Let’s prepare for the Lord’s Day by reading Psalms 8-10 today.
And what a great group of Psalms to read to prepare our hearts for worship. Each one of them calls us to think deeply about the greatness of God. Please read them all for the good of your own soul, but I’m going to write about Psalm 8, specifically verses 3-9. In this passage, David laid on his back in the countryside around Bethlehem and turned his eyes toward the sky. With his sheep gathered in the pasture around him, he looked up into the clear dark sky. There were no city lights on earth to impair his view and no clouds to hide what was beyond our atmosphere. And what did he see? Stars. A vast, black canopy in every direction punctuated by points of light scattered everywhere. As he thought about those dots of light, small but intensely bright, he must have known that each of those stars was like our sun. But think about how far away you would have to be for our sun to look like the North Star, for instance, looks to us. So he realized that beyond the earth was an enormous place full of suns like ours so far away he couldn’t even imagine the distance.
We don’t know if David wrote this when he was a shepherd or if he wrote it while he was king, perhaps unable to sleep some night or just remembering the peacefulness of his shepherding days. One thing we can conclude, however, is that David reflected on the vastness of space and the glory of the heavenly bodies far beyond us. If the created universe is that big, that magnificent, then even the greatest king on earth is like a gnat in comparison to God’s creation and, of course, compared to God himself. So in awe and worship David cried out in verse 4, “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” He then went on to meditate on how much God has entrusted to us. As weak and insignificant as we are compared to God and his universe, God made us kings over his earthly creation (vv. 6-8) so that we could master and enjoy it all as his gracious provision to us. This gives us a glimpse of the majesty and kindness of God. His majesty is seen in the greatness of his creation; his kindness is seen in how he has exalted us and provided for us through that creation.
In addition to all that God has done for us in Christ, our role in this world calls us to worship the Lord and wonder at his greatness. It also gives us a hint of what awaits for us when we see him and live finally and fully redeemed on the new earth. Let these truths encourage your heart and prepare you to worship as we gather together for worship this morning.