The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of about 3.7 billion miles from Earth, making it the furthest photograph ever taken. Carl Sagan quoted on this photo: “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Sometimes, when we look out at the sky at night, and see the stars and the moon, it is easy for us to become quite underwhelmed with ourselves and to think we are as significant as a fart in a jacuzzi. Whatever it is, there’s something about a clear night filled with a huge moon and bright shining stars that creates a sense of wonder in most people, Christian or not. This is probably what inspired David to write:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
In Psalm 8, David stands in awe of the majesty of the Lord. And when he realizes just how vast and magnificent God is, far from weeping with insignificance, he’s simply amazed that God would take the time to notice him—a mere mortal man.
In this beautiful expression of praise to God, David stands amazed that the God of creation would pay attention to us, the frail people of earth. That God should focus attention and love on us is proof of our dignity as creatures made in the image of God. We discover our true value and worth only when we make God the reference point of our lives. In other words, you matter because you matter to God. Apart from knowing God, we have no understanding of who we really are or what role we’re supposed to play in this great universe. But Psalm 8 declares both our worth and the awesome majesty of God.
All people, no matter if they are atheist, Christian, Hindu, Indian, European, black or white, middle class or lower class, man or woman – all human beings are CREATED BY GOD. David was mesmerized by the majesty of God, writing:
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place.”
The origin of the universe is a topic of discussion and a bone of contention for philosophers and scientists alike, but Christians have believed all along that
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”
Like a Rolex had to be carefully crafted and a Ferrari had a ton of forward planning and design, creation requires a creator. The Bible says,
“The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvellous display of his craftsmanship.”
God’s fingerprints are there for is to see, His heavenly holograph is everywhere. David specifically mentions, for example, “the moon and the stars.”
The moon may seem to be only a lifeless dust ball in the sky, but it serves some very important functions. The moon provides us with light at night, and also causes our oceans to rise and fall. Its gravitational pull on the Earth is just right to cause the oceans to circulate. This movement helps the seas to clean themselves and absorb oxygen. The tides are needed for the oceans to support life.
If our moon were too big, it would cause dangerous tidal waves and earthquakes. If it were too small, the oceans would become stagnant and unable to support life.
Concerning the stars, Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that we seem to take them for granted. If constellations were visible only once in a century everyone on Earth would stay up all night to gaze at them. The heavens really are telling the glory of God, the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of you and me.
Human beings are God’s most marvellous creation. That the God of the Universe bothered to create you proves just how important you are and how valuable you can become when you live your life for Him. You are not an accident. You’re not a fluke of nature or a bi-product of irresponsible parents. You were handmade by God Himself. God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the colour of your skin, your hair, and every other feature. Where you live? Yep. Your taste in music? Check. He custom-made you the way He wanted you. We are wonderfully made! But your value and God’s majesty don’t stop at creation.
David also tells us that we are CARED FOR BY GOD David expressed his wonder by saying,
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
What we know today about the size of the Universe makes the Earth and its inhabitants look even more insignificant than they appeared in David’s day. Our earth is smaller than it has ever been, in terms of reaching others. Information travels the world in a matter of seconds. We have come on leaps and bounds when it comes to research of diseases, social interaction and space exploration. Our knowledge of light years and the reaches of outer space give us even more reason to ask the question David asked. Yet, in His great love, the Lord chose the Earth for Himself and created us in His image. God is mindful of us and He does care for us!
In “The Purpose-Driven Life”, Rick Warren, pastor to the stars, writes,
“Why did God do all this? Why did he bother to go to all the trouble of creating a universe for us? Because he is a God of love. This kind of love is difficult to fathom, but it’s fundamentally reliable. You were created as a special object of God’s love! God made you so he could love you. This is a truth to build your life on.”
The Bible says,
“I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you”
God is ALWAYS demonstrating His love for us. When Christians enter into something new and intimidating, God’s love goes before us. He sees what we will require and provide. He knows what things we have need of before we ask Him.
Before we came into the world, He made it inhabitable.
Before we needed salvation, He made it possible.
Before we needed instruction and guidance, He wrote the Bible.
Before we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He offers eternal life. Before we enter into eternity, He opened the gate to heaven.
God’s loving care for all of us was ultimately shown by Jesus, who went to the cross. He chose to endure torture that was unimaginable. He offered himself to be spat at, beaten and humiliated. Looking at Him on the cross makes the great cost at which our salvation came clear and obvious, The deep love of God is never more evident than in the midst of an innocent Jew.
As insignificant as we may seem in relation to the whole of the created Universe, it was still for us that Jesus went to the cross. Jesus didn’t die to save the rainforest. He didn’t die to save the humpbacked whale. The God of the Universe has but one Son, and that Son died to save you and me. If that does not tell how much you are worth to God, then nothing ever will.
It is in Jesus that we truly discover who we are and what we’re worth. In Christ, we recover majesty; in Him, we become the people that God wants us to be.
So as David sat back to reflect on God’s glory and majesty he struggled with many deep questions that we still face today:
Who am I?
What is man that you would take thought of him?
Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name?
Whenever we feel worthless, the words of this psalm should encourage us. We and all other human beings are valuable because God Himself created us in His own glorious image, cares for us with unrelenting love, and crowns us with glory and honour.
Abraham Lincoln once wrote: “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up, into the heavens and say there is no God.”
→ Thanks to Jeff Strite, whose sermon “How Majestic is Your name” supplied the headings and some of the meat of this blog. Jeff will probably never see this, but incase he does, thank you.