The Work of Thy Fingers
Psalm 8:3-4 - When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon, the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou dost take thought of him?
As a youth, King David the giant-slayer was a shepherd. He sat often at night, playing his harp, listening to the lowing of the sheep, and gazing at the majesty of the heavens. David saw God’s splendor on display each night as he took in the vast expanse of the stars. He sensed the majesty and awe of God’s creation intimately. But he knew little of what he saw. Like a child playing on the beach not understanding the vastness of the ocean before him, David could not have known the vastness of the heavens. He couldn’t have known that when God breathed the words, “Let there be light,” there was a near infinite explosion of light that became our universe.
What did he think as he looked at the night sky? Perhaps he thought the stars were pinholes in the floor of heaven. Certainly, he could not have understood that they were giant spheres of fire from nuclear fusion, billions of miles away. He could not know as he looked at the constellation Orion, that Betelgeuse, the bright star in Orion’s shoulder, was 1000 times bigger than our sun, and would engulf Jupiter if it were placed in our solar system.
In his era, one could count about several thousand stars with the naked eye. God said to Abraham in Genesis 15, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if indeed you can count them.” We now think that there are upwards of seven billion billion stars. A seven with 22 zeros behind it. And that number keeps going up! David could have no idea that many of those little dots were entire galaxies, themselves containing over 100 BILLION stars, and that the light from some left the star when Abraham was leaving Ur and was hitting David’s eyes 1500 years later. (Some stars that we can see with the naked eye are over 15,000 light years away!!)
He could not have known about white dwarfs, dark matter, black holes, quasars, pulsars, and giant gaseous clouds the size of galaxies.
But, with all our advances, we also cannot understand the depth, breadth, and scope of God’s created majesty. Just as the vastness of the heavens God fashioned were so far beyond what king David could think or imagine, we are only now, with Hubble and other sources, seeing a little of how amazing God’s creation really is. And each new advance in technology helps us to get a deeper glimpse of God’s glory as revealed in His marvelous creation.
We see such a small vision of the true scope of His wonders. It’s like looking at the Grand Canyon through a paper towel tube. God’s vastness is so far beyond what we can ever begin to imagine and the more we learn about it the more we realize how little we know.
But He says He marked out this vast expanse of the heavens with the breadth of His hand.
Think about that statement. That is the God we worship. He is not a small God. We cannot contain Him in a book, or in a song, or in a church, or in a theology. He is a massive God. We may never fully see the extraordinary majesty of His creation, let alone Who He fully is.
David got it right in saying, “What is man that He is mindful of us?” But that is the ultimate wonder to us. He is the creator of wonders beyond our wildest imagination, but loves and cares for us, and wants a deepening relationship with us. He calls every star by name, but He knows OUR names as well. The bible said He numbers every hair on our head. He knows intimately who we are, every detail about us, even more than we know ourselves. And yet He loves us. His love is real, and personal – He cares for you. That’s an amazing thought and a real reason to worship Him.
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art!
Questions for thought:
If God truly measures the universe with the breadth of His hand, what does that say about Him?
How has science deepened our understanding of God’s majesty?
What does it mean to you that God, who created all of this with the mere words “Let there be light,” is mindful of you, knows you, and wants an ever-deepening relationship with you?
Dan began as part of the Music Team in 1995 and in 1998 became a full time member of staff.
He is known for his skills on lead guitar. Dan leads the band by recruiting musicians and creating the musical excellence that is a cornerstone for Orchard Hill. He has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA from Duquesne University in Music Performance-Jazz.
Dan and his wife, Lidija, and their three children live in Wexford.