, the heavens, and the universe proclaim? Foremost, the masterpiece of creation discloses this: God is worthy of worship.
However, life’s hectic tempo, countless amusements, and endless diversions render us oblivious to cosmic cues to praise and ponder the Lord’s great deeds. If we took time out of our busy schedules and daily routines, if we would slow our paces, still our bodies, quiet our minds, and turn our thoughts to God, we would find as the psalmist did that His splendor projected by celestial radiance leads one to praising, rejoicing, and singing (See Psalms 145:1-5). God’s majestic qualities resonate throughout the cosmos. But often we miss creation’s shouts and proclamations. Nature’s testimony falls on deaf ears and mute hearts; not only do we miss being impressed by God’s magnificence, we often fail to gain admiration, reverence, and affection that lead to spontaneous worship.
If you live in a rural area where the night sky is clear or have been in a place away from bright lights, you’ve probably noticed that stars are the most visible things in the heavens. We are surrounded by stars. A view David was very familiar with. Imagine a young David tending the family herd. While the sheep sleep and recover from the day’s escapades in the pastures, David’s eyes drift to the heavens and within his heart he begins to contemplate God’s awesome nature. There were no televisions. No satellite dishes. No digital cable. No 300 channels to divert his attention.
Have you ever stopped to consider how thin the book of Psalms may have been if David had lived in our day of XBoxes, palm pilots, portable DVD players, and all the other electronic gadgetry that enthralls modern society? Can you image his cell phone ringing while he’s writing any of the great praise psalms? What beautiful metaphors and descriptions of the invisible God would not be available to us today? What wonderful portraits of intimacy would not have been immortalized to burn in our hearts and to spur us on to pursue knowledge of God? With the day’s work done, free from distractions, David turned his thoughts to the Divine Architect and directed his intellectual and creative energies to the marvelous, sparkling tapestry above.
The Milky Way Galaxy—our home system of stars, dust and gas bound together by gravitational force, burned in his eyes. Scientists believe 200 billion stars and many billion solar systems beside our own reside in the Milky Way. Wait. Did you grasp that? Our very own neighborhood in the universe contains more than two hundred thousand million stars and more than a thousand million solar systems. Scientists further estimate that the universe—the entire creation—contains hundreds of billions of galaxies—that’s hundreds of thousand million galaxies with each galaxy holding hundreds of thousand million stars and solar systems. Now maybe we get a hint of the wonder that led David to express, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1-2).
Lean in closely now... He created everything with His voice.
He spoke... and the universe came into existence.
God’s glory, David tells us, fills the heavens. The word glory means majesty. It describes God’s stateliness, His impressiveness in scale or proportion, His greatness. Creation doesn’t exist simply to provide us a home or for us to enjoy it. The universe exists to show forth God’s immeasurable, unquantifiable, indescrible, and awesome characteristics. The celestial realm’s great expanse magnifies God’s enormity and reminds us that God is worthy of worship. Occasionally some of us do need reminding.
About ten years ago, I came to a crisis in my spiritual development where I had to admit that my concept of God was limited and flawed. The stern, distant, aloof, and brooding god that occupied my mind didn’t take part in my life. I needed, and desperately yearned for a God who interacted with His creation; a God that was able to reach down into my chaotic, dark, and dismal life, and give me a new heart and speak a new name over me. I learned quickly and have never forgotten that a person’s view of God greatly shapes their life. Therefore, developing and maintaining elevated thoughts of God is essential for proper spiritual health and stamina.
Our perceptions of God can be expanded through contemplation and meditation. “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory” (Psalm 97:6, NIV). The Apostle Paul tells us, “...since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20, NIV). Isaiah invites us to consider the heavens again. “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (Isaiah 40:26, NIV).
When beginning the study of God, one of the first discoveries the seeker uncovers is that God does things to bring glory to himself. Every part of the cosmos displays on the grandest scale God’s splendor, creativity, and majesty. Our greatest comprehension of the size of the universe, God’s creation by His spoken word, gives a barely visible shadow of His unsearchable nature and indescribable power. As scientists continue to explore and discover unknown parts of the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the universe, they will further help us to understand that the skies declare God’s glory; the heavens exalt Him in worship. God the Divine Creator created all that we see—the earth, the moon, the other eight planets in our solar system, the sun, the Milky Way Galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars and solar systems, and the universe containing hundreds of billions galaxies—and all that we don’t see. Brennin Manning said, “Creation discloses a power that baffles our minds and beggars our speech.” Even so, my prayer for me, you, and all who call on the name of the Lord is: “Dear Lord, expand our limited and imperfect understanding so that we may be incited to deeper wonder, greater admiration, more profound praise, and more heartfelt worship.”
 Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1990, pg 35.
Veronica Jones-Brown writes on a variety of topics with an emphasis on Spiritual Growth, Christian Living, and Personal Development. She enjoys teaching Sunday school, mentoring, and speaking and training in churches and at conferences. Veronica loves meeting people who desire more of God, saying that interacting with them rejuvenates, inspires, and encourages her. She lives in the East Texas area with her husband James, a wonderful man and Veronica’s greatest supporter. They have two children, Olivia and Aaron. Visit her at www.veronicajonesbrown.com, or email her at [email protected].